I have found over the years that there is a magic freeware that shows you all what you want to kow about USB drivers : USBdeview.
It shows you which USB devices are numerated, their driver, the COM port number, the S/N the USB version, class, VID, PID, when it was installed,if it is connected,...name it.
I don't know though if this freeware is compatible with Win8...
But it you see a device with VID 0x04D8, it means it is a Microchip USB product, if you look at serial number and see the same serial number that is on the white label at the back of your tool, then you're sure the driver is properly loaded.
For Pickit3 no driver is needed because it uses USB HID class which is native in most OSs.
You may want to launch IPE programmer utility which installs at the same time as MPLAB X (look at your desktop). Once you launch it you should be able to see the S/N of your tool. If not it means your tool has an issue or it has the wrong driver (ICD3 / Real-Ice).
e.g. for ICD3 / Real-Ice if you see "Custom driver" instead of "WinUSB driver" you instantly know that you MUST switch the driver using the driver switcher utility ;=)
As for Win8 / USB3 support it might be worth to read the release notes of Pickit3 which you'll find here : c:\Program Files (x86)\Microchip\MPLABX\docs\
6.1 Software/Hardware Conflicts
Some applications, plug-ins or widgets may take control of, or interfere with, the system provided HID USB driver, which can cause problems communicating with the PICkit 3. If you cannot connect to the PICkit 3, review the Task Manager for these types of programs and close them.
For more information, see forum posts: http://www.microchip.com/forums/m614572-p2.aspx http://forums.ni.com/t5/Multifunction-DAQ/No-supported-devices-found/td-p/1856299/page/2
post edited by RISC - 2013/09/14 01:32:38