A recent Windows driver update has been causing issues with USB devices around the world as it appears to be bricking devices using a certain counterfeit chip. The problem surrounds a line of USB-to-Serial microchips made by FTDI, which are one of the most common chips used today in enthusiast and consumer electronics; or more importantly, the update finds these counterfeit chips and renders them inoperable.
Counterfeit versions of the FTDI chips are everywhere and are extremely difficult to detect. While this issue mainly affects enthusiasts who have been hacking their own systems together, it could potentially affect regular consumer electronics that have inadvertantly used fake FTDI chips. Once installed, the updated driver sets the Product ID number of the fake chips to 0; a number that causes it to cease working with both Windows and Linux systems.
There is a working fix for those affected to reset the Product ID from FTDI; although this probably wouldn’t be needed if the updated drivers didn’t simply shut down fake chips. FTDI has not commented on the issue as of yet; and Microsoft has been directing all questions to the chipmaker.