Virtual COM Port error

Bought a VEX Starter Kit with Controller for Christmas.

To start with was not getting radio communication between the Controller and the Brain only to see on this forum that the radio units need to be pressed hard into their respective slots for them to work (so the bottom edge of the frequency label is 2-4mm from the top edge of the slot) - pressing the unit into the controller made a worrying crack!

Anyhow, having checked the respective firmware versions I see that

Brain: should be v1.13 and is v1.03
Controller should be v1.04 and is v1.01

so I have downloaded and installed the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility on both Windows XP and Windows 8 and have connected both to the PC via USB cable.

However the software doesn’t see the hardware: Not connected message against all the components in the list.

Using Windows Device Manager I see a Virtual COM port under Other Devices and this shows an error and the Properties dialog says the “Drivers for this device are not installed (Code 28)”. One of the options from the dropdown menu is Update Drivers but I haven’t been able to find them.

Please tell me how to get the connection between the PC and the Brain & Controller working so I can upgrade the Firmware and if needed, where I can find the necessary drivers.

Thank you.

Hi Quilleron,

We’re sorry that you have encountered this issue. The VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility needs to be fully installed before you can plug in your VEX IQ Robot Brain to your computer. If the Robot Brain is plugged into your computer before the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility is installed, Windows may attempt to try to automatically install the wrong driver for this.

To help fix this situation, please disconnect the Robot Brain from your computer, then uninstall the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility. While ensuring the Robot Brain is still disconnected from your computer. please install the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility again. About half way through the installation process, you should see the following popup window:

After clicking OK, the driver for the VEX IQ Robot Brain will be installed. If you do not see this popup window, then please ensure that you have administrator access and that installing drivers is not blocked by parental control/security software/anti-virus software settings on your computer. After OK is clicked, the VEX IQ driver will install.

To ensure the driver has installed properly, please uncheck the Launch VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility button at the end of the installation process. Then plug in your VEX IQ Robot Brain to your computer. You should see a popup balloon in the system tray that says “Installing device driver software”.

After a few seconds, this popup balloon should be replaced with another that says “VEX USB serial port (COM##)”, where the ## may be different on each computer.

After this balloon appears, the Robot Brain should correctly show up as “VEX USB serial port” in Device Manager and will show up in the VEX IQ Firmware Update Utility.

If you have any additional questions, then please contact the our Technical Support folks at or by calling +1-903-453-0802 so we can assist you. Please note that VEX Robotics is closed from Dec 25 through Jan 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays; we will be glad to assist you on Jan 2.


  • Art

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