Author Topic: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??  (Read 727665 times)

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Offline fcb

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #675 on: October 25, 2014, 03:29:49 pm »
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.
Hmmm. The user chose the product that contains the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement). Windows then looked up the correct driver to use and loaded it.

If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...
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Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #676 on: October 25, 2014, 03:30:30 pm »
Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.

Yes exactly, no one explicity chose to use the driver and ftdi don't have to put it into windows update, they can just leave you to download the drivers THEN sellers of counterfits will have to either copy it and provide the driver themselves which breaks the law in a bigger way that saying "meh I never said to use that driver" and makes a better case for prosecution or they will be telling people to go to FTDI to get the driver so if they openly say the manufacturer is FTDI when it's not again more legal amunition for FTDI.

If i buy for example an arduino board I don't know what is on it and if it works and i don't care, it's up to the manufacturer to sort it out, why bring the fight to me when it's with manufacturers and their supply chains
 

Offline welterde

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #677 on: October 25, 2014, 03:30:42 pm »
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

In what countries? As far as I know it's not illegal to possess counterfeit goods in most countries (just checked for Germany.. here neither buying nor possessing counterfeit goods is illegal).

And that's assuming that the parts had fake FTDI branding on them. Because seemingly you can buy them with non-FTDI branding as well (see some pages earlier in this thread iirc)..
 

Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #678 on: October 25, 2014, 03:32:34 pm »
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.
Hmmm. The user chose the product that contains the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement). Windows then looked up the correct driver to use and loaded it.

If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...

the end customer does not chose the chip that is in a completed product PCB so why punish them
 

Offline fcb

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #679 on: October 25, 2014, 03:33:22 pm »
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???

Good name ? they don't have one of those now. If the driver simply refuses to work with the chip then that is fine. under linux there are non ftdi drivers or maybe i am wrong if there are then ftdi are not being hard done by, not their chip and not their driver. equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Then FTDI can use lawful and fare methods to track down counterfeiters and deal with the fake manufacturers and not cause damage to end users who have paid their money and the fake suppliers have had their share. What ftdi have done does very little to the suppliers of old fakes, it will only hit them in the future, in the mean time innocent end users have had their equipment redered useless for no good reason, the manufacturers still have their money for the fakes. The attitude has not been to resolve the situation but to be vindictive no matter who pays...... reminds me a of a certain referendum just had on FTDI land! It's the same old tune: "we have decided we have been wronged no matter what anyone thinks therefore fuck everyone else!"

Back in the real world - I can't see any manufacturer dropping FTDI because they took a stand on counterfeit parts. Also, I suspect that someone is working on an application to unbrick those 'PID=0x0000' parts.

As for FTDI not having a good name? Perhaps not amongst a small % of hackers/makers only, but I and those other manufacturers I know won't stop putting their parts in products as long as they offer the cost/benefit that they do.

So all of this over a few hobbyists ? gee what a lot of hassle, really vindictive then, as I keep saying they have not harmed the seller of existing fakes onthey innocent users that have already made the fakers rich, not very clever move
No, I doubt that FTDI would have done this to attack hobbyists - law of unintended consequences - and if it makes people question the authenticity of the products they buy and reduces the risk of getting counterfeit part then great.
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Offline Rufus

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #680 on: October 25, 2014, 03:35:27 pm »
equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Of course they could, they could join the USB-IF and pay to get their own VID. They could submit their drivers, hardware, and money to Microsoft for WHQL certification they could submit their drivers, hardware, and money to USB-IF and get USB-IF certification. They could provide datasheets, technical support, driver kits, and stamp their own name on the parts and spend 15 years building a reputation for quality and reliability.

But screw that, FTDI can do and pay for all that shit, we will just make some crap that kinda works like an FTDI part and stamp FTDI on the front.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 03:38:27 pm by Rufus »
 

Offline Simon

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #681 on: October 25, 2014, 03:37:31 pm »

In what countries? As far as I know it's not illegal to possess counterfeit goods in most countries (just checked for Germany.. here neither buying nor possessing counterfeit goods is illegal).

And that's assuming that the parts had fake FTDI branding on them. Because seemingly you can buy them with non-FTDI branding as well (see some pages earlier in this thread iirc)..

exactly! if I were to buy a product with a fake chip and use it under linux FTDI have no claim at all, not their chip, not their driver. As you say plenty of chips have no marking and if this is about hobbyists and makers they are the ones more often using linux. So what is the big deal ?

