Can't get my son's arduino installed correctly

Hello, I hope someone can help us.

My son first tried to install Arduino on his laptop (Windows 7 x64). I think he just ran the downloaded .exe file. When he tried to upload Blink, he ran into problems with the drivers. I went to the Device Manager and saw the Port (COM & LPT) section. Underneath was a list of items titled COM6, COM7, and COM10-COM 28. The OSEPP Manual said to select the non-existent FT232R USB UART device to update. Since this wasn’t there and I was at a loss, I decided to select the heading “Port (COM & LPT)” and did “Scan for hardware changes”. Then all the items in the section changed to be start with at BT Port (i.e. now named BT Port (COM10)). But, still no sign of the file I was looking for.

So I uninstalled everything and started over, this time downloading the zipped file, and following the directions given to me ( http://arduino.cc/en/guide/windows). First I extracted the folder it into a subfolder for programs within my download folder, then without running any executables (as directions only say to open the folder), I plugged in the Arduino board (OSEPP Uno R3 Plus). There was no beep by my computer that a device was attached (green light was on though with no other power source). However, it didn’t beep because my son had previously installed it. This time my device driver showed the same list as before, “BT Port (COM10)” list without the “FT232R USB UART” or the “Arduino UNO (COMxx)” file named on the webpage.

I’m unclear if the “xx” means any of them will work, or if it matters that it’s preceded by “BT Port” instead of “Arduino UNO”. But I also saw that there was an error notice in my Device Manager list for an “Unknown Device” under “Universal Serial Bus controller”. So, I selected that and clicked “Update Device Driver”, navigating to where I had my extracted file. However, I was not able to select the “arduino.inf” file in the driver folder, as my only option was to select the folder. I did so, and got the message, “Best driver software for your device is already installed.”

So, I then went to my computer, downloaded the software, and plugged in the Arduino board. This time I got a beep and my computer spent a long time installing the driver, without a resulting error. It added "Ports (COM & LPT) to my driver list, and only had one item within the list, “USB Serial Port (COM3)”. I selected the “Update Driver Software” and again was only able to select the folder, not the file, when browsing my folders. Again, I was messaged, “Best driver software for your device is already installed.” (same as when it searches online for an update).

I thought the driver update was supposed to complete installation (of course I’d not even started installation, as per instructions), but anyway, I went ahead and double-clicked on the arduino.exe file. When I tried to upload the “Blink” example, I saw the message on the bottom of the window said “Arduino Uno on COM1” – that was curious since I only had COM3, but then again, I don’t really know what all this means. It looked like it was loading, but after about 5 minutes I got the message, “JAVA™ Platform SE binary has stopped working” and Arduino closed. I tried it again, making sure I’d selected the right board and serial port according to the directions.

Since it crashed and I wasn’t sure it was installed correctly, I then uninstalled it (installed with Revo Uninstaller so it shouldn’t have left anything behind). I’m wondering about the wisdom of pulling out the device without a safe remove, which is not an option. Is it okay? Now, when I plug it back into my son’s laptop, it still shows up as an “Unknown Device” with an error flag, and on mine it shows up as USB Serial Port (COM3), but the program still isn’t working on either computer. I’m sorry for the long description, but I would rather this be long, than unclear with a lot of back & forth explanations. Thank you so much for any help you can offer.

KiwiKay

KiwiKay: Since it crashed and I wasn't sure it was installed correctly, I then uninstalled it (installed with Revo Uninstaller so it shouldn't have left anything behind). I'm wondering about the wisdom of pulling out the device without a safe remove, which is not an option. Is it okay?

Yes, that's not a problem. Even when it is working properly you don't need to "eject" the device. Just unplug.

KiwiKay: Now, when I plug it back into my son's laptop, it still shows up as an "Unknown Device" with an error flag, and on mine it shows up as USB Serial Port (COM3), but the program still isn't working on either computer. I'm sorry for the long description, but I would rather this be long, than unclear with a lot of back & forth explanations. Thank you so much for any help you can offer.

When you have the IDE running, check settings under under the Tools menu. Two things you have to check are set correctly: The board type (Uno in your case), under Tools|Board, and the com port, under Tools|Serial port.

When the Uno is plugged in and recognised properly by Windows, the COM port (e..g., COM3 in your case) should sjhow in the list under Tools|Serial. However, other com ports that aren't related may appear in the list as well.... you need to know which port has been assigned to the Uno, and select that. So check wat your options are ther. If it says COM1, change to COM3, and see if that work.

Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble! There are actually two version of the IDE you can download, 1.0.5 (recommended as the more stable version), and a beta version 1.5.6. You might also try installing the alternative IDE if all else fails.