ATMega328p not accepting bootloader

I have been working on a project to wirelessly control the throttle blade angle of an engine over the past year. I am currently on my 3rd revision of the board. The only changes from the 2nd to 3rd revision are a power indicating LED (works) and an intermediate LDO reg. The power control system works as I have tested it with a 9v and the LED lights up and the 5v rail is 5v. Onto the problem, I have been using Nick Gammon's bootloader program and it has worked flawless for me up until now. Since the last revision two things have changed on my laptop. I updated both OsX to Yosemite and Arduino to 1.6.2. I initially tried burning bootloaders onto 3 of my 6 boards with version 1.27. It would seem to freeze after setting the clock divide and attempting to enter programming (just pause here with the TX light constantly lit). Scared that I bricked 3 of my 6 new boards was thinking man this sucks. I tried working with the supposedly ruined 3 today. I tried talking to them again. I was able to try and verify the chips and would successfully complete the task (with a bunch of errors of course). Then I compiled program version 1.27 again this time from my win7 laptop got one of the supposedly bricked chips to connect. I figured ill try to program it. It worked as expected. From that point I was able to use my FTDI and upload code to the board with no problems. I figured I could go and reprogram the rest of the boards so I grabbed one of the new untouched boards and tried it. It connected fine but froze again during programming. I tried updating to version 1.33 (most current) with no avail. I have also tried arduino version 1.0.5 and 1.6.2. I am not really sure where to go from here or what to try. If you have any ideas or would like some more details feel free to comment or ask!

Thanks for reading!

What errors are you getting? Always include any and all error messages.

Version 1.27 of what?

What fuse settings?

Have you tried burning bootloader normally (ie, through the IDE using an arduino programmed with ArduinoasISP sketch, or another ISP programmer), instead of with Nick Gammon’s sketch?

In general, can you describe the state of it currently - what happens when you try programming it through various means (including all errors). Are you saying there are two issues, a bootloader programming issue and an issue with any programming on the mac? What programming methods have you tried on the two systems?

DrAzzy: What errors are you getting? Always include any and all error messages.

Version 1.27 of what?

What fuse settings?

Have you tried burning bootloader normally (ie, through the IDE using an arduino programmed with ArduinoasISP sketch, or another ISP programmer), instead of with Nick Gammon's sketch?

In general, can you describe the state of it currently - what happens when you try programming it through various means (including all errors). Are you saying there are two issues, a bootloader programming issue and an issue with any programming on the mac? What programming methods have you tried on the two systems?

When I referred to version 1.27 or 1.33 I am referring to the version of Nick Gammon's software. As for errors I do not receive any error when it is trying to upload the bootloader it just freezes after clearing the ckdiv fuse and attempting to enter programming mode. The errors printed out when I "verify" the bootloader are all from the addresses not matching what is expected for a Uno's bootloader. Every byte is 0xFF or in its factory condition I believe. I did very briefly try to burn the bootloader with the arduino as ISP via my Mega2560. I received an stk500 error I believe (out of sync). However I have never had great success with burning bootloaders this route unless is has been with an attiny. I could play with this route or perhaps optiloader but I would like to figure out Nick's software or my hardware issue. I was wondering if it could have been the clocking circuit but Im not sure why one would have just up and programmed without an issue. I even changed the crystal to a crystal that I used on a previous revision with success to no avail.

There is just the bootloading issue, I have uploaded code via the FTDI and my Micro with no problems. When using Nick's software it should be noted that I have been using my arduino micro (have previously with success). Also, I have an ISCP header on the board with the appropriate pinout (checked like a gazillion times now). I will try to play with the alternatives tomorrow (Arduino as ISP and Optiloader), recording all errors and issues.

Thanks!

Next time please use paragraphs. That initial post was heavy going.

If it freezes I tend to doubt the clock source. What clock are you using?

Also please post the output from the session when things go wrong.

Also please post a photo of your hardware. Long cable runs (if you are using them) won’t help.

I agree that I has to be something in the timing circuit. Sorry for the delay, I have been on a small hiatus. The board that did program has reliability issues. I investigated in using the internal clock at 8mhz and programmed the board with great success! I also programmed my final raw board with success too! As for the others I believe that the chip is still expecting a 16mhz clock which is why it is not entering programming mode.

My method to try and fix the predefined 16mhz clock is to cut the clock circuit out of the board then insert a test, working, surrogate clock circuit and jump the xtal and gnd pins with it. Hopefully this will allow me to enter programming mode long enough to convert them to the internal clock circuit.

Thanks!