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Topic: Brand new Uno - can't upload anything to it (Read 9226 times) previous topic - next topic


I got this error earlier today! In the Arduino software, look under Tools - Board and make sure it's set to Arduino UNO. It should work fine.

I am aware of that thank you.  That is not what is causing my problem.

Out of despair and boredom, I decided to have a close look at the board and I think I've found the cause, the underpaid, epileptic baboons that assemble these boards are getting sloppy.  See photos below...


If that's what the soldering looks like at the edge of that BGA package then Bob only knows what it's like in the middle.


One more option: you could buy/order a spare preprogrammed Arduino Uno chip and try that one.
If this does not help, it's almost sure the Arduino board or USB-chip. Having a spare chip is handy in case of problems.

I don't know it this is possible: download the uploaded program, and compare it at binary level (or disassemble) with the uploaded one, would give you at least an idea where it went wrong.

Or install Ubuntu in a virtual system with Aruino and try it?


@Wossname, where are you located?  You can buy a replacement 382 chip with bootloader for about 6 to 9 $ US from several places. If you're going to put an Uno On The Shelf, you could order a chip and later see if that's the problem.. 

And.. when you find a friend with an XP desktop, ask him to load the Arduino SW and try both of your Unos...

It will be interesting to all of us to see the eventual resolution of this set of symptoms. So keep us informed!


I don't know what "Uno On The Shelf" means but I don't want to spend any more money on this than I already have done.

I'll certainly keep you informed, but judging by the photos I just posted (see above), the likely resolution is that this thing is going back to the store for a $refund because asking for a replacement might just get me another broken unit and I'm back to square one minus the return shipping cost.  Great.

Consequently my faith in Arduinos on the whole has all but vanished.


wossname: again, it seems like you may have gotten a bad board.  We make a lot of Arduino boards, and only a very rare few have problems (the return rate is very small overall).  If you return it for a replacement, the odds are very good that the replacement will work fine.  Of course, I understand if you'd prefer to simply get a refund.  But you should know that the vast majority of boards are fine (they are all individually tested), but as you've discovered, occasionally a bad one gets sent out.


In which case it must have worked in the testing cycle and then consequently failed during shipping. 

Neither of my arduinos were shipped with any kind of anti-static packaging.  I'm not sure if that would contribute to failures of this kind.

Mellis, would you mind casting an appraising eye over those photos I posted?  Would you say that might be a manufacturing fault or just a red herring?  I don't even know now if (by attempting to debug this problem) I've invalidated my returns policy.

Not sure what to do now.


I don't see any problem with your mega8u2, it's perfectly aligned similar to mine. (I still love my older arduinos, with the ftdi because I have replaced several times the ftdi chip with ease... just ordered my last Uno because I want to get the whole collection, not because the new "enhancement")

Where did you bought your arduino? Are you sure it's not a clone?

I have like a dozen of arduinos and all of them is perfectly working, and I can't say that I take some 'anti-static' prevention with them.

8) you can order a seeeduino (or a freeduino for less than 20 usd), from seeedstudio. Best store by far, once they forgot to add 1 pin header and they shipped another bag just with the missing pin. (you can trust 110% on their support)
My website: http://ried.cl


Feb 14, 2011, 02:25 pm Last Edit: Feb 14, 2011, 02:27 pm by wossname Reason: 1
I'm not sure how to spot a clone, I'll photograph them side by side and upload it here.  There are (now I look at all the individual components) a couple of noticable differences but I suspect that might just be a revision difference.  Opinions welcome. :)

I actually bought both boards from the same place, but with a few months in between.

The GOOD Uno is on the left.



Feb 14, 2011, 02:31 pm Last Edit: Feb 14, 2011, 02:35 pm by wossname Reason: 1
Anyway, I contacted the supplier and received a prompt and helpful reply from their tech department.  The bloke suggested I follow the procedure detailed here: http://proto-pic.com/Forum/showthread.php?63-Fixing-the-UNO-bootloader-error-when-the-UNO-forgets-it-s-sketch-when-powered-off

This process did indeed re-flash the bad Uno but I am still unable to contact it directly via USB, so I'm still no closer to a fix unfortunately.  I thought I ought to mention this in case it helps someone else.  At least it proves that the 328 chip isn't faulty - when I plugged it into the USB afterwards it successfuly ran it's blinking light default sketch.

I didn't really expect this to fix the problem since we seem to conclude that it's a physical problem with the board but it was an interesting excercise to follow and has increased my nerd cred a bit :D

I might take it to work tomorrow and show some of our technical boffins, some of them have used arduinos for work before and may be able to debug it with some of their fancy equipment.

Thanks for all your help and advice guys - appreciate it.



VERY Interesting...  The 4 Unos I have look like the Left one... I believe they have pads for 22pf capacitors if you were to decide to change to a quartz crystal.

The other one COULD possibly be a change made by 'real' Arduino, dropping that option. 

AND the funny "stuff" on the 8U2 chip on the bad board looks like some after-build contamination.. Or a cleaning cycle went bad, or something.

Ask your supplier to send that one back the the Arduino guys with the information about what happened, point to your post here etc. I bet they would like to investigate.

I did a lot of chip test and tester design a while back, and the idea of really documenting and explaining the failure mechanisms drove getting the yield up and failures down.

Sure would like to know what the designers find with this board...


In this picture the mega8u2 seems to have a dent, in the previous photos I guessed that was a flux residue.

I have the one of the right. But with few differences as you can see in the attached picture.
My website: http://ried.cl


I think it would benefit the Arduino team more if I sent it to them directly, assuming they'd give me a "known good" one in return.  Do you think they'd be up for that?  I wouldn't want to get another one from proto-pic because it is clear that I'm having a spell of bad luck with them (I broke a mirror over a black cat under a ladder last year).

If so who's a good person to ask?


I think nobody will receive a broken arduino to exchange for a new one (s&h back and forth would cost like 40% of the arduino $) $) $)). If you received this arduino broken, you should ask in the store. And if the arduino gets broken months after... it was probably your fault.
My website: http://ried.cl


I think I'll just keep this spare 328 chip and strip the board of all it's useful bits and then bury it at some crossroads somewhere.

I consider this issue closed.  Thanks again to everyone who helped out.

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