Don’t buy these if you have win 8

I recently purchased an Arduino Nano clone from ebay. Around the same time, I was also upgrading from vista to win 8 so I got a new laptop and tablet to replace my 5-yr old vista laptop. I plugged the Nano clone in my win 8 laptop and it didn’t work. The serial port showed up with an exclamation mark on the device manager with the following error message:

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

A device which does not exist was specified

I thought maybe the board was broken. But after using it successfully on a win 7 machine, I was sure it’s working. Then I started doing some research online to find out the cause of the problem and ended up on this page:

Wow, let’s back it up! The original Arduino Nano design is supposed to have an FTDI chip instead of a PL2303 chip, right? Yes, according to Arduino website:

But, this is a clone, not exactly clone but a cheaper version with PL2303 chip. The problem of this chip is that there is NO windows 8 driver. The manufacturer says clearly they don’t have a driver. So far I have found no way to use it on my win 8 machine, so stay away if you just upgraded to win 8, or be careful to ask the ebay seller what chip is on the board. Some sellers say they have FTDI chip, which, after a hurdle, will run on win 8, tested:

Arduino Duemillanove, Sparkfun xbee explorer, and other FTDI chip based TTL USB adapters.




2 Responses to Don’t buy these if you have win 8

  1. Luigi says:

    I’ve had the same issue as you.
    There’s one way out: force install of the 09/24/2008, version of prolific usb to serial driver. It works on win8 and although windows update frequently updates it, it’s easyto force install old driver again..

    • liudr says:

      Thanks Luigi! I will give it a try. But for now, I am not buying more stuff based on PL2303 for sure. I have no problem with FTDI drivers. Just have to restart windows with disabling some driver signature stuff to install driver.

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