Failing to upload sketches to Arduino Mega clone

Hi,
I bought an Arduino Mega 2560 clone on eBay.
I connected it to my 64 Bit Ubuntu computer, fired up the Arduino 1.0.1 environment, and tried uploading a sketch. It failed to upload, with the error message “stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout”.
I then booted to Windows 7 (64 bits), installed the environment and the driver and again tried uploading a sketch. This time, the error I got was: “avrdude initialization failed rc=-1”.
Next I installed the environment on an older computer, running Windows XP (32 bits). This time, the error I get is “avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout”.

I conducted the loopback test, and it was successful.

The board has a blue LED that’s lit the whole time it’s on; and LED marked “L” that is never on (Not even when the reset button is pressed); the RX LED that’s lit very briefly when sending sketches; and the TX LED that does not blink when sending sketches, but did blink briefly alongside the RX LED during the Loopback test.

I would really want to get this board to run under Linux, but I’d be willing to settle with getting it to work on any of the above systems.

Please help,
-Ethan

A quick test in windows can be to test my mod: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,118440.0.html

If does not work, then you should try to put the arduino in DFU mode and test if the 8u2 is alive and responding.

There are some cases in the forum where for some reasons everything seems right, but the arduino does not work, specially with 2560 clones. (I tried to debug one via remote desktop without success)

How are you trying to upload the sketch ?

My Arduino Mega 256 ( as far as I know, a genuine one ), works fine using USB connection to upload sketches, but when I try uploading using the serial connection and manual reset, I am getting errors and misfunctionality very similar to what you describe.

OK so I could not get my recently acquired enhanced Pro Mini to communicate with the computer, so I try some experimental tests with my Mega2560 which I know works.

I have a USB-to-serial device which I know works for serial data communications between the Mega2560 and the computer and also works for my serial GPS module. But I use the USB connection, not the serial connection, for programming the Mega2560.

So I connect the Mega2560 to the computer using the USB-serial device, and connect the 5V, Gnd, RX and TX. And then I try to upload another sketch from the Arduino 1.0.1 IDE to the Mega2560, using the serial connection, and reset the arduino using the reset button, just when the IDE is trying to upload the sketch. Is this supposed to work ? Tried this a bunch of times and had no success.

avrdude: Version 5.11, compiled on Sep 2 2011 at 19:38:36 Copyright (c) 2000-2005 Brian Dean, http://www.bdmicro.com/ Copyright (c) 2007-2009 Joerg Wunsch

System wide configuration file is "C:\Users\User\Java\Arduino\arduino-1.0.1\hardware/tools/avr/etc/avrdude.conf"

Using Port : \.\COM8 Using Programmer : arduino Overriding Baud Rate : 57600 avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: Send: 0 [30] [20] avrdude: Recv: avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00

Tried this a whole bunch of times, it didn't do exactly the same thing every time. Several times I see a whole big table of information about the size of the memory, the eprom, some other stuff, I don't know where this information was coming from, is the arduino uploading this to the IDE ?