Now if the FTDI logo is on the chip and it's trying to use their driver then FTDI can try and prosecute for that, let you know the chip is fake, ask you to contact them and tell them where you bought it and then take on the manufacturers and their suppliers. A handful of cases would set the market straight in the same way this action may and the end user has more chance of understanding why the device won't work and being able to get their money back.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #682 on: October 25, 2014, 03:48:31 pm »
.. the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement).

I doubt that the USB org agreement allows FTDI to brick third party devices that have that VID. It just guarantees that the USB org will not grant the same VID to another party, nothing more, nothing less.
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Offline amyk

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #683 on: October 25, 2014, 04:00:05 pm »
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
Who says the fakers don't have laser engravers...? If you compare with the other link you posted, you'll see that the pin 1 indicator on the real one is bigger too; ignore the printing, that can be very easily changed. The dimple for pin 1, however, is likely to be a better distinguishing mark since it's put there by the packager's epoxy moulding.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #684 on: October 25, 2014, 04:01:29 pm »
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.
Wrong. FTDI provides their software to you. What you do with it is up to you. The only thing they can enforce is their copyright which allows them to set a price on the software and control distribution. They can't tell people how to use the software. It is like when you get or buy a book. Nobody can stop you from using the book to start your fireplace, use it as a door stop, etc.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #685 on: October 25, 2014, 04:07:09 pm »
If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...
The problem with CDC is that the creators of that standard never defined a basic serial port  :palm: MORONS! :palm:  They did define a modem. Therefore on several OSses (IIRC Apple's OSX) a CDC serial device shows up as a modem. That is also why so many USB to serial adapters come with their own drivers.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #686 on: October 25, 2014, 04:12:26 pm »
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
No, the one on the right is definitely a functional equivalent. I have one sitting on my desk (bricked by FTDI's driver). The giveaway in this case is that the 'serial number' (?) starts with CN which happens to be the country ID for China. But that could be a coincidence. I wouldn't be surprised though that it turns out the functional equivalents come from a more modern and well equiped production line that the ones from FTDI. As I wrote before the functional equivalent is made on a more modern process.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 04:14:55 pm by nctnico »
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Offline marcan

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #687 on: October 25, 2014, 04:21:13 pm »
So I'm dumb and the clone detector tool that I linked before relied on a patched libftdi (which I hacked up when this saga started and then forgot about...)

So instead I rewrote it to use libusb and made it a lot more useful. Now it can:
  • Tell you if you have a clone chip
  • Fix bricked clones (by undoing exactly what the FTDI driver did, restoring the PID to 6001 but also reverting the value at 0x3e - this might fix string data corruption if your strings area was full when the FTDI driver did its dirty work, or if user data was in use)
  • NEW: immunize clone chips against the evil driver by deliberately breaking the EEPROM checksum. This reverts all settings to defaults (and loses the serial number), but if those work for you, then FTDI's driver will not brick your device and will happily work with it. You can also revert this change.
https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_clone_tool.py

Tested on both real devices (where it refuses to do anything) and on clones (where all of the above works; I tested it against FTDI's driver too).
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 04:23:35 pm by marcan »
 

Offline marcan

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #688 on: October 25, 2014, 04:25:43 pm »
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
No, sorry, my assessment is correct. I confirmed it with my own code and FTDI's driver. I didn't swap them around. I suspect both real chips and clones have used different marking methods. The consistent giveaway, at least between my chips and Zeptobars', is the pin 1 dimple.
 

Offline MicroBoy

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #689 on: October 25, 2014, 04:34:01 pm »
So I'm dumb and the clone detector tool that I linked before relied on a patched libftdi (which I hacked up when this saga started and then forgot about...)

So instead I rewrote it to use libusb and made it a lot more useful. Now it can:
  • Tell you if you have a clone chip
  • Fix bricked clones (by undoing exactly what the FTDI driver did, restoring the PID to 6001 but also reverting the value at 0x3e - this might fix string data corruption if your strings area was full when the FTDI driver did its dirty work, or if user data was in use)
  • NEW: immunize clone chips against the evil driver by deliberately breaking the EEPROM checksum. This reverts all settings to defaults (and loses the serial number), but if those work for you, then FTDI's driver will not brick your device and will happily work with it. You can also revert this change.
https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_clone_tool.py

Tested on both real devices (where it refuses to do anything) and on clones (where all of the above works; I tested it against FTDI's driver too).

