The Prolific 2303 works perfectly fine in Linux Mint. Yet, for some reason, Prolific says that some of these chips have reached the end of life and won't be 'supported' under Windows 8. Prolific suggests that you purchase an updated chipset:
So, a few questions -- what is different about the newer chips that they *can* be supported in Windows 8, while the older ones can't? What has changed in Windows 8 that makes this support so different?
Here's the yellow triangle with exclamation point that you'll see:
And here is the "Code 10" error:
Fixing it: Some clever people have figured out workarounds for this issue.
Get this file: Profilic_Win8_x64_x86.zip (Google Drive link here.)
Extract the contents of this file somewhere and examine the contents:
Right click the .inf file, and select "Install".
I didn't notice that anything happened when I ran it. Probably because I've tried so many different drivers and installations; maybe it was already installed, I don't know.
Got back to the device manager and right click the Prolific USB to Serial comm port, and click "Update Driver Software".
In the resulting dialog, click "Browse my computer for driver software":
Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer":
Select the Prolific driver version 3.3.2 from 2008:
If all went well, you'll no longer see the yellow triangle:
h/t to the original post at Microsoft's Technet forum by user drtedrted.