[aprssig] IOGear USB Adapter with AGWPE

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sun Dec 27 19:27:09 CST 2009

On 12/27/2009 4:26 PM, William McKeehan wrote:
> I believe this adapter is based on the Prolific chipset; the Hardware Id is
> USB\Vid_0557&Pid_2008
> Is there any way to confirm/reject that this is using a Prolific chipset? I
> can't get it to recognize the prolific drivers.

Look at the .INF file that is part of the driver install package.  
Usually, somewhere in the binary gibberish, you will see a text string 
that mentions the chipset vendor.  (Often, end hardware mfrs take the 
sample driver from the chipset vender, and just change the name in the 
description string. They will often leave/overlook other references to 
the original source in the INF file.)

Before installing/updating the driver, you want to delete the existing 
one.   In order to do this, you need to be able to reveal "Hidden 
Devices" in the Windows Device Manager to select and delete the existing 
instance(s) of the device.     Since you will be fiddling a lot with the 
Windows Device Manager, it is useful to create the following shortcut on 
your Windows Desktop to go DIRECTLY to the Device Manager with one click:

    Right-click the desktop and choose: "New, Shortcut".  In the
    resulting dialog, enter  " devmgmt.msc " (without the quotes) into
    the "location of the item:" box.   Click "Next >" and enter "Device
    Manager" in the "Name for this shortcut" dialog.    You will now
    have a one-click shortcut to the Device Manager.

By default, even selecting the menu item "View, Show Hidden Devices" 
from the Device Manager menu won't show anything.  You have to flip a 
hidden "magic switch" in the Windows Registry first.    Copy the 
following paragraph into an empty Notepad window

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Then save it as  "_ShowHiddenDevices.reg_" ; i.e. not the default .TXT 
extension.   Double-click this saved file from the Windows File 
Explorer. Windows will ask if you want to enter this data into the 
Windows Registry.   Say "Yes".   Then reboot.   [I routinely do these 
two things on EVERY Windows system I set up.]

Now when you start the Device Manager and choose "View, Show Hidden 
Devices" and expand the branches of the device tree, you will see 
numerous items that are greyed-out.  These are disconnected or 
non-existent devices.

EVERY time you plug in a device like a flash drive, external hard disk, 
digicam, mouse, keyboard, USB<->serial dongle, etc, Windows creates one 
of these entries. If you plug the same device into a DIFFERENT port, you 
will get another (duplicate) entry for the same device.   If you plug 
the device in via a hub, rather than directly into a root port on the 
machine, you will get yet another  (duplicate) entry.  If you plug the 
same device into a DIFFFERENT port on the hub you will get yet still 
another entry.

With flash drives or external hard disks, each instance creates *THREE* 
entries:  One in "Disk Drives", one in "Storage Volumes" AND one in 
"Universal Serial Bus Controllers" as "USB Mass Storage Device". Over 
time , the Registry can get clogged with DOZENS or HUNDREDS of duplicate 
entries that make Windows Plug-N-Play slow down and get erratic. 
(Especially if you frantically start plugging the same devices into 
numerous different ports trying to "fix" problems, or if you have 
several different flash drives that you randomly plug into different 
ports each time.) For each one of these greyed branches, right-click the 
branch and choose "Uninstall".  Unlike the File Explorer, there seems to 
be no way to group select these branches. You have to painstakingly 
delete each branch individually.

For USB<-->Serial Dongles, there will be entries under "Ports (Serial & 
Parallel)", and possibly under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" as well.

In the future, you want to make a point of ALWAYS plugging a given 
device into the SAME port, or the same port of the same hub every time. 
[I actually have small printed labels on my hubs calling out given ports 
as "Ext HDD", "Flash drive #1", "Flatbed Scanner", "iPod", "Nikon Film 
Scanner", etc.]    Part of routine Windows preventive maintainence is to 
periodically show these "Hidden Devices" in the Device Manager, and 
delete the dead wood.



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
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