Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

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mrburnette
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Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:09 pm

subtitled ... Windows 8.1 demoted me to a lesser god.

I bricked an faux-FTDI last year before I swapped out the XP development notebook (now Linux) to a Windows 8.1 notebook. Fixing the issue last year on XP was easy ... seems that I am a user in the Admin group, so I could do anything I needed. When crap hit yesterday and I plugged in a new Chinese FTDI USB-serial device, the FTDI drivers bricked the device by writing PID_0000 to the adapter... kiss of death! Now, I had taken great pains on NOT doing any driver updates to the 8.1 notebook, so obviously something I installed did the FTDI update ... blast 'em.

I went to edit the two necessary files in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
according to this article. I then found out that Microsoft had protected the DriverStore\FileRepository and even with Administrator rights, I could not edit and save the necessary changes to ftdi.port.xxx and ftdi.bus.xxx. :evil:

I attempted to take add myself into the rights group (remember I am an Administrator) but the system would not permit. I attempted to take ownership and the system would not permit. I am moving to Linux, so far 4 machines in the lab, but the coding/development box is the last that I had planned on doing. After yesterday, I may change the priorities!

So, what is one to do? Boot from a Linux preview DVD or course! That solves the lesser god issue. After editing the necessary files and adding the lines (abbreviated here for brevity. File ftdiport.inf shown below, similar edits must be accomplished to ftdibus.inf

Code: Select all

[Version]
; Changed version from 04/10/2012 to 04/10/2022 in effort to avoid newer versions automatically overwriting ... no guarantees with Microsoft!
DriverVer=04/10/2022,2.08.24
<...>
[FtdiHw]
%VID_0403&PID_0000.DeviceDesc%=FtdiPort.NT,FTDIBUS\COMPORT&VID_0403&PID_0000
%VID_0403&PID_6001.DeviceDesc%=FtdiPort.NT,FTDIBUS\COMPORT&VID_0403&PID_6001
<...>
[FtdiHw.NTamd64]
%VID_0403&PID_0000.DeviceDesc%=FtdiPort.NTamd64,FTDIBUS\COMPORT&VID_0403&PID_0000
%VID_0403&PID_6001.DeviceDesc%=FtdiPort.NTamd64,FTDIBUS\COMPORT&VID_0403&PID_6001
<...>
[Strings]
VID_0403&PID_0000.DeviceDesc="USB Serial Port 0000"
VID_0403&PID_6001.DeviceDesc="USB Serial Port"
Essentially, we now have a set of aliases that map PID_0000 to PID_6001. Good. I deleted the ftdibus.sys driver in this directory:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers

And a good reboot.

The "real" and unbricked USB devices will plug & play. The bricked devices must be restored to working by manually associating the driver. Shown via pictures in the next post.

Ray

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mrburnette
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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:12 pm

Pictures tell the story of the next steps for installing and using the "bricked" modules:
Bricked_faux-FTDI.jpg
Bricked_faux-FTDI.jpg (82.17 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Step1.jpg
Step1.jpg (30.11 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Step2.jpg
Step2.jpg (62.91 KiB) Viewed 995 times

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mrburnette
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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:13 pm

Step3.jpg
Step3.jpg (69.86 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Step4.jpg
Step4.jpg (67.96 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Step5.jpg
Step5.jpg (75.58 KiB) Viewed 995 times

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mrburnette
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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:15 pm

Part6.jpg
Part6.jpg (38.38 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Part7_web.jpg
Part7_web.jpg (103.68 KiB) Viewed 995 times
Resource articles:

Here
and
Here

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RogerClark
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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by RogerClark » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:06 pm

Ray,

Very interesting to see how MS now locks you out of your own system.

This will really start to annoy anyone who has to do system support for a large organisation, unless they are on some ultra enterprise level system on all their machines. But I suspect there are loads of SMEs which just run one or two Windows servers e.g one for mail and one for file storage, and have the staff using Windows 8.1, who will come across the same sorts of lockout issues.


Btw. Wasn't there a Linux way to unbrick the FDTI clone, by somehow changing its PID back to the correct value

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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:00 pm

RogerClark wrote: <...>
Btw. Wasn't there a Linux way to unbrick the FDTI clone, by somehow changing its PID back to the correct value
I know of a Windows' trick and I suspect a Linux trick (have not tried) but have never heard of an iOS although it is likely. At issue is a dev/support utility. Because FTDI has already "determined" that the silicon is in violation and has taken upon the right to null the PID, I thought it would be best if I do not go into the technique to fix the issue since that effectively puts the device back into general circulation ... eBay sale, trade swap, etc. To do so (trade, sale, or otherwise dispose for profit or gain with prior knowledge) may be illegal in some parts of the world. I have a VID/PID myself, so I could have concocted a driver and reset the VID/PID pair to my own. But, essentially, I wanted to show how to make the device useful again for someones own personal PC and not get into any legal issues; even the discussion of if the issues are legal. It is your device and your PC, what you do is your business.

For anyone that thinks this is necessary, just Google.

Ray

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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by RogerClark » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:10 am

Hi Ray

OK. I see what you mean.

For personal use, I can't see a problem with unbricking the device using Linux.

People can google for it, e.g. Fixing a bricked FTDI from Linux and find ways to do it.

Of course the Windows driver will brick it again immediately, if they have not updated the driver to the version that no longer bricks it.

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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by mrburnette » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:59 am

RogerClark wrote:Hi Ray

OK. I see what you mean.

For personal use, I can't see a problem with unbricking the device using Linux.

People can google for it, e.g. Fixing a bricked FTDI from Linux and find ways to do it.

Of course the Windows driver will brick it again immediately, if they have not updated the driver to the version that no longer bricks it.
The version shown in my example has been regressed to a safe version. The date on the version was incremented by 10 years to hopefully (no guarantee) abort s/w packages that install FTDI drivers from a simple update. No idea if this would confuse WSUS.

Ray

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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by RogerClark » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:28 am

Thanks Ray,

I must confess to not reading your posting in detail

But if someone didnt change the date etc and just attempt to use an unbricked device I presume it would get bricked again

BTW. I have two FT232 based usb to serial devices, but Windows 7 didnt recognize and install the default firmware, so I presume they are clones and perhaps it no longer installs the virtual serial driver.

There was some alternative SW/ Driver etc I tried downloading from from FTDI but the devices didnt appear as virtual serial, they appear as some useless USB device.

At which point I coudlnt be bothered wasting any more time on them. And went back to using one of my many Non-FDTI devices

I will not buy a FT232 again, as I have no way of knowing if its real or not.
I could spend a fortune and buy from Adafruit etc and hopefully it would be guaranteed to be genuine, but as the Sil Labs devices and the others work fine for me, its just not worth the cost and hassle to get hold of FTDI devices any more.

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Re: Using a Bricked faux-FTDI under Windows 8.1

Post by zoomx » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:13 am

I heard about the FTDI drivers that brick the fake chips but I read also that they changed so that the last drivers simply refuses to work (like Prolific, you get error code 10) and don't brick fake chips any more. But your experience seems different!

Ray,
Have you tried to edit the files in another folder, and then move again, or in the same folder where they are (C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository) ?

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