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Lenz LI-USB 64-bit drivers for Windows 8

NOTE: These drivers will only Work with the LI-USB unit from Lenz (the one from the picture above). This is not the same as the Ethernet unit. If you have the Ethernet unit, you will have to get matching drivers from Lenz.

IMPORTANT: As of April 2016, I no longer support these drivers. They will work with Windows 10 32-bit and 64-bit, but you might have challenges installing them as they are not signed. Check the comments section for other people's advise and tips. To connect your Lenz system to your PC, I recommend using the Lenz Ethernet Interface instead. If you are in the market for a new digital system, I highly recommend checking out the Märklin Central Station that fully supports DCC, and can do loads of automation without the need for a PC.

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Time has passed and Windows 8 is now a reality and have been for a while. Release previews have been available over a year before the final release. None the less, there are still no drivers available for Lenz LI-USB on Windows 8 - or Windows 7 for that matter.

Two years ago I took the liberty and created drivers for Windows 7. The chip inside the Lenz LI-USB is a well-known chip for emulating a serial port via USB. Unfortunately installing the reference drivers from the chip manufacturer will not work. The driver files need some modifications which will help Windows recognize the Lenz LI-USB hardware. I added this information to the driver files and they now work perfectly on Windows 7.

On the 64-bit version Windows 8 a new feature causes some problems when installing the drivers. For obvious reasons Windows 8 will not install modified driver files. This is a feature - and a good feature. Unfortunately, because of my added modifications, this also means that Windows will not let us install the drivers for our Lenz LI-USB.

No need to worry anymore, the solution is now ready!

The installation procedure is a bit tricky, but you if you follow my guide, you should be able to install your drivers. Please not that this is for 64-bit versions of Windows 8 only. 32-bit versions of Windows 8 should be able to install the drivers following the original guide.

Resources

64-bit Windows 8 installation instructions

NOTE: Your computer will restart, please save all your work before proceeding.

  1. Press Windows + C to bring up the charms menu
  2. Select the cog wheel and select Change PC Settings
  3. In the PC Settings column select General
  4. Scroll down to Advanced Startup and click the button Restart now. Windows will now restart.
  5. The Advanced Startup menu appears. Select Troubleshooting
  6. Select Advanced Options
  7. Select Startup Settings
  8. Click the button Restart. Wait. The Startup Settings Menu appears.
  9. You now have a list of options. Press F7 to disable the check for signed drivers. Wait while Windows starts. NOTE: Your computer will now let you install unsigned drivers. This is a security risk, so please do not forget step 11 when you are done installing the drivers.
  10. Follow the guide on how to install the drivers for your LI-USB
  11. Restart Windows to re-enable the check for signed drivers. Important!

I hope this helps you get your model railroad running using Windows 8.

Happy model railroading!

UPDATE 04/21/2014: Updated drivers with support for additional hardware configurations. If you have had any problems with recognizing the LI-USB hardware, they might be fixed now.