After treating myself to a new Yaesu FT 817 HF, 6m, 2m & 70cm transceiver, I also ordered a CAT to USB control cable from Radioarena (Yaesu USB Programming / CAT Cable for FT-100 / 817 / 857 / 897) which arrived 8 days later.
After struggling to get the recommended drivers to install on my Windows 8 computer I found that the Prolific USB to Serial Com Port chip used in the cable PL-2303HXA dosn't have any Windows 8 drivers and would not run reliably with the Windows 7 driver on a X64 install of Windows 8 with frequent lockups and crashes.
I had previously had serial communication issues with the Prolific USB to Serial Com Port under Windows 8 on a friends computers who was using the usb converter to talk to a cutter and the only way to resolve it was to buy a better quality FTDI based USB to Serial converter which worked out of the box on X64 versions of Windows 8 and also Windows 7.
I’ve now ordered a FTDI Usb Cat cable from ebay so hopefully this one will be delivered quicker and work to allow me to control the radio via the PC.
In future I will be checking with cable suppliers to see which chip their usb to serial leads are using and avoid anything using the Prolific chips!
Update: The new FTDI based lead arrived and works without any problems on Windows 7 and 8 x64 versions and the radio is now talking to HRD 5.