Dead-Simple Driver Installation for USBasp and USBtiny on Windows

Today I came across a surprisingly simple approach to installing USBasp and USBtiny drivers for all versions of Windows — XP, 7, 8, 8.1, whether 32-bit or 64-bit, all inclusive! As you may know, installing open-source drivers such as USBasp and USBtiny have been a great pain on some of the recent Windows OS, due to the enforcement of signed drivers. The typical solution involves rebooting Windows into a mode that disables driver signature enforcement. Even after you’ve done it once, if you boot into the normal mode next time, it may fail to recognize the driver again (reporting it’s not digitally signed). A huge source of frustration.

Anyways, while searching for ‘fully signed USBasp driver’, I came across this tool called Zadig, which can be used to install libusb drivers on all versions of Windows, and it’s digitally signed. Since USBasp and USBtiny are both based on libusb, could it be the right solution? To my great surprise it worked really well — I was able to install both drivers on Windows XP, 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), 8, and 8.1 instantly, without messing with driver signature enforcement at all. I was mostly surprised such a great solution wasn’t documented more widely online.

Instructions
  • Go to http://zadig.akeo.ie/ and download the software (note that Windows XP has a separate link).
  • Plug in your USBasp or USBtiny device. In case your microcontroller uses a USBasp or USBtiny bootloader, enter bootloading mode, and let Windows detect the device (it will report driver not found). If a window pops up asking to search for driver, just close it or click on Cancel.
  • At this point, run Zadig, it should detect the USBasp or USBtiny, or any libusb device that you have. Then in the selection box (see below), choose libusb-win32 (v1.2.6.0), and click on Install Driver, and wait for the installation to complete.

zadig_srceenshot
That’s it! Because the drivers are digitally signed, there is no hassle installing it in Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.1.

I will be updating the driver installation instructions for OpenSprinkler 2.1 and SquareWear right away, as they both use USBasp bootloader. Users have often complained that it’s frustrating to install USBasp driver for Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.1. Those days are now past!

32 thoughts on “Dead-Simple Driver Installation for USBasp and USBtiny on Windows

    • January 6, 2015 at 10:11 am
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      I have tried Protostack’s driver before but it didn’t work. Then I found that the Zadig driver works perfectly, and it not only works for USBasp but all drivers based on the libusb library.

  • January 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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    open sprinkler 2.0 [green plug] zadig shows it as unknown device then failed.Whats wrong?
    thanks richard

  • February 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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    Doesn’t work: shows “unknown device” then ERROR “The driver installion failed”. I think you got lucky on your computer but didn’t find a universal method to solve the issue. Thanks for trying though

    • February 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm
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      Can you provide some details, like what device are you trying to install driver for? Do you know if it’s based on USBtiny, USBasp, or some other general libusb device?

  • June 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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    0pen sprinkler v2.1 orange plug can’t update firmware followed directions exactly.Did every thing 3or 4 times ,zadig says driver installed.open updater,Download firmware says success.hold b2 plugin, nothing changes,window popup[no driver]close.select from drop down ver.2.1[sticker on back]
    fails. why? thanks richard
    ====== Fri Jun 12 10:44:03 2015 ======
    avrdude: error: could not find USB device “USBasp” with vid=0x16c0 pid=0x5dc. Tried three different cables.Running pc windows 7 64bit.

    • June 13, 2015 at 10:16 am
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      “hold b2 plugin, nothing changes” -> can you explain what you mean ‘nothing changes’? As per the instructions, the LCD should remain off. If the LCD lights up, that means the controller didn’t enter bootloader successfully and you need to repeat the bootloading process.

  • February 13, 2016 at 9:52 am
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    Your post helped me a lot, should be linked on the arduino page.

  • March 29, 2016 at 7:19 pm
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    Why didn’t I think of that? I already had zadig for installing my RTLSDR drivers.

    This worked perfectly. Thank you.

  • April 3, 2016 at 6:54 pm
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    I’d like to report that you can use the signed Adafruit UsbTiny driver for UsbAsp, too.
    Both use libusb under the hood, which is generic (it leaves device specific stuff to the user-mode application using the proxy-like kernel-mode driver).
    You just need to check “show non-compatible devices” or something similar in the device manager to be able to select UsbTiny as the driver for your UsbAsp.
    Afterwards your UsbAsp will be listed as a UsbTiny, but that’s just a name.
    I think AvrDude uses the USB Product/Vendor IDs to find the UsbAsp, so despite the naming … it works for me. Hope that helps.

  • September 15, 2016 at 4:21 am
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    Thank you so much, you’re right, this website should be higher on the search results and this solution should be more popular. So let me try to help: GOOGLE USBASP WONT DETECT NOT DETECTING DRIVER WINDOWS 7 WINDOWS 8 WINDOWS 8.1 WINDOWS 10 WIN DIGITAL SIGNATURE

  • September 23, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    mannnnn thank you, you were my lifesaver. tried for 5 hours to flash my fs th9x, and youre instructions helped me

  • February 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm
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    I can’t do it with win 10…
    an error occurs…
    could any body help me…please…

  • May 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm
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    Thanks for the post!
    Successfully installed USBasp driver on 64bit windows 10!

    • August 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm
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      in my windows10 say Successfully installed USBasp driver. but i still can not diteced port com with adruino ide.. any solution for this

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