For years, I had ran my Prolific USB to Serial cable from my Windows 32bit laptop without any issues.
Unfortunately, life when running Windows is never easy. After upgrading Windows 7 to 64bit I tried to install the drivers from CNET downloads.
This was a HUGE mistake. Even though the CNET downloader told me it was downloading at 28K in the background it was installing 8 (yes 8 plugins and other useless crap) onto all my browsers. Finally after cleaning up my machine and finding the drivers from a source not intent in filling my machine full of rubbish I discovered that the drivers fail to work correctly for Windows 7 64bit based platforms. Back to square 1.
After wasting 2 hours trying to get this working in Windows I powered up Linux Mint. Loaded the necessary kernel module and tested. Success ! All in all 20 minutes taken. So high five to Linux and I certainly wont be using CNET downloads again !
So what are the steps ?
Connect the cable via USB.
Next, run 'lsusb'.
admin@server ~ $ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 090c:37a2 Silicon Motion, Inc. - Taiwan (formerly Feiya Technology Corp.)
Bus 005 Device 002: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Then load the kernel module via the following command. Note : To ensure this survives a reboot append this line to '/etc/modules'
admin@server ~ $ sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x067b product=0x2303
You should now see that it is now showing as attached by running 'dmesg'.
admin@server ~ $ dmesg
[ 131.747013] USB Serial support registered for pl2303
[ 131.747038] pl2303 5-1:1.0: >pl2303 converter detected
[ 131.758965] usb 5-1: >pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
Finally you will need to connected through to serial device /dev/ttyUSB0. This easiest way to do this is via 'minicom'. Once you have issued the following command it will present you with a menu. Change (within the 'serial port setup' option) the service device to /dev/ttyUSB0 and any other settings i.e baud rate etc. Then select the exit option and you be connected to your serial device.
admin@server ~ $ sudo minicom -s