Lol, actually Arduino beat me in releasing a properly signed driver before I published this article. I tested it and it works like a charm – no workarounds needed, just download the latest Arduino IDE release and install the included driver 🙂 You can still use the old arduino release with new driver if you want to do that…
Preserved for historic purposes:
The official Arduino drivers are unsigned, so the usual way of installing them on Windows 8 would be to disable the driver signing. That however leaves your system vulnerable to outside threats and as a bonus gives you ugly watermarks in the screen corners.
It’s actually funny how a firm with tens of thousand products sold per month can’t invest a few hundred dollars to buy a code signing certificate and sign the drivers they provide. But hey, it’s open source, so no customer support for you 😉 The drivers were actually signed, but there was an issue with the signature, so the signature expired with the expiration of the original signing certificate. And they haven’t been really quick about resolving this issue. )
There however is a way to install alternative set of drivers (with the same functionality) without disabling the driver signature checking. The drivers for a modem using the same USB driver are actually inbulit to windows.
Open the device manager, if the arduino is not installed properly it will show under other devices with a yellow exclamation mark. Right- click it and choose “Update driver software”. Choose “Browse my computer…” button. Choose “Let me pick…” button. Find “Modems” entry and click it. Click “Next” button. Pick “Compaq” under “Manufacturer” and “Ricochet…” under “Models”. Click Yes in the popup box. After the installation process the Arduino will show in Device Manager under Modems under entry Ricochet… Right click on the entry and choose Properties to open Properites dialog. Under Modem tab you can check the COM port it is assigned to. There is absolutely no need to set/change the port maximum speed and it will work better if you leave it as it is. Under Advanced tab -> Advanced settings button you can disable the FIFO (if you don’t get any errors in communication you can also leave it enabled). In this dialog you can also change the COM port assigned to device. You can only set it to a “free” COM port that is not used by another installed driver (no matter if the device is actually present). You can find software online that will clean/delete all “in use” ports, however you may need to reinstall the COM port drivers after running it. The only difference is that the Arduino now shows under Modems and not under Ports, however it enumerates as a serial port so there is no difference in usage.
Video (credits to the original author):