Author Topic: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??  (Read 747323 times)

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Offline linux-works

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2014, 04:22:06 pm »
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,
Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
That is a typical American point of view. Shoot first, ask questions later. In this case FTDI is killing their entire customer base to get to one counterfeiter which operates in a market FTDI can't penetrate to begin with.

sorry, but its not 'typical american'.  you are believing the minority (a tiny tiny percent of americans) who think that 'intellectual property' trumps all other rights.

MOST americans are not this hostile.  please revise your view; I find it highly offensive that you lump so many of us in with the bad apples.  this is NOT an american concept and you watch too many movies, I think...

 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2014, 04:27:55 pm »
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,
Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
That is a typical American point of view. Shoot first, ask questions later. In this case FTDI is killing their entire customer base to get to one counterfeiter which operates in a market FTDI can't penetrate to begin with.
FTDI are a British company
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Offline Rufus

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2014, 04:46:21 pm »
how many times do we have to explain this?

destroy the chip?  NOT SO FINE.

How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip. The chip will work fine if you have drivers for it. When the chip manufacture writes drivers (and gets them certified and signed) I'm sure they will provide a tool to restore the PID. Maybe they could set the VID to something not stolen from FTDI but probably not because that is what FTDI would have done if it were possible.
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2014, 04:48:46 pm »
you're a hopeless case.  I won't waste any more time with you on this or any other thread.

 

Offline linux-works

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2014, 04:54:49 pm »
btw, this is exactly the reason why I refuse to install any blueray devices or play any of those discs on my system or on my network.  they also think (via their drm) that they have the right to DISABLE (brick) any device that is not hdcp compliant along the chain.  I've read about one guy who had his dvd player bricked when the bd disc 'updated' the blacklist, just by inserting and playing a disc.

he was able to undo it (very clever and with MUCH effort) but most people would be left with dead hardware, should that happen to them.

this behavior needs to stop.  vendors who think they have a right to ruin your hardware because of IP disputes should be sued to oblivion.  and customers should actively boycott any companies that subscribe to this kind of belief or policy.

every so often, I think about buying a bd burner; but I always stop myself.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2014, 04:55:42 pm »
how many times do we have to explain this?

destroy the chip?  NOT SO FINE.

How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip. The chip will work fine if you have drivers for it. When the chip manufacture writes drivers (and gets them certified and signed) I'm sure they will provide a tool to restore the PID. Maybe they could set the VID to something not stolen from FTDI but probably not because that is what FTDI would have done if it were possible.
As far as the vast majority of end-users are concerned, the chip is dead.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2014, 05:05:12 pm »
How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip.

Bullshit.

If a device meant for average users is disabled beyond what the average user can fix, the device is fucked. Don't be disingenuous - we're mostly engineers and hobbyists here, we can fix almost anything - that doesn't mean it's not broken. When Joe Sixpack's doohickey stops working because its VID has been reprogrammed, he's up a creek without a paddle.
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Offline Alexei.Polkhanov

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2014, 05:23:24 pm »
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?
 

Offline waldo

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2014, 05:26:21 pm »
I've designed several products in the past where I need a USB-to-UART solution.  The choice has been primarily between FTDI and Silicon Labs chips.  This situation has just made my vendor selection much simpler.  AFAIK, SiLabs does not punish end users if our contract manufacturer in China does an unauthorized part substitution.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 05:28:21 pm by waldo »
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2014, 05:32:26 pm »
End users that bought FTDI, supported the brand FTDI.   Of course, they wanted the real stuff but they would not know.  They have done their part in buying FTDI.  Instead of going after the faker, FTDI chose the easiest option and screwed the people that supported FTDI.  FTDI has killed their own brand.   

How does one know the FTDI cable he is going to buy is not going to be killed by FTDI driver?  Don't risk buying one.
 

Offline Pedram

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2014, 06:05:22 pm »
i remember several years ago i really had huge problem with prolific USB to Serial chips and BSOD.... so i simply never used any prolific product again..... some years later i found out that it was because of fake chips.... but i never used them again because of bad that bad taste....


so i think it's time to switch to CH340 or something similar.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2014, 06:07:48 pm »
so i think it's time to switch to CH340 or something similar.

