Prolific PL2303 driver problem

- I recently had a query regarding the ELM327 in its USB version. That person did not get the computer to recognize the ELM327 device, his computer has a windows 10 64 bit installed. Fortunately I have at my disposal 3 computers with Windows 7 and 2 with Windows 10. I started testing on my usual computer and where I had already used these ELM327 devices without problems. To my surprise, out of 10 I tried none worked. In all cases, in the device manager, a yellow error signal appeared on the COM port where the device was connected.

- As always I hope that Windows give me some useful information about the problem. So went to check the error code and cause message. And as always I stay as I was before reading that information. It simply informs me that a non-existent device has been specified, indicating error code 10.

- Immediately tested the same devices on the other computer with Windows 10, with the same result. After testing every one on the computers with Windows 7 installed and checking that they all worked perfectly I came to the conclusion that it was due to a compatibility problem with the operating system. After searching for information on the internet about it and reading lots of tips indicating downloading the latest version (without result), disabling some specific devices in the device manager (without result) and the like, I came to the conclusion that I had to start from the beginning.

- The first thing would be to find out what chip for the USB communication had built-in these ELM327 USB. After dismounting one of them and see the inscription PL-2303HX on the serial communication chip, I went to the manufacturer's page where I found the following driver information for this chip. They indicate that it works for PL2303 HXA, XA, HXD, EA, RA, SA, TA and TB chips, with the important caveat that it does not work for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 for the PL-2303HXA and PL-2303X versions that are EOL (End Of Life). What comes to say more or less they are no longer manufactured and have been left to give support in the latest driver versions.

- As the inscription of the chip is PL-2303HX now had to know if it is the HXA (without support) or the version HXD (new version that does have support). In the chip itself, after that inscription appears another one of the following style LFXXXXXA, where the X are numbers from 0 to 9. This code identifies the revision of the chip and the last letter, A in this case, indicates that it is the Chip PL-2303HXA. Just the one that has been left without support for windows 8, 8.1 and 10 in the latest versions of the driver.

- After verifying the version that I have currently installed (, May-28-2017) and recently downloaded from the page Prolific following the innumerable indications about it ...

- The possible solution was now to find an earlier driver that would support the PL-2303HXA. After much searching I found an old version for Windows Vista (version and that, theoretically, could support the version of the chip of these devices. Also in both versions, 32bit and 64bit. You can download them below, in the download section.

- Now it was only a matter of installing these drivers. As the installation is somewhat more complicated than installing the driver we will simply explain step by step how to do it correctly.

PL23003 driver installation

  1. Download the driver and save it where we can easily locate it.
  2. Disconnect the ELM327 device from the USB port, if it is connected.
  3. Install the driver you just downloaded by double clicking on the file.
  4. Once the installation is complete, connect the ELM327 device to a USB port and then detection process will begin. Wait for this process to be completed automatically. It is possible that windows will inform us during this process that the installation has failed, if it is the case do not worry about it.
  5. Now we will open the Windows "Device Manager" where we will continue to see the same error code we had before. To solve it just change the current driver for which we just installed.
  6. Double clicking on it will show the properties window. Go to the "Driver" tab and select "Update driver".
  7. We will see a new window with the options to update it. We Having to choose the one that allows us to look for it in the computer.
  8. In the next window we will select the option that allows us to choose it from a list of the available drivers in the computer.
  9. If everything went well we can now see the driver that had already installed and the oldest version and that is the one we have to select (version
  10. Finally we will check in the properties of the device that the driver used is now the correct one (version and the error no longer appears in Device Manager.

Final Notes

- Keep in mind that the driver must be changed in all USB ports where the ELM327 device is connected, because when you connect a device to a USB port Windows will always choose the newest driver. Which in this case is a fatal error. So when we change USB port will have to repeat the change of the controller from step 5.

- Finally we have found more drivers from older versions, we put them in the download area, maybe someone need it, you never know. The ones mentioned in this article (versions of 32 and 64 bits) are: "PL2303 USB driver Win Vista 32bits" and "PL2303 USB driver Win Vista 64bits".

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