January 28, 2006 - Special USBToTTL User Alert

USBToTTL Board Users Alert:  Do NOT install the updated FTDI drivers which are available from Windows® Update!

The driver update provided by FTDI (Future Technology Devices International Ltd.) via Microsoft Windows® Update is likely to crash your computer every time you attempt to plug in the USBToTTL board!  The issue relates to the order in which Windows® Update performs the driver reloads; it is possible that during the update process, the system will have just one of the two required drivers installed.  At that point, the new code can incorrectly attempt to 'talk' to the old code through a new link (which is not there); this will cause a system crash.

To avoid this problem, either use the drivers which were provided by us or download and install the appropriate drivers directly from the FTDI site (www.ftdichip.com).   When you perform the installation, first uninstall the 'old' ftdi drivers, and then install the new ones.  This procedure avoids all known issues.  The drivers to install are those for their FT232R/FT232BM chips.

Any customers who have already performed this update and have an unstable system should contact us for help returning their computers to their prior working conditions.  The repair procedure can be summarized as:

  1. Boot Windows® to 'safe' mode (normally, you press the 'F8' function key during boot to give access to the boot menu, which then allows you to enter safe mode)
  2. Uninstall the damaged FTDI drivers via the control panel
  3. Reboot Windows® to normal mode
  4. Install the updated/correct drivers from FTDI.

Windows® Update does not automatically select the FTDI drivers for installation when you use the "Express" or "Automatic" installation modes.  They are available through "Custom" installation, and must be manually selected from their location in the "optional hardware updates" in order for them to be installed.  You should continue to use Windows® Update to obtain your operating system patches from Microsoft!

Contact us at support@stepperboard.com if you need more information about this issue.