hmm, well i think you're right nkcelectronics because i have tried several bootloader/sketch upload cycles, and i can reliably get the sketch to upload precisely once, immediately after uploading a new bootloader. you've seen the fuses i tried setting. looking around, i've also found the following fuse settings on http://wolfpaulus.com/journal/embedded/arduino4.html:UNLOCKavrdude -p m328p -b56000 -Pcom2 -cponyser -V -e -U lock:w:0x3F:m -U hfuse:w:0xD8:mLOCK 328avrdude -p m328p -b56000 -Pcom2 -cponyser -V -U lock:w:0x0F:mbut i'm still getting the same results. does anyone know the proper AVRdude commands for setting the fuses correctly? i don't really care to know what the various fuse bits mean (everyone seems to want to talk about this but it just makes my eyes glaze over), i just want the setup that leads to a functional Arduino.