Is my arduino dead ? can't upload sketches

Hi everyone,

I am in a bit of panic here, during some quite cramped testing, i didn't notice a screw that had rolled right bellow the 0 ,1 and 2 digital port of the arduino , and now i just can't transfer a program to it . :o -it is powered normally , (the testing led is still beeing lit as it was by the last program) -when first plugged in into the usb port : the rx and tx flash a few times :seems ok -at first the arduino ide recognizes the arduino's correct port, but as soon as i try to upload: wham ! port not there anymore and i get an "error opening serial port" error -during this upload attempts the tx and rx flash very fast, then just tx (stays lit on for a few secs) and then nothing

Any help at all , whether this is repairable or not, or if i can circumvent it (or , if as i fear, the serial port/chip or the whole arduino is simply dead) would be very appreciated!

Thanks in advance !

  • If you have a programmer, can you upload using that? If so, you might be able to upload some test programs ...

  • Does you arduino use a DIP atmega 168? If so, do you have a local source for 168's. If so, just replace the chip.

Thanks for the reply GorillaCoder!

-unfortunately, no i haven't got a programmer .. -nope, it is a atmega 368

but if the atmega itself was fried, would the leds i set on high in my last program still work as they should?

Any other suggestions on whether the board is still salvageable ?

Make sure you selected the serial port correctly in Arduino IDE, by identifying it in Device Manager > Ports. If this is ok, the "error opening serial port" may indicate problems with