... don't go there. Those things are shocking.
 

Offline krater

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #62 on: October 22, 2014, 06:18:05 pm »
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
"it was working yesterday.  hmmm.  maybe the vendor FTDI'd me via a windows update..."
 

Online wraper

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #63 on: October 22, 2014, 06:22:43 pm »
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?
 

Offline XFDDesign

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #64 on: October 22, 2014, 06:25:50 pm »
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?

Probably eBay.

Disclaimer: I'm not condoning FTDI's decision.

"Don't go after the customers, go after the theiving vendors!"

Have you ever tried to pursue property rights claims to unscrupulous cloning vendors in China? If not, I can summarize it for you: "HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"



My place of employment has concerns about counterfeit devices too. Our way of "trapping" the bad parts? We require a paper trail for authenticity of parts bough in order to provide support. "You bought a bad part? Terribly sorry, but that was not a part sold through authorized channels. If you can replace them with genuine parts, and still have the same problem, we would be glad to help!"

I'm not a lawyer. But as an engineer, this violates good faith (and to the person bagging on "Americans Shoot First..." I'm one of those). I suspect that FTDI will have to demonstrate how this "update" was an integral part of driver maintenance and not a deliberately malicious act. I.e. does changing the PID to 0 have a functional value to the existing parts? This will be the first question the lawyer on the opposition will be asking. If the answer is not yes, then there is going to be some trouble - likely on the ground similar to creators of Computer Viruses (virii?).

Now, I personally, have an FT232R on a controller I am about to push to major release - something that will be going to quantity production - and I have to keep in mind my company's corporate image and have to wonder what (if any) fall out will land on our shoulders with the part.




I'm unclear on one thing though: Is this driver update something that Microsoft pushes without consent or something the end customer downloads from FTDI? (Not that it changes the situation). If it's a MS push, that makes this much, much worse.
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #65 on: October 22, 2014, 06:28:37 pm »
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?

I'm not OK using fake parts in my product.  However, if it were to happen, FTDI is making sure that my customer assumes my product just broke.  There will be no feedback from the customer for me to even determine that I've been duped by a supplier.  My customer will just never be my customer again.

It could have been handled in quite a few ways and FTDI chose the worse way possible.  What I don't know is how robust the driver code is.  Will FTDI accidentally kill their legit chips?  It is possible.  Someone misses a check in the test suite and it does a kill all of an older model.  Now legitimate chips are dead. 

Firmware updates are easy to get very wrong.  When your firmware update is a bullet to the head, it is also hard to fix it.  Were this to complain about counterfeit and not work, that would be perfectly fine.  A false positive is fixed with an updated driver.  Hard to scrape off the cranial matter and put it back in your skull after you shot yourself in the head, though.
 

Offline jadew

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #66 on: October 22, 2014, 06:35:19 pm »
i remember several years ago i really had huge problem with prolific USB to Serial chips and BSOD.... so i simply never used any prolific product again..... some years later i found out that it was because of fake chips.... but i never used them again because of bad that bad taste....

I had the same experience and I bet the same will happen with FTDI.


Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.

I tried them, they're ok. I actually went for them at one point because I could re-write the firmware and I was able to lock the baudrate this way. You can obviously buy the real MCU and do that, but the USB to Serial chip is cheaper than the actual MCU for some reason :)



Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.
For this purpose it would be ok i guess, might try it in the near future.
For a lot of other applications such as any I2C bridge or I/O peripheral I personally do not trust a standard PIC with software. I rather have a hardware statemachine solution for that. But thats just my 2 cents.

Should work fine, if the MCU has a peripheral for I2C, it means it's implemented in hardware, with the software only doing the glue logic between the USB peripheral and the I2C one.
 

Offline kmel

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #67 on: October 22, 2014, 06:41:46 pm »
How can I prevent the killing?

