I have been using a Targus USB - Serial adapter (model PA088) on by laptop for some months. Then the notebook refused to access the adapter as a serial interface. When I tried to re-install the drivers (after deleting any that were lying around), the New Hardware Wizard always came displays the message:
There was a problem installing this hardware.
USB Ver1.2 Device
An error occurred during the installation of the device.
Access is denied.
I tried using a different USB Serial adapter (Prolific) but with the same result.
All 4 USB ports on the laptop work with a mouse, keyboard, memory stick and webcam so I presume the hardware is OK.
From what I have done so far (see 'What I Have Done' below) it would appear that there are old registry entries referring to the USB Serial adapters and that these may be interfering with the re-installation.
I don't want to go to the trouble of performing a clean installation of Win XP since the problem may happen again and I need a proper solution.
The laptop is a Hi-Grade M6600 with a Pentium 4M 2.5GHz processor.
The machine was pre-installed with Windows XP Pro SP1 and I have added all the latest security and driver updates.
What I Have Done:
(1) Deleted all USB device drivers (including invisible devices) via Device Manager (so that only working/connected devices would be re-installed).
(2) Re-installed Win XP (in-place upgrade).
(3) Tried to delete various USB Vid_* registry keys (as mentioned in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Handhelds_Wireless/Q_20445735
). Some were deleted, but not all. Some of these are referring to unknown devices, possibly the USB Serial adapter.
(4) Tried deleting those keys while if 'Safe' mode.
(5) Tried new drivers from Targus.
(6) Searched the MS Knowledge Base for related problems.