Arduino Uno uploads succesfully but doesn't do anything

Hello all,

Let me start by saying I already read the troubleshooting page 100 times. It still didn't give me an answer to my problem.

The "blink" example appears to upload successfully (TX and RX leds flash and pin 13 (L) led blinks) but when I have my environment set up and power to my Arduino it doesn't do anything. Here's what I did; you tell me if I'm missing something or did something incorrectly.

I downloaded the Arduino 1.0.5 software on my PC (I'm running Windows 8). The directions on this website say that the installation will fail, but it didn't fail for me (I think that's because I'm running Windows 8). Anyway, after the software download was complete, I powered my Uno via USB. The green power led came on and also pin 13 (L) was flashing orange. I opened up the Arduino app, as well as the "blink" example. Board > Arduino Uno. Check. Serial Port > COM3. Check. Also, COM3 was the only option under the ports tab; I don't know if that's significant or not but I thought I'd mention it. Next, time for the upload. The TX and RX leds flashed and pin 13 (L) was still blinking. I got the "Done Uploading" message with zero errors. Everything's looking good here. I disconnected my Arduino from the USB and began to prep my breadboard. Everything was connected properly. I doubled and triple checked it. I reconnected my Arduino to power and... nothing. =(

Under the troubleshooting page I read up what to do. It says the wrong tool was chosen under Tools > Microcontrollers. When I look under Tools, there isn't even a tab labeled 'Microcontrollers'. My chip is a ATmega328P-PU. Am I missing something here? Just to put it out there I'm a first time Arduino/Circuits/Code user. Please help. Thanks in advance.

"And began to prep my breadboard. Everyhing was connected" Could you specify a bit more? What and how did you connect?

I reconnected my Arduino to power and... nothing.

Nothing?- What was supposed to happen? Do you mean that the blink sketch (which will still be in there) didn't start to flash led 13?- or do you mean you couldn't upload a new sketch?

Ok, so let me clarify.

The blink example, when uploaded to the Arduino, is supposed to make an LED flash continuously on and off in one-second intervals on the breadboard using a simple LED driver circuit.

I followed these instructions:

Both sides of the breadboard were connected properly (power to power and ground to ground). Pin 13 on the Arduino connects in series with a LED on the breadboard and also a 220 Ohms resistor, which connects to ground. (GND pin on the Uno connected to ground and 5v on Uno connected to power).

Any suggestions? I appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

I’m still not sure what you mean… is the on-board pin 13 LED still flashing and the breadboard one isn’t, or has it stopped working altogether?

If it’s the breadboard one not working, first are you sure the LED is the right way round? Does it work if you put the LED and its resistor across 5V and ground- that won’t need a sketch to be running, just power.

Also, some makes of long breadboard have a split in the power rails: the two sides are not connected. Check that. You can bridge with wire or move everything to one side… see pic.


Yeah, the on-board pin 13 LED is flashing but the one on the breadboard doesn't. The LED driver circuit works fine without the arduino though, which is weird. This must mean its something with the computer/arduino/sketch and I still can't figure it out.

Once that happened to me. Uploaded but didn't light a Led.

The microcontroller on the board (Atmega328P) was loose. I pushed it hard until it fit well to the 28 dip socket and then everything went fine.

mart256: Once that happened to me. Uploaded but didn't light a Led.

But OP says:

jbarrasso: the on-board pin 13 LED is flashing

Is the circuit complete- ie ground from breadboard back to the Arduino

It's time we saw the circuit.... you actual one.