ATmega2561 cannot enter programming mode?

I just bought an ATmega2561 off of digikey to use in a project ( ) and I made a breakout pcb to test and program it. Unfortunately, when I hook it up to my AVRISPmkII and try to program or read the chip in Atmel studio 6, I get a "cannot enter programming mode" error no matter what the clock speed is. I've tried providing an external clock in case that's how the fuses were burnt when it was shipped to me but I can't get it to work at all. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to get my AVRISP to talk to the chip?

Hi, I would check that you have connected to the right pins first - that was my mistake. I recently burned the bootloader to a Atmega2560 using an Uno, based on instructions here: I am not sure why you got the Atmega2561($19) instead of the Atmega2560($13), which is the chip used in the Arduino Mega, but whatever works for you. Here is the Atmega2560 sold at Mouser if you are interested: njs552

Yes, I've checked my wiring multiple times and it seems to correct. My worst fear is that the chip might be blown from static damage but that's unlikely since I've used several atmega328s without blowing them up. I really have no idea what steps I should take to try and fix this problem. Any input appreciated.

Take a look at using MegaLoad. I have never heard of it, but it might work. Are you sure that the AVRISPmkII is connected to the correct MOSI, MISO, SCK, RESET, GND and Power as is specified on the datasheet? Here is the article that mentions MegaLoad njs552

Yep, the ISP is connected correctly. I'm not actually trying to put a bootloader on it, just trying to get the programmer to recognize it.

Ok. What bootloader did you use? njs552

I'm not using a bootloader at all. I'm trying to load the code hex file directly to the chip via ISP with the AVRISPmkII. If it's any help at all I just realized that Atmel studio is throwing an error message "[ERROR] Failed to enter programming mode. ispEnterProgMode: Error status received: Got 0xc0, expected 0x00, ModuleName: TCF (TCF command: Device:startSession failed.)". I can't make heads or tails of it though.