FTDI strikes back

    Sometimes the struggle of corporations with end users takes on a grotesque form, which prompted me to write this post. In short: I stopped worrying about loving FTDI.

    If you use a device with a connection via USB2COM converter on FTDI chip under Windows - beware . As part of the fight against users for intellectual property, FTDI breaks counterfeit chips by software.

    Anamnesis


    I chose for a long time and finally bought several Arduino boards with the best USB2COM converter of all time FTDI FT232RL. I intended to use them in the educational process because of the simplicity and already divorced set of sensors, LEDs and speakers.



    The scavengers warned of fakes, but why distinguish the fake from the original, if everything works. At the beginning of October 2014, a series of Windows 7 updates was released. After some time, the installed drivers began to generate a “COM port is busy” error. Subsequently does not mean consequence. Evil languages ​​claim that the drivers had a time bomb on 10/01/14. I do not presume to judge, for it was these boards that I did not reflash for a long time.
    Remembering there were updates, I immediately installed the very bestFresh drivers "CDM v2.12.00 WHQL Certified". After which the error changed to "Can't find driver for this device".

    Diagnostics


    Googling revealed that not only the Arduino community of lovers was faced with a similar problem, but car enthusiasts using FT232 in OBD adapters, and many others using this chip in their life. Usually the problem was solved by replacing the cable on the CH340, CP2102, PL2303 chips, etc. But I could not replace the cable, because the chip is sealed on the board
    . I registered the zero identifier PID FTDIBUS \ COMPORT & VID_0403 & PID_0000.



    The FTDI chip outage process consisted of two stages. First, the FTDI drivers are automatically updated via Windows update. These drivers do not change the PID, but simply refuse to work with the wrong device from their point of view.



    User downloads fresh drivers, not reads and agrees with the license agreement, after which the drivers change the PID to 0000. Recommended treatment: install the old drivers 2.8.14 (or earlier), register the correct PID (possibly blocking it for writing), and then do not update the FTDI drivers.

    Treatment


    The old drivers were not installed on the main computer under W7-64. Utility MProg device is not seen. I did not see the virtual machine with PID0000 either. We managed to install old drivers on an ancient computer with WXP, replacing PID_6001 with PID_0000 in inf files. Then put the proprietary utility MProg for prescribing PID (downloaded from the official site). Flash the FTDI FT232RL chip again using firmware from arduino.cc.
    UPD 10.23.14: Makaroff published a comic strip about treatment.

    findings


    Wonderful company FTDI has changed the tactics of dealing with fake chips. Her decision is elegant, legal and allows you to control the market. But does it suit end users? If earlier, you simply installed the drivers using standard Windows tools, now, the new drivers are delivered as exe and during installation you accept the license agreement that contains these words:

    1.5 Use of the Software as a driver for, or installation of the Software onto , a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component, including without limitation counterfeit components, MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT
    In a free translation it sounds like this: using this software with fake components can damage these components .

    Well, if I have a choice, then I will never buy a product containing FTDI components again. It doesn’t matter whether these components are fake or genuine. The wife does not allow buying an electron microscope to distinguish a fake from the original.

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