Installing PL2303 HXA driver on Windows 8

PL2303 HXA USB to serial converters are discontinued by the producer. They have also made the latest driver block the old chips. This is OK if you want to use new hardware, but there may also be some devices that you already have and they work on Linux, XP and W7 but won’t work on W8 by default. (Of course it is in the desire of producer that you just throw away your devices and buy new ones…) The device I am using is Globalsat BU353S4, but also several USB<>RS232 that wouldn’t work before are working on my computer after correctly installing the driver.

If you have already tried installing the default driver by windows and found that it doesn’t work and that device manager displays yellow exclamation mark for the device this procedure may help you. Please note that yellow exclamation mark may also mean defective or counterfeit hardware in which case this procedure will be of no help to you. Easiest way to test this is to plug the device in older W7 or XP computer and test if it works there.

During the installation you should not have your device plugged into computer. If you have it plugged in unplug it now. As you already installed the newest drivers from windows update you should first remove these. Go into C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository and delete all the folders that start with ser2pl…

Driver Repository

After deleting the ser2pl folders you should get the driver and install it. Obtain the older driver that will work with the hardware. The driver can be obtained from Extract zip file and run exe. The driver is Microsoft signed so there shouldn’t be any problems with installing it. The installer makes new ser2pl folder and installs driver files in there. You should open ser2pl.inf and edit the version / date as to make the windows update think that this is the newest driver so it won’t try to update it.

INF file

INF file contents

After editing save the file. If the system doesn’t allow you to save the file copy it to desktop before editing. Edit in on desktop and copy the edited file back to original folder.

Now you can plug your device into your computer. The files in DriverStore aren’t the actual drivers in use by the system but just their installation files, so we still have to replace the actual driver. Go to Device manager, rightclick on your driver and choose Update driver.


Update driver

Click second option Search computer for drivers.

Manual driver choice

Click let me choose the driver.

Driver choice

The computer should let you choose the driver you just installed. Click next to install the driver.

After installing the driver you can check the driver by right clicking the device in Device Manager and choosing properties. The version information under tab Driver should match the ones you entered into the inf file.

Device properties

If the driver doesn’t have the yellow exclamation mark anymore and the device now works on W8 your mission is accomplished ๐Ÿ™‚

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If you repost the outlined process please give me (dejko1) a credit or include the link to original post as this is original work by me ๐Ÿ˜‰

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