macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Posted on
Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:51 am
jay (support) offline
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macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

The driver that Apple includes for FTDI-based serial devices appears to be broken in High Sierra (verified as sill broken as of 10.13.3). We have found a workaround which we describe in a blog post. Use this topic to let us know if it works for you and to ask questions.

Update April 17, 2020

Thanks to some great sleuthing by a forum user, we've discovered that there is also a PowerLinc Modem version component to this issue. He had an older PowerLinc which identified itself as v2.1. When he upgraded to Catalina, he experienced the issue. After attempting all of the various workarounds (drivers, hubs in various configurations, etc), he decided to buy a new PowerLinc, which identified itself as V2.5. He attached it directly to a USB3 port on a MacBook Air, and it worked.

It's unclear if it's some hardware change or something in the firmware (or both), but it does appear that this also plays a role in the issue. So, a reasonable attempt to overcome the issue is to get a new PowerLinc and give it a try. If it doesn't work you can always return it.

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Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:00 am
mbordas offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Have you reported this to Apple so they can fix it?

Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:12 am
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

We will be reporting it soon, but are waiting on more data from our users as to if the solution presented in the blog post is working – the more conclusive data we can give them the more likely they'll actually look at it. So if you are having the problem and try the steps please report back the results.

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Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:30 pm
jalves offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Posted my experience on another thread. Reposting here for completeness:
After reading the excellent work around for this bug www.indigodomo.com/blog/2018/01/25/high ... orkaround/ I decided to try a clean install of High Sierra. That's done by booting into Recovery Mode (hold down command R at startup) and then selecting the clean install option.

I figured that would get rid of any garbage old drivers and put me in a good clean state. Result, no change. My Insteon and RFX interfaces were still not automatically identified/connected by Indigo on restart. However, I then downloaded the latest FTDI driver (2.4.2), applied it to the computer and then did a restart. It works!!! Both devices connected on the restart without the need for the unplug/replug exercise.

Running Indigo 7.4.1 on a 27" iMac (mid-2017), 40G memory, 1T Fusion Drive, OS X 10.15.7
Jeff

Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:51 pm
jgb offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Went thru Matt's instructions for the work around (FTDI driver 2.4.2) and for the first time in forever, after a restart, Indigo loaded upon startup, Indigo server started and the powerlinc connected without have to unplug/plug and/or quit indigo and restart it.

Model Identifier: iMac16,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i5
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
macOS 10.13.3

Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:41 pm
Vig offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Just an FYI, upgraded to 10.13.1 then right away patched with 10.13.3 and had no issues with the driver that is included in the upgrade.

Posted on
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:33 pm
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

Great, thanks for the reports. And to give credit where it is due, those instructions were written up by Jay. :)

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Posted on
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm
jgraybill offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

I followed the posted bug workaround, worked without issue. Continues to work after rebooting. 10.13.3

Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:39 am
sarahcat offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

I read the BLOG post with great interest.

Does the FTDI driver update also resolve the apparent problem with using the Z-Stick or the Insteon MODEM with a USB hub? I've currently using the Dynex USB2 hub, plugged into one of my Mini's USB3 ports, to support the two interfaces. That was a work around suggested by Jay/Matt to fix the USB compatibility. Ideally, I'd like to remove the Dynex USB 2 hub and connect an Anker USB 3 hub in its place. I have a powered 10-port Anker USB 3 hub supporting all of my other USB devices.

Since USB hubs are sadly not truly universal, based upon the computer's hardware and now, apparently the native driver within MacOS, does anyone have a current preferred USB 3 hub that they are possibly using with a late 2012 Mac Mini or MBP and the Z-Stick Gen5 and the Insteon 2423u MODEM?

One last question about the FTDI Driver Bug Workaround: Is it called a 'workaround' in this case because it is undone when a new version of High Sierra is loaded? Otherwise, it seems like a solid fix, since the root cause of the problem was the native FTDI driver in High Sierra. Other than the undoing of this fix when MacOS is updated, is it expected that it's a positive fix to the USB problem?

Thanks!

Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:04 am
howartp offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

matt (support) wrote:
And to give credit where it is due, those instructions were written up by Jay. :)

Must have taken him ages to type up all the notes you took whilst solving the problem. :p


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Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:50 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

sarahcat wrote:
One last question about the FTDI Driver Bug Workaround: Is it called a 'workaround' in this case because it is undone when a new version of High Sierra is loaded?

I think this is a very tough question to answer because it can't be known with any certainty what Apple might do to affect the driver fix with a future update. When Matt and Jay are confident that this solution is a positive fix *for the current version of HS* they plan to let Apple know. What Apple does with that information--if anything--is up to them.

But if things should go sideways with a future release of HS, at least there's a better understanding of where to look...

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Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:27 pm
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

howartp wrote:
matt (support) wrote:
And to give credit where it is due, those instructions were written up by Jay. :)

Must have taken him ages to type up all the notes you took whilst solving the problem. :p

Hah, no Jay did 99% of the troubleshooting as well, so he gets full credit.

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Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:35 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

sarahcat wrote:
Does the FTDI driver update also resolve the apparent problem with using the Z-Stick or the Insteon MODEM with a USB hub?

The Z-Sticks don't use the FTDI driver so the work around described doesn't apply to them. The older Z-Stick S2 uses an SILabs.com driver, while the newer Z-Stick Gen5 uses macOS's built-in USB modem driver (no 3rd party driver needed, and the internal macOS USB driver is different than Apple's FTDI driver).

sarahcat wrote:
One last question about the FTDI Driver Bug Workaround: Is it called a 'workaround' in this case because it is undone when a new version of High Sierra is loaded?

We are calling it workaround since it requires the removal Apple's internal FTDI driver. Given the root of this problem is out of our control, all we can offer is workarounds and report the problem to Apple and hope they fix it. I'm not overly optimistic Apple will be fixing the problem given the history of bug reports we've filed with them that they have actually fixed (almost all reports we have filed go completely unanswered and unfixed – Apple's responsiveness to bugs from developers is woefully inadequate IMO), and given the problem appears to only happen on older Mac hardware. We'll still get them all the details though and hope for the best.

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Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:48 pm
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

matt (support) wrote:
The Z-Sticks don't use the FTDI driver so the work around described doesn't apply to them. The older Z-Stick S2 uses an SILabs.com driver, while the newer Z-Stick Gen5 uses macOS's built-in USB modem driver (no 3rd party driver needed, and the internal macOS USB driver is different than Apple's FTDI driver).


For my own edification (I'm not planning an upgrade but have been watching this closely), does this mean that if you use a Gen5 stick that you will likely encounter this USB issue or does it mean the Gen5 stick doesn't fall into this problem and it's mostly about connecting to the Insteon PowerLinc?
Last edited by Colorado4Wheeler on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted on
Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:41 pm
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Re: macOS High Sierra (10.13) FTDI Driver Bug Workaround

A vast majority of the reports of problems have been with the PowerLinc 2413U which uses the FTDI driver. Not many reports of new Z-Stick problems with High Sierra, although we seem to get a few USB problem across the board (all interfaces) with each new macOS release.

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