USB to Serial (Prolific 2303) Device Cannot Start (Code 10) in Windows 8

Monday, May 6, 2013

Is this a rare situation where a piece of legacy hardware works fine in Linux and is broken in Windows??

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:


Win.


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.

90 comments

  1. Thanks a lot for the solution!! It's really work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So thanks! This's perfect solution! It's really work!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Worked for me!
    I first had to remove the original driver using:
    pnputil -e
    to spot the oemXX.inf that had Prolific in it
    and remove it:
    pnputil -f -d oemXX.inf

    Thanks
    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great.. it really worked.. I wasted almost 2 days troubleshooting it.. but this worked in a min :)

    Thanks for the help.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you. Nicely documented resolution to the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  6. thanks men , working on windows 8.1 also

    ReplyDelete
  7. God bless you man, it worked like a charm!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love u man, worked! nothing else worked, only ur method, god bless u

    ReplyDelete
  9. wowowowowowowowowowow.... i love u .. so much. it work..

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is not working for me. When I get to the step where it says, .int click install. I do not have an install button to click. I am on Windows 8. Somebody help, please.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @myscilyn -- RIGHT CLICK the .inf file. There isn't a button to click, there should be a menu option 'install' just as in the photo here. If you don't see the install option see this:
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-hardware/install-option-missing-from-the-context-menu-of/23524ad3-1687-4c2d-ba26-b249b4c4d8e9

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love you / My error Code 10 already fixed

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you very much! This procedure worked for me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hell yeah! This is what makes the internet so awesome!
    You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you very much! That save my father life!! xD

    ReplyDelete
  16. i really dont know how to thank you man! i was ready to go back to the store i bought the cable and return them as a fake!!!! thanks a lot :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you :*:*:*:*:*:*:*:*:* work !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you sooo much bro!! :D :D :D YOU FUCKIN' ROCK!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks very much , it's working fine now :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Outstanding, helpful post. Fixed the problem I was having on my new Win 8.1 x64 laptop using an old USB to serial converter cable. I can now export coordinates off my 14 year old Garmin eTrex Legend with serial interface directly to my laptop again. Looks like I can postpone upgrading to a USB-ready GPS unit for a while longer now.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Muchas gracias funciona a la perfección, Saludos

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks, worked perfectly on windows 8.1

    ReplyDelete
  23. thanks a ton..i dont know..how i can thank you..GOD bless you..

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been working on this for hours without success until I found your article ....great instructions...worked like a treat.... you have made my day

    ReplyDelete
  25. thank you a lot, nice work. work on first try!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. can you help me fixing error code 10 on windows xp SP2???
    thanks anyways

    ReplyDelete
  27. It worked..great n thanks man!

    ReplyDelete
  28. work perfectly saving my time alot thank you man.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Unbeliavable! Works! God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Perfect Its Work

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you, you save-me, I was staing crazy trying do it....

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is the best troubleshooting solution about prolific i ever found ! I ; t works !!
    None of those updates offered on manufacturers website ever worked !

    Thank you for sharing !

    ReplyDelete
  33. Perfect with pnputil as Andreas Reischle sed.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  34. You guys are great! Spent ages trying to find a driver for the Belkin FSU103v for Windows 8. I downloaded the Profilic_Win8_x64_x86.zip from your site and worked instantly.
    Thanks guys!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Will be trying it out later. Fingers crossed!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank You very much! Perfectly works with Windows 8.1. Helped me to operate V&A VA600-NH data logger.

    ReplyDelete
  37. it work ; but i will do the same again every time when i change another port usb

    ReplyDelete
  38. Just looks like they are after everyone making an unnecessary purchase!
    Driver works great!

    ReplyDelete
  39. thank you so much. It's worked perfectly. Many Thanks Clever guys!

    ReplyDelete
  40. At Last,, I Found it,,

    Thank You Soo Much,, You Are Rock,,,

    ReplyDelete
  41. A mi no me funciono este metodo, lo que si me funciono fue instaler el driver para win vista aunque yo uso Win 7 Pro

    http://www.tri-plc.com/USB-RS232/drivers.htm

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank You Sir! I have a prolific chipped usb2serial cable that I use with the CHIRP software to program repeater frequencies into my VHF/UHF Handy Talkie Ham radio's and this was driving me crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Worked like a charm! I am also getting the dreaded "This device can not start (Code 10) with a Silicon Labs USB to UART bridge driver. Still looking for a fix for that!

    ReplyDelete
  44. thank man !! :)
    working in win 8 pro

    ReplyDelete
  45. 2015 and it still works. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  46. there its not showing install option help me

    ReplyDelete
  47. thank you so much, works on my laptop win 8.1

    ReplyDelete