Prolific PL2303 XA/HXA on Windows7 issues

Picture: two of my Prolific PL2303XA based adapters

It all started here:
I am not going to summarize all that has been discussed in that thread. If you're interested, feel free to read the whole thread ;-)

The Prolific chips PL2303 XA/HXA are used in many consumer devices and are used by embedded microcontroller engineers a lot.
As far as I know there were never issues when used on WindowsXP systems. But with Windows7 the problems started to occur.
It took quite some testing and digging to find a solution for the problems.

The latest driver that Prolific supplies is Windows 7 driver version v3.4.36.247

Unfortunately that driver makes Win7 crash. Even if you use the genuine Prolific chips.
And that the driver is certified by MS, apparently is no guarantee

Note that Prolific's design was copied by the Chinese, and these imitations do not work well.
Don't blame Prolific for that: they are the victim
Prolific has a utility that checks if you have a genuine PL2303, but I am not very convinced that it works well:
It told me that the FTDI FT232R based adapter was a genuine PL2303 ;-)

Anyhow, it's obvious that Prolific will release a better driver for their chips. But unfortunately there will be no driver release for Windows8 and later.
Now that really sucks. I hope Prolific reconsiders this decision.
Until then, I will solely use FTDI chips for new designs or re-designs.

As a service to those who also encounter problems with the Prolific driver, here are two zipped packages for download
1. an older Prolific driver for Win7 that has been tested and provided by Lee, a fellow AVRfreak, and me
2. an older version of Br@y's terminal, that works fine with the PL2303XA/HXA

Note that Br@y's latest release of December2012 works fine with FTDI-based adapters: but it's so fast that the PL2303 cannot keep up.

And since we're talking about Br@y's splendid work: consider to make a donation. See
His program and the maintenance he provides for it, justify this, ... IMnsHO


PS  If you wish to contact me: email to pldrv, then the well known curly symbol, and then the domain you see in the URL
(I don't like spam, therefor no clickable email address)
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