Oh, i just love that tool. And the CORRUPTME command name is just hilarious. It reminds me of that Nineteen Eighty-Four movie phrase: "I'm corrupt to the core". :-DD
 

Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #690 on: October 25, 2014, 04:40:38 pm »
The problem with CDC is that the creators of that standard never defined a basic serial port  :palm: MORONS! :palm:  They did define a modem. Therefore on several OSses (IIRC Apple's OSX) a CDC serial device shows up as a modem. That is also why so many USB to serial adapters come with their own drivers.

That's what I see on my OSX machine with LPC/CDC  /dev/tty.usbmodemNXP-71.

What's wrong with a modem model? It can still be mapped to a COM port on windows.

BTW, is the CDC driver on OSX supported by Apple? If so, that's nice of them. I don't recall installing it but I may be wrong.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #691 on: October 25, 2014, 04:50:41 pm »
I have used microcontroller based CDC serial port devices on OSX and they work out of the box (just like they do on Linux). No surprise there because OSX is Unix as well.
There is no functional problem but it's just hard to explain to noobs that a gadget is a serial port and not a modem. Some people will never get that and insist on something called a serial port.
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Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #692 on: October 25, 2014, 05:12:59 pm »
I have used microcontroller based CDC serial port devices on OSX and they work out of the box (just like they do on Linux). No surprise there because OSX is Unix as well.
There is no functional problem but it's just hard to explain to noobs that a gadget is a serial port and not a modem. Some people will never get that and insist on something called a serial port.

It's seems that the root deficiency is in Windows for not having an out of the box standard CDC driver and relying on a combative partner with a proprietary driver.

It's time for Microsoft to come with a generic USB/Serial driver. I wouldn't be surprised in FTDI pays Microsoft for staying in this monopolistic position.
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Offline German_EE

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #693 on: October 25, 2014, 05:34:36 pm »
For some of is this particular part of the thread is very confusing. Every time I see 'CDC' I always think of Control Data Corporation. The university I attended had a pair of CDC 7600 machines:

http://www.lamef.bordeaux.ensam.fr/~jlc/ASI/Historique/images/cdc7600-2.jpeg
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Offline oPossum

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #694 on: October 25, 2014, 05:34:54 pm »
Windows does have a CDC ACM drivier - it has since at least XP. One of the problems with that protocol is that it doesn't support all the handshake lines. Another potential problem is that is uses a separate endpoint for data and handshake (FTDI uses the same endpoint). So a vendor supplied driver is required for a full featured USB to serial solution.
 

Offline MicroBoy

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #695 on: October 25, 2014, 05:40:28 pm »
Windows does have a CDC ACM drivier - it has since at least XP. One of the problems with that protocol is that it doesn't support all the handshake lines. Another potential problem is that is uses a separate endpoint for data and handshake (FTDI uses the same endpoint). So a vendor supplied driver is required for a full featured USB to serial solution.

Yes sir! That's the right reason.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #696 on: October 25, 2014, 05:42:53 pm »
It's seems that the root deficiency is in Windows for not having an out of the box standard CDC driver and relying on a combative partner with a proprietary driver.

It's time for Microsoft to come with a generic USB/Serial driver. I wouldn't be surprised in FTDI pays Microsoft for staying in this monopolistic position.

They do, and have for a long time now. It's usbser.sys (or something like that). All one needs is a .inf file that lists the VID/PID of the thing attached, and then points to the usbser driver. Sure, it's rather silly to require that instead of going by the USB device's class (after all, that is what the USB descriptors are for), but still better than requiring a complete driver for such a simple thing.

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Offline SydB

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #697 on: October 25, 2014, 05:51:09 pm »
Like many others, I have now disabled automatic driver updates.
Good - that should have been the case anyway. There have been numerous instances when newer drivers have caused problems.
Quote
As a consequence my computer is less secure and possibly less reliable than it could be
Don't be silly.
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Supply chains are imperfect. No manufacturer can guarantee that every chip in every product is 100% genuine
Wrong. We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
 

Offline idpromnut

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #698 on: October 25, 2014, 05:53:23 pm »
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.


Well, that means the 2 Freeduino boards I have do have real FTDI chips on them, they look like the ones on the left.

EDIT:  :palm: Misread the image.  So yes, the parts I have are real parts that look like the chip in the image on the left (i.e. not engraved).
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 06:06:40 pm by idpromnut »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #699 on: October 25, 2014, 06:05:36 pm »
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm: There is money to be made so somehow somewhere there is always someone who manages to slip in counterfeit items and make a profit.

@idpromnut: the one on the left is real. The fake chip has a better finishing than the original  :-DD
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 06:08:13 pm by nctnico »
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