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1.5 What if my Laptop doesn't have a Serial Port?
We offer our own USB Interfaces which use the USB port on your PC, rather than the Serial Port. We even offer USB Interface Upgrades for existing Ross-Tech customers. These interfaces work best with Windows XP. They can be used with Windows 98, ME, or 2000, but performance may be somewhat degraded by using an OS other than Windows XP and compatibility with "difficult" control modules may be reduced. Realistic hardware requirements for Windows XP and VAG-COM are a 500 MHZ CPU with at least 128 MB of RAM. Windows XP on a 1 GHz (or faster) PC is preferred.
If you want to use one of our RS-232 Serial interfaces on a PC that doesn't have a serial port, we recommend you buy this Quatech SSP-100 PCMCIA-Card. We don't sell them, but we've had excellent results with them. We've got installation and configuration notes here.
USB<->RS-232 converters are often unable to handle the baud rate and timing requirements that are demanded by many control modules using the VAG protocol. We have had very poor results with most available USB<->RS-232 converters, therefore USB<->RS232 converters are "Not Supported." Please do not ask us for technical assistance if you are using one of these converters.