How to Troubleshoot Issues with Infrared Devices

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Article ID: 184204 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to troubleshoot issues with infrared (IR) devices.

MORE INFORMATION

This article lists some of the most commons causes of issues with IR devices and how to resolve them.

Devices Not Aligned Correctly

To establish a connection between two IR devices, you may have to perform some of the following steps:
  • Realign the IR devices so they point directly at each other.
  • Verify that the batteries in an IR adapter are fully charged, or plug an AC power adapter into the IR adapter.
  • Verify that the devices are three feet apart or less, however, some devices work best if kept at least six inches apart.
  • Verify that the angle of the cone of IR transmission is less than 30 degrees.

Slow COM Port or Slow Computer

If an IR adapter is attached to a COM port that is using an 8250 universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter (UART) chip instead of a 16550 UART chip, or if an IR adapter is connected to a slower computer, you may need to limit the connection speed to 19.2 Kbps. To do so, use the following steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Infrared.
  2. Click the Options tab, click 19.2 Kbps in the Limit Connection Speed To box, click OK, and then close Control Panel.
After you establish a successful IR connection at this speed, you may want to experiment with establishing a connection at a higher speed.

Connection Is Established Slowly

When you connect or disconnect over a low-speed IR link or over a low-quality link the connection may not be established for a few seconds, and during this time your computer may appear to stop responding (hang). To work around this behavior, use either of the following methods:

Increase the Speed of Your Connection:

To increase the speed of your connection, use the following steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Infrared.
  2. Click the Options tab, click a speed that is higher than the current speed in the Limit Connection Speed To box, click OK, and then close Control Panel.
Improve the Quality of Your Connection:

To improve the quality of your connection, try the following:
  • Realign the devices so that they point directly at each other.
  • Move the devices closer together.
  • Verify that the batteries in an IR adapter are fully charged, or plug an AC power adapter into the IR adapter.
  • Remove any obstructions between the devices.

Verify that No Other Devices Are Interfering with the Connection

Some household devices may contain IR devices that can interfere with your connection, for example, a television remote control. Ensure that these types of devices are not located near your IR devices. Also, if your printer has an IR adapter, move it out of the range of your computer's IR adapter.

Install the Most Current Version of IR Device Drivers

Microsoft recommends that you install only the most current IR device drivers available, and before you install a new driver, uninstall the old one. This is especially important if you want to install new drivers and you are currently using a Beta driver.

To uninstall your IR device driver, use the appropriate steps for your operating system.

For Windows 95

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Infrared Support for Windows 95 version 2.0 and then click Add/Remove.
  3. When your receive the prompt to restart your computer, click Yes.

For Windows 98

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.
  2. On the Device Manager tab, click on the plus sign (+) to the left of Infrared. This will expand the category. Click on the IR device and then click Remove.
  3. If you receive a prompt to restart the computer, click Yes.

Update Drivers When You Update Your IR Adapter

To install IR adapter drivers use the following steps.

NOTE: If you have an IR adapter to replace your current one, you must uninstall your current IR adapter before you install the new one. To uninstall your IR adapter driver, follow the steps listed previously.

For Windows 95

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add New Hardware.
  2. To start the Add New Hardware Wizard click Next. When you receive the prompt to search for new hardware, click No, and then click Next.
  3. Under Hardware Types click to select Infrared and then click Next. The wizard will create simulated Com and LPT. Click Next.
  4. Click to select the manufacturer and model of the Infrared device from the list and then click Next or click Have Disk to install drivers from the driver's disk.
  5. Click the port that this infrared device is physically connected to and then click Next.
  6. A list of the Com and LPT simulated ports that applications use will appear. Click Use the Defaults and then click Next.
  7. When Windows copies the necessary files to the system and indicates that your Infrared device has been set up successfully, click Finish.

For Windows 98

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add New Hardware.
  2. To start the Add New Hardware Wizard, click Next. When you receive the prompt, "Do you want Windows to search for your new hardware?", click No, I want to select the hardware from a list, and then click Next.
  3. Under Hardware Types click to select Infrared and then click Next. When the wizard creates simulated Com and LPT, click Next.
  4. Windows will build a drive information database. Click to select the manufacture and model of the Infrared device from the list and then click Next, or click Have Disk to install drivers from the driver's disk.
  5. Click the port that this infrared device is physically connect to and then click Next.
  6. A list of the Com and LPT simulated ports that applications use appears. Click Use the Defaults and then click Next.
  7. Windows will copy the necessary files to the system and will state, "Your Infrared device has been set up successfully." Click Finish.

No Infrared Port Listed for Direct Cable Connection

When using Direct Cable Connection to connect two computers through an infrared device, under the option Select Port You Want To Use in the Direct Cable Connection. There are only serial and parallel ports listed you are unable to select the Infrared port. Infrared ports do not show up as IR ports they are listed as COM and LPT to determine which ports are available , perform the following steps for either Windows 95 or Windows 98.
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Infrared.
  2. Click the Options tab which displays the ports used. NOTE: the available ports will be listed as "Providing application support on COMx and LPTx, where x will be a number. For example, you might see "Providing application support on COM4 and LPT3". In that case, those are the ports that you should select in the application for IR.
  3. For additional information about how to install and configure Direct Cable Connection, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    298446 How to Install and Configure Direct Cable Connection (DCC)

Verify You Are Using the Correct Port

Your IR adapter may not function properly if your IR adapter is not configured to use the correct COM port. To troubleshoot this issue, use the following steps:
  1. Place an IR device that is actively searching for another IR device near your computer's IR adapter.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Infrared.
  3. Click the Options tab, click a different COM port under Enable Infrared Communication, and then click OK.
  4. Test to determine if the issue is resolved, and if it is not, repeat steps 1-4 until the IR adapter on your computer discovers the nearby IR device.
  5. Close Control Panel.
NOTE: If you change the port your IR device is using while IR communications are in progress, you may lose your connection without warning.

Do Not Suspend Your Computer While an IR Connection Is Active

Microsoft recommends that you do not suspend your computer while an IR connection is active. If you need to suspend your computer, break the IR connection first, and then suspend your computer. This is especially important if your computer is a laptop. When you suspend a laptop while an IR connection is active, the IR connection may remain intact and continue to use the laptop's battery.

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Article ID: 184204 - Last Review: January 22, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbtshoot KB184204

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