Check all my beloved USB China toys with an older XP machine.
If a FTDI chip is present, change the VID/PID with FTDI tools.
Modify an older driver to work with the new VID/PID.
Use the toy on an updated Windows system, but with the modified driver.

Is all of above doable and is this modified driver safe not to be updated?
 

Offline linux-works

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #68 on: October 22, 2014, 06:44:15 pm »
fwiw, hackaday now has this on their front page.  linked to this forum's post, too.

let the shitstorm begin.

I hope ftdi gets tons of emails and phonecalls about this.

 

Offline marshallh

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #69 on: October 22, 2014, 06:44:43 pm »
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #70 on: October 22, 2014, 06:52:08 pm »
I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith.

Containing a stolen VID the device isn't USB standard compliant so you should not have expectations of it working in the first place. Possessors of stolen property generally have few rights regardless of their knowledge of it being stolen.

FTDI should have 'reclaimed' their VID, presumably not and option, I can't blame them for trashing the PID instead.
Does it only kill devices with FTDI's VID? (Can the fakes have the VID reprogrammed?)
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Offline krater

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2014, 06:55:24 pm »
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?

No, but it can happen. It happened many big manufacturers without there liability. Most time the chip-manifacturer then loses a little bit of money because the not selled chips. Now that shall be my risk, but I don't just lose some non existent profit. I lose costs of manufactoring, shipping, time to rebuild, reputation of customers, etc,etc....
So why just eat this toad whitout the need ?
"it was working yesterday.  hmmm.  maybe the vendor FTDI'd me via a windows update..."
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #72 on: October 22, 2014, 06:57:40 pm »
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
It's the same naive approach the music industry tried, and failed, to use against piracy. Punishing the "pirates" doesn't accomplish anything. Clones will always exist, and this is a market they are not directly competing with, as the people buying the cloned chips are mostly not, and never will be, FTDI customers. Yes, this will hurt the market for cheap FTDI cables, but rather than move to expensive legitimate cables, they are destroying their brand and making them un-purchaseable for anyone, including design engineers, due to the risk of their device or product randomly failing in the future.

If FTDI were an end user products company I might see them have a bit more success, as those purchasing fake FTDI gadgets would likely know they're fake, like the Gucci handbags you buy in Bangkok. However they're not. They sell chips to integrators and many other vendors. Now they've burned their direct customer, the integrator, as well as the end user. It's a stupid response and will get them no goodwill from anyone, including their legitimate customers, who weren't harmed by the clones in the first place.

They could have done a few different things to reinforce their brand and undermine the clone's reputation without pulling the trigger on millions of devices. Microsoft learned this years ago.

I mean I understand they're butthurt about this, but taking it out on the end user, when they don't even sell to the end user, is not a productive response and will certainly hurt their image, while it never stood any chance of helping it.
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Offline kwallen

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #73 on: October 22, 2014, 07:02:44 pm »
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
It's the same naive approach the music industry tried, and failed, to use against piracy. Punishing the "pirates" doesn't accomplish anything. Clones will always exist, and this is a market they are not directly competing with, as the people buying the cloned chips are mostly not, and never will be, FTDI customers. Yes, this will hurt the market for cheap FTDI cables, but rather than move to expensive legitimate cables, they are destroying their brand and making them un-purchaseable for anyone, including design engineers, due to the risk of their device or product randomly failing in the future.


I'm not sure this even has the desired effect for them, I would be incredibly surprised if anybody can tell the difference between a clone and a real one without decapping it. The end result is just tainting their own brand and pissing off millions of clueless, unconnected people when their hardware suddenly stops working.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 07:54:42 pm by kwallen »
 

Online wraper

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #74 on: October 22, 2014, 07:05:02 pm »
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?
No, but it can happen. It happened many big manufacturers without there liability. Most time the chip-manifacturer then loses a little bit of money because the not selled chips. Now that shall be my risk, but I don't just lose some non existent profit. I lose costs of manufactoring, shipping, time to rebuild, reputation of customers, etc,etc....
So why just eat this toad whitout the need ?
But now you have a great tool how to check to be genuine right away  :-DD. However fakers likely will fix them soon.
 


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