Serial to USB connecter not functioning

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.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

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.
theresamarie11Author Commented:
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.
Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Windows 7 Basic

This introductory course to Windows 7 environment will teach you about working with the Windows operating system. You will learn about basic functions including start menu; the desktop; managing files, folders, and libraries.

theresamarie11Author Commented:
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.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
theresamarie11Author Commented:
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?  

theresamarie11Author Commented:
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.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Laptops Notebooks

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.