The Prolific 2303 is a USB to serial controller. Cloned versions of the controller was commonly found in serial adapters from Ebay/China until around 2014 when Prolific began bricking cloned devices through their drivers. Since then, most cheap serial adapters on Ebay use the CH340 controller instead.
THIS IS NOT PROLIFIC PL2303 PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIER
Prolific's newer drivers will check whether the Prolific chip is authentic and if a clone is detected, the driver will refuse to function. Windows will automatically download the latest driver which comes with this 'feature'. Fortunately, their drivers no longer brick the counterfeit device. Short of buying another serial device, the only way to get around it is to use an older version of the driver.
There is a copy of version 22.214.171.124 of the drivers compatible with Vista in the Cloud/programs/drivers directory. This driver appears to work with Windows 10, though a BSOD can be triggered if you attempt to share/unshare the device with VMware.
Alternatively, download the .exe installer and run it inside a VM and then navigate to AppData/temp and retrieve the .inf and .sys drivers from there.