2 dead arduino?

Hi Everyone,

I thought this might be an easy question to answer, but I can't find any definitive result.

I have two atmega 328s both getting the same error, I presume it means I fried them, but I cant be sure.

I'mon osx 10.5.8 with IDE 18 and get this error:

avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

and nothing else when i try to upload. i tried hitting reset, before during and after the upload and always the same result.

I replaced the chip, on both of them as well and still the same result.

is this a dead pair of arduino?

Thanks for any help or advice, I'm new to all this. i had a plotter running off these with two stepper motors and it worked for about a month, now suddenly they both died. :-[

did you select the right serial port and the right board in the tools menu?

the 328's are the chips that fit into an arduino or clone board. what kind of board are you putting them into? did one of them work at some point and, if so, what happened just before it stopped? If one is a replacement chip where did it come from and are you sure that it came with the bootloader programmed?

this is assuming that you do have the correct chip and serial port!

Probably a dumb suggestion, but is the chip inserted the correct direction?

Thanks for the replies, yeah both arduinos were working for about a month with the chips that came on them, then yesterday I broke both of them some how.

I think there was a moment when I shorted the circuit so I guess it was then. I had the right serial ports and board.

The chips that I replaced them with were from a friend and they looked right, the dead ones are 328s and the ones I repleced them with are as well. I think i put it in the right way, with the semi circle at the top.

SO is it possible that the bootloader is the problem? Can I install/programme that myself?


I think its this chip that my friend bought:


which I guess doesn’t have the bootloader on it.

It looks pretty tricky to burn the bootloader onto the board for a novice. I wonder if its even certain that that is the problem.

Burning a bootloader is trivial once you have a "real" ISP. Using the arduino is somewhat more tricky. Once you have an ISP you might wonder why you should actually need a bootloader anymore. Flashing through the ISP is just as easy as with the bootloader. However by default the IDE does not support this. You have to add some lines to the configuration to enable this.


Of course you can use the ISP to flash the bootloader anyway and the proceed without ISP. But this is some somewhat pointless excersie. One of my Arduinos seems to have a broken solder joint to the FTDI chip --> bootloader fails consistently, flashing by ISP works excellent.


Ok, thanks, so it makes sense to buy a real isp?

Does it seem likely that the board is still usable and the boot loader is the problem?


New chips always come without bootloader. So yes, it might be that the bootloader was the problem. I did some experiments and figured out the following:

You can configure the IDE such that it will compile and flash for chips right from the factory. That is for chips with setup for internal RC and CKDIV 8. That is you can compile, deploy and run without ANY external circuitry once you have an ISP.

I achieved this by adding the following to boards.txt

atmega328ispmk2.name=Arduino ATmega328 AvrISPmkII



If you flash with external 16 MHz clock and CKDIV = 1 (=Arduino standard hardware and fuse settings), then you can set the programmer speed to 4 MHz which means that deployment gets ultrafast compared to the bootloader.


Without any circuitry means exactly nothing but power, isp and connectors. Especially no crystal. And if the ISP happens to be an avrispmkii the target voltage can be anything between 1.8 and 5.5V if the target can run it.


@jimmy274: Using a working arduino, it is quite easy to use it as an ISP.

Just follow the ArduinoISP instructions.

I couldn't find anywhere that has the isp in stock and was in a hurry, so I bought a few new chips from Proto-Pic with the bootloader install to see if that was the problem.

I've put them in and I still seem to get the same error. No difference.

Do you think the boards are just dead then? Is there anything else I should be doing when I put the new chip in or are there other things on the board that I have killed?

Here is the verbose output, is there anything suspicious in there:

avrdude: Version 5.4-arduino, compiled on Oct 9 2007 at 11:22:08 Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Brian Dean, http://www.bdmicro.com/

System wide configuration file is "/Applications/Arduino.app/Contents/Resources/Java/hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf" User configuration file is "/Users/benbarker/.avrduderc" User configuration file does not exist or is not a regular file, skipping

Using Port : /dev/tty.usbserial-A800eJur Using Programmer : stk500v1 Overriding Baud Rate : 57600 avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding avrdude: Send: Q [51] [20] avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

I notice this guy was having a similair problem, although I can't figure out how it relates to my situation.


Further update, I took out the chip and ran a jumper from digital pin 0 to digital pin 1 and that showed that the ftdi chip isn't fried as it echoed the characters that I typed back in the monitor window.

When I press the reset button, the LED light doesn't come on. So everything still seems to point towards not having a bootloader, but these chips were meant to come with it installed. Am i missing something obvious? Thanks for all the help guys.

Another update: I got a fully working arduino and put the chip from that into one of the ones that wasn't working and it worked fine. So the chip is definitley the problem, and it seems even more likely that the bootloader may be the problem. Is it likely that proto pic would not have put it on? Has anyone ordered from them before?

Hi Is that you Mr B? if so I hope you got your replacements on time, and just to let everyone else know I called SparkFun Tech support about this and they said some chips went out without the bootloader installed, this has now been sorted at their end and if you have bought one from us we will replace it for you.


Are you using a custom board or have you updated your arduino? Then the problem can be autoreset. Put a led on digital pin 13 (atmega pin 19), take a look here http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/uploads/arduino_pinmap.png to 220ohm resistor (or what you have got, < 1kohm for experience) to GND
then if when you turn on the board on you see this led turn on and then of or flashing the chip is ok, also bootloader i think.
then your problem is autoreset. press the reset button (or put atmega pin 1 to GND, because normally it have to be at VCC), then press update code on arduino GUI, then when the GUI output somthing like “Binary sketch size: 1050 bytes (of a 30720 byte maximum)” release the button or remove the link to GND (so pin 1 will return to VCC state). this work fine for me (fedora linux, atmega328, home-made arduino board)

Hi again.

Just to conclude this incase anyone else has the same problems. I received some new chips from Ewan (at proto pic) who was very helpful and excellent customer service, but they still didn't work (this was spark funs fault not theirs). So I decided to buy an AVR ISP and burn them myself, which has worked fine. All three boards are working now.

Thanks everyone for all the help, should have listened to you at the start when you said to get the avr-isp. ::)

Good decision. Especially to go for avr-isp instead of playing roulette ;)


Hi again

I'll sort something out for you, and Roys back monday so i'll get him to check the rest of our stock and put the bootloader on any missing ones.

Think we should just buy the chips and do it ourselves in future!