Do you have a USB serial port that works on Windows 7?
September 8, 2009 10:33 PM   Subscribe

What USB serial port works on (32-bit) Windows 7?

My motherboard doesn't have a back-panel serial port, but I have a serial device I need to use. I had a no-name (literally zero brand markings on it) USB serial port from Fry's, but it didn't come with any drivers and Win7 doesn't automatically figure it out like XP did. Do you have one of these and have it working in Windows 7?

Alternatively, if you know where I can get a serial port bracket for an ASUS M3A78-EM, that'd do the job as well. Cursory research shows there are two different pin-outs and I haven't been able to figure out a) which this motherboard uses and b) what any given one for sale uses. The manual unhelpfully just says it's "sold separately".
posted by 0xFCAF to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I use a Keyspan branded one with my mac. Windows 7 drivers are going to be tricky, but as long as you're not using the 64bit version you'll probably have better luck.
posted by iamabot at 12:55 AM on September 9, 2009

posted by aubilenon at 1:13 AM on September 9, 2009

I had a no-name (literally zero brand markings on it) USB serial port from Fry's, but it didn't come with any drivers and Win7 doesn't automatically figure it out like XP did.

I'm not fully familiar with Windows 7's user interface, but here's what I suggest in XP: Plug the device in, get Device Manager up, get up the properties of the unknown device, and in the 'details' tab check the 'Device Instance ID' (or if you don't see that, the 'Device Instance Path'). This will show up a line that looks something like this:


The important part of that line is the VID and PID - the Vendor ID and Product ID - those are the numbers your operating system uses to match drivers to hardware.

If you want you can just post those numbers here and I can probably point you to drivers for your device, or at least tell you if drivers are available. Alternately, if you google those numbers you can probably find the manufacturer for yourself.

The main USB-serial converters I've encountered are: FTDI, who offer vista drivers but not windows 7 drivers yet (VID 0403); Prolific who offer windows 7 drivers, (VID 067B); and Aten who offer a product based on Prolific's chip, but with changed settings so you need a different driver (they use VID 0557); they offer a vista driver but no windows 7 yet. I've never tried it, but I have read that you can use Vista drivers on Windows 7.

Prolific - who make the chip with windows 7 drivers currently on offer - don't make complete USB-serial cables themselves, but that page I linked to directs you to people who put their chip in complete cables and retail them.
posted by Mike1024 at 4:49 AM on September 9, 2009

I'm using this Keyspan for work, but I do not know if it will work in Win7. I've also used Quatech products to a reasonable state of satisfaction. As iamabot says, the drivers are going to be the tricky part because not a lot of places have them out yet, but they all can work with Vista, so you may have some luck with those drivers.
posted by deezil at 4:52 AM on September 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks Mike1024 - I already tried this and the drivers from Prolific's website (which claim to be Windows 7 compatible) don't actually work.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:28 AM on September 9, 2009

Best answer: You might try these drivers: from
posted by mge at 11:33 AM on September 9, 2009

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