arduino pro mini programmer not responding and not in sync

i'm seriously at my wit's end with this. i cannot even start a project - i have tried three different ftdi programmers with at least three different drivers each (none have yellow triangles in device manager) and 5 different pro mini boards on three different breadboards with an uncountable number of different wires and they all return this:

avrdude: Version 6.3, compiled on Jan 17 2017 at 12:00:53
         Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Brian Dean, http://www.bdmicro.com/
         Copyright (c) 2007-2014 Joerg Wunsch

         System wide configuration file is "C:\Users\alex\AppData\Local\Arduino15\packages\arduino\tools\avrdude\6.3.0-arduino9/etc/avrdude.conf"

         Using Port                    : COM6
         Using Programmer              : arduino
         Overriding Baud Rate          : 115200
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 2 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 3 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 4 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 5 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 6 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 7 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 8 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 9 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 10 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x6e

avrdude done.  Thank you.

Problem uploading to board.  See http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Troubleshooting#upload for suggestions.

i am connecting [u]arduino ---- ftdi[/u] rx tx tx rx vcc (5v and 3.3v, tried both to no avail) gnd gnd

please help me EDIT: and now two computers. seriously - the only wires plugged in are those two connections this is killing me

If you aren't using an FTDI thingy with the DTR pin, you need to press reset manually as soon as the IDE says "uploading". Have you done that? :3

Edit: also, make sure you select the correct version of the 'duino under tools->processor.

Edit2: Also, you can easily check if a serial dongle is working correctly. Just short together the rx and tx pins (using a resistor if you wanna be super safe). Then send something to that port (like for instance, using the serial thingy in Arduino ide.) If you get it back, it's working.

thegoodhen:
If you aren’t using an FTDI thingy with the DTR pin, you need to press reset manually as soon as the IDE says “uploading”. Have you done that? :3

Edit: also, make sure you select the correct version of the 'duino under tools->processor.

Edit2: Also, you can easily check if a serial dongle is working correctly. Just short together the rx and tx pins (using a resistor if you wanna be super safe). Then send something to that port (like for instance, using the serial thingy in Arduino ide.) If you get it back, it’s working.

two of the ftdi programmers did have a dtr pin. it didn’t help, nor did manually pressing a reset button or manually shorting reset to ground.two of the ftdi programmers did have a dtr pin. it didn’t help, nor did manually pressing a reset button or manually shorting reset to ground.

i am using the correct version of the arduino in tools-> processor.

lastly, the loopback test works fine with all of the processors

Try selecting Arduino Pro or Pro Mini instead of Arduino Mini. I notice you are using baud rate of 115200 which goes with Arduino Mini instead of 57600 which goes with Pro Mini.

It’s down the Tools/Boards list by LilyPad Arduino.

i needed to do that, as well as changing the baud rate in device manager. i got it working.