Getting this all set up on Windows is not fun - but it is possible. Follow each step below to get it working on Windows

Have Python 3 Installed

We assume you already have Python 3 installed on your computer. Note we do not support Python 2 - it's deprecated and no longer supported!

At your command line prompt of choice, check your Python version with python --version

Plug in FT232H & Fix Driver with Zadig

Unlike Mac or Linux, Windows doesn't like devices that are 'driverless' - every hardware device must have a driver attached to it. To fix the driver on Windows, we must use a tool called Zadig

You only have to 'Zadig' the board once per computer. If you get another FT232H board, you will need to run Zadig again to set the driver for the second board. Other than that, you only have to run it once.

Download the appropriate Zadig tool for your version of Windows at its homepage.  This tool simplifies the installation of a libusb driver for the FT232H device.

Before you run the tool unplug all FTDI devices from your computer.  This includes devices like Arduinos which include an FTDI chip as a USB to serial converter.  You want to unplug these devices to make sure you don't accidentally select one with the tool and replace its driver.

After all the FTDI devices are unplugged, plug in your FT232H breakout to the computer so it is the only FTDI device connected to the computer.

Now run the Zadig tool executable you just downloaded (there is no installation necessary, the executable is the program).  Click the Options menu and select the List All Devices item below:

The list box of devices should populate with many devices.  Select the USB Serial Converter device shown below.

Note: Make sure to select the device with Driver equal to FTDIBUS and USB ID equal to 0403 6014!  If you pick the wrong device you might accidentally uninstall another device's driver and make it inoperable.

Click the up/down arrows on the driver select box to the right of the green arrow and select the libusbK driver as shown above.

Now click the Replace Driver button to replace the FTDI driver with the libusbK-based driver.  After the driver replacement finishes you can close Zadig tool.

To check that the driver was successfully replaced, open Device Manager from Control Panel or searching in the Start menu.  You should see a new top level node libusbK devices and the USB Serial Converter underneath it as shown below.

If you see the libusb-win32 node and USB serial device, move on to the next step to install libftdi.

If you don't see the libusb-win32 node, try unplugging and plugging back in the FT232H breakout.  If you still don't see the node, run Zadig tool again and follow the steps above again to make sure you replace the FTDI driver for the device with the libusb-win32 driver.

Install pyftdi and (fixed) pyusb

Next lets install pyusb and pyftdi. We have to do a little trickery here so before you start run

pip3 uninstall pyusb

pip3 uninstall pyftdi

(or pip instead of pip3 if that's how you have it named)

To make sure you do not have pyusb and pyftdi installed

Run them again to make absolutely sure!

We need to get a fork of pyusb to fix a bug that affects windows:

git clone https://github.com/minkustree/pyusb.git

Then

cd pyusb

python setup.py install

if you get a permission denied error, try

python setup.py install --user

Now you can run pip install pyftdi

Test pyusb and pyftdi

Now that you have pyusb and pyftdi installed correctly, run python and paste in the following (with the FT232H plugged in)

import usb
import usb.util
dev = usb.core.find(idVendor=0x0403, idProduct=0x6014)
print(dev)

You should get something like the following, not that dev is None or any other weird failure

If you get usb.core.NoBackendError: No backend available

Download libusb, uncompress it with WinRar or some other decompression tool that can open 7z files.

If you are on 64-bit Windows, copy the MS64\dll\libusb-1.0.dll file into C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows\SysWOW64I

If you are on 32-bit Windows, copy the MS32\dll\libusb-1.0.dll file into C:\Windows\System32

Install Adafruit Blinka

Run pip install adafruit-blinka

Set Environment Variable

You must do this every time before running circuitpython code, you can set it permanently in windows if you like, for now just type into the same cmd window you're using with Python

set BLINKA_FT232H=1

If you are using Windows Powershell, the syntax is a little different. In that case do:

$env:BLINKA_FT232H=1

Check Platform was detected

In the same command window you set BLINKA_FT232H=1 env var, run python and run

import board
dir(board)

at the Python REPL. If you get no errors, and you see a list of all the pins available - you're good to go!

This guide was first published on Sep 29, 2019. It was last updated on Sep 29, 2019.
This page (Windows) was last updated on Jun 03, 2020.