We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Serial to USB connecter not functioning

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have an 'unbranded' 9-pin Serial to USB cable connector to use with my GPS devices on my T42 IBM laptop (which has no serial ports).   This product used to work fine and at some time over the last 6-9 months, it has stopped working.  If it had just stopped working I would have just rolled back but given how long it might have been, I can't really roll back several months.

I think it has something to do with a set of software called datapilot (a cell phone to laptop sync program) that installs some susteen USB to Serial drivers that are used with it's dedicated cable connection to my LG flip phone.  I installed this datapilot probably 6 months ago and haven't used the serial software to connect to a GPS since until today.  The  dedicated datapilot phone connector has a USB connector on the computer end and some kind of funky LG connector on the phone side.  I'm assuming this is really a serial connection to the phone because data transfer works incredibly slowly (and of course it loads this susteen serial to usb software driver).   There's also a big bulge in the middle of the dedicated cable that isn't a ferrite core or anything like that, probably to house some electronics for conversion.

So now when I connect my 9-pin serial to USB conversion cable (for my GPS) it loads the susteen software and creates a virtual com port but nothing works.   None of my GPS software suites or various GPS devices are connecting or even registering a device.  I've tried uninstalling the datapilot (susteen) software and then the cable doesn't find any drivers and I get the big yellow exclamation point in the device manager.

So I'm worried this susteen software is for this dedicated LG phone cable connection and is the problem, but don't know where to find the right drivers.

Thoughts?  Is this susteen software the issue?  Are there other drivers I should be using?

Are there other drivers I should have for this cable?  Like I said, it's unbranded but previously worked fine.  I don't believe I ever received any drivers when I bought the cable and it just worked when I originally plugged it in.    I've been playing with this all day and can't figure it out.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is win xp professional, SP2, all up to date.

Watch Question

I suggest that you try a different 9-pin Serial to USB cable connector or try the one you have on another computer to verify THAT is still working before you/we get much more into this.


The cable seems to work as best as I can tell.   I used hyperterminal to see patterns coming across the cable.  What I don't know is whether they're correct or not.  So at least I know the cable isn't dead.  I've checked to ensure protocals and such are correct per the software and hardware (same).


Shot in the dark:
Reinstall the GPS devices / drivers.


No, drivers were reinstalled a few times.  
Remove and replace the driver

Open the device manager
Start-> right clik My Computer -->Hardware tab--> Device Manager
and find the device Right click the device and chose Uninstall.
If Uninstall is not an option oen the properties and click the Driver tab
Remove the device from the computer
restart hte system
Download and install the driver from the link below then reattach the device  and roceed with normal setup

It does indeed sound like the software you mention (susteen?) has messed things up. It is also not uncommon for USB-to-serial and USB-to-parallell thingies to fail or do weird things becase their drivers are just bad or hypersensitive. If you really need this serial device to work OK, you might want to consider getting a PC-Card with a proper serial port and add this to your system. Chances are that this will make the serial connection more resilient to bugs in the USB drivers.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


I have done this a couple of times, as mentioned above.   I even uninstalled all USB and root hub and had them reinstall themselves.  

This is exactly the same driver that I have (your link) and I checked byte counts/dates.   My concern is that it's not the correct one.   Do all generic USB-Serial converter cables user the same software as the susteen datapilot cables?  



sorry, my comments are out of order.   my last comment is pertaining to Jon Oakley's post.

With respect to comment from RID, I had seen this in the database as a solution to someone elses problem of mostly same issue.   Although, I know this CAN work as is, but it's a big drain and after not-too-long here I may have to go this route.   My time and aggrivation is worth more than the few bucks for the serial adapter.

These devices are by no means standard nor are the drivers. In fact the opposite is true in that two devices performing the same function(convert seral input to usb) can create conflicts by simply trying to coexist.
If you have replaced the drivers and still no love then your hardware is becoming suspect.
Two ways to test is attach a similar device(converter) that would be compatable with existing drivers. I think we covered that one.

The second is to install the device on a second machine to see if the problem still exist.

One other thought is celluar providers will send OS updates automatically to wireless devices(your phone). This automatic upgrade may have been installed and could be interfer with or change what.sell red gloves and red cape
, was the data transmissionthe format  .

I like RID's idea. It's an easy way out and likely more stable when you are done.

One thing you might try is to connect both devices at the same time then look through Device Manager and see where the conflicts are.
Kinda crash and burn but it might give you some usefull trouble shooting information.

Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.