Windows 10 Install on Observatory PC

After upgrading my laptops and the home PC I didn’t think I would upgrade the observatory PC for a while yet, as I was expecting problems with drivers etc. But last night I decided to just go ahead and upgrade my observatory PC which was running Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro.

My observatory PC has gone through a couple of internal changes since it was installed. It’s now an Intel i3 CPU with 4GB RAM and an SSD drive. I also seem to have gone through all the Windows OS’s in the last few years as well.

The observatory PC began with Windows XP Pro, then I upgraded to Vista Business, then Windows 7 Pro and now Windows 10 Pro. Why Pro you ask? Well so I can connect to it through Remote Desktop Connection.

Anyway, I chose the upgrade option, it downloaded the software, and then installed it OK. After making sure I turned off sending lots of free private data to Microsoft I was ready to test it all.

My dual monitor set up still worked OK, Windows 10 still saw my ZWO 120MM-S camera, the Ethernet still worked. Great! The only problem was with the Prolific USB drivers (I knew these were going to be trouble!).

I have 4 of the Serial to USB cables on my observatory PC. The 1st connects the EQ8 mount through the Hitec Astro EQDIR cable and the other 3 are for my 3 Lakeside Focusers, which connect to 3 telescopes.

Unfortunately I did not document exactly what I did to get them all working, I just did get them working. I began with 3 of them in Device Manager showing exclamation marks against them. I know that I did right click on all the drivers and uninstall all of them including the device drivers and tried the Hitec Astro Windows 8/10 EQDIR driver (EQDIR installation instructions) and the 64bit USB to Serial Prolific drivers that I mentioned in my other post.

After re-booting a few times and letting Windows find the drivers and do whatever it wanted after installing the above drivers it all seemed to work out fine. I then just needed to re-map the COM ports to the correct numbers that I like, otherwise I find Windows always seems to change the COM port numbers around. This can be done by right clicking on the COM port in the Device Manager and then choosing ‘Advanced’ where you can change the COM port number being used. It is always recommended to then re-boot after changing the COM port numbers.

So far Windows 10 seems fine, everything works (except for AmCap, which I never really use anyway). EQMOD connected OK so did all the Lakeside focusers. I did not have my Starlight Xpress USB filter wheel connected, nor my Atik 460EX connected – but I am sure they will be fine. The main headache always seems to be these Prolific USB to Serial drivers.

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2 comments

  • C Woodhouse

    Modern Lakeside focuser modules use FTDI chipsets. I think you are referring to serial Lakeside modules and the fact you chose to use prolific adaptors ?

  • AstroManDan

    Yes, I have the original Lakeside with Serial modules, just as I purchased my 3rd one, they brought out the newer USB modules. I often wondered if I could trade in my old control boxes for new ones or get them upgraded?

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