warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your cable

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warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your cable

Postby Eric » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:23 am

Just heard of reports that diagnostic cables (or RS232-serial converters with FTDI chipset) that are using non genuine (fake) FTDI chipsets, will be bricked by the latest FTDI driver update for windows.

Chances are that many cheap ebay Consult cables that use a (non genuine) FTDI chipset, will stop working permanently after the driver update.

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ft ... tdi-ft232/

So, if your cable suddenly stops working, you know the reason why and you can (probably) bin it.

-Eric

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Matt » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:34 pm

I saw this today!

The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.


I purchased some Arduino Nano boards from Hong Kong. They had FTDI driver chips on them. Second one stopped working with the FTDI chip. I noticed the product ID = 0 (vendor ID was okay)

They must be doing something in the EEPROM inside the FT chip to kill the ID after identifying it. MProg would not recognise the device either to reprogram it

I swear I had it working previously, but different USB port and it installed the drivers.

I ended up moving the FTDI232 chip from my dead Nano replacing the bricked FT232 chip. Good on FTDI for finding a way to kill the counterfeits, but bad for all end customers like myself who ended up with those parts

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Eric » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:10 am

>good on FTDI for finding a way to kill the counterfeits, but bad for all end customers like myself who ended up with those parts

yes, a bit harsh they are targeting end users that may not know they have a device that is using a counterfeit FTDI chip.
Lots of reports now of bricked keyboards, mice, Arduino boards, OBD/communication cables, etc
Better way would have been a warning or two, before bricking the device.

Not sure this will have the desired result for FTDI as this may put a big dent in their reputation once this news gets full media attention (imo)

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Matt » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:53 am

Well the fire has started....

http://www.zdnet.com/ftdi-admits-to-bricking-innocent-users-chips-in-silent-update-7000035019/

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629

We use suppliers which have traceback to OEM so base image programmers and consult cables we manufacture wont have this issue

One could always modify the INF file to accept PID=0000 and use that driver (it will make it unsigned but you should still be able to use the device). I have the luxury of spare FT232RLs here to swap over with the help of a microscope and chipquick

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Matt » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:57 am

I wish FTDI would spend time instead fixing a hardware bug in their FT245RL chips which cause several of the IO lines on the chip to change voltage levels during USB enumeration. They admitted its a fault in their silicone but have not indicated any plans to fix it.

We would like to use those on our Type 1 boards but it affects the ECU data/address buses when you plug in the USB cable!! Would massively reduce our Type 1 part count

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Eric » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:18 am

the driver has been removed from Windows Update, and an updated driver will be released next week. A PC won’t be able to communicate with a counterfeit FTDI chip with the new driver, but at least it won’t soft-brick the chip anymore.

http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053

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Re: warning: latest FTDI driver for windows may brick your c

Postby Matt » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:58 am

Yeah it was a bit over the top to change EEPROM settings on the device. Simply not recognising it would have been a better approach from the start. Still causes the same problem for the end users though


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