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Prolific chips and usb to 232 etc


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  • MVP 2023

In looking at things in relation to a recent ask on unistream, I visited the prolific site.  I haven't been there for some time, but was intrigued to see a message about counterfeits on their page, which just reinforces everything that I and others have been saying on this forum for years: 


It is still a big PITA and I repeat that anything that likely has a serial to usb chip in it has to be treated with lots of caution when you first plug it into your system.  Sometimes you mightn't even be aware that such a thing is going to happen.......it  just looks like a usb....but on connection it loads in drivers that can over-ride everything else but don't work properly, and it is only obvious by you suddenly having another com port appear.  The only real method of pre-determination is either in the data specs (mostly unlikely), or a physical look at the PCB to see what is on it.  Having prior knowledge of the device also helps....if very little appears to have changed but it now suddenly has a usb port, tread carefully.

It can be a nightmare getting back from the situation if it arises.  At the very least do a system restore point before installation.  At best, do a full system partition copy.

cheers, Aus

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