Propeller Boards Not Seen on Windows 8

This page will help you if your Propeller Activity Board, Propeller Project Board, or QuickStart is not being recognized by your programming software on a Windows 8 computer.

The Problem

"I plug in my Propeller board, and it shows up as a USB device, but the COM port cannot be selected in my programming software (SimpleIDE, Propeller Tool, etc.)"

The Cause

There is a known issue with some combinations of USB hardware drivers and Windows versions that prevents the FTDI drivers from properly loading and running.  A checkbox setting in your computer's Control Panel may remedy this.

The Solution

  1. Make sure you have installed the latest USB drivers from Parallax or FTDI.
  2. In your computer, go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Devices and Printers
  3. Select your board.  It may show up by name, or as an Unspecified device.
  4. Click the Hardware tab, and then the Properties button.
  5. Under the Advanced tab, check the Load VCP box, then click OK.
  6. Unplug your board, and then plug it back in.
  7. Return to your programming software.  You should now be able to select the board's COM port from the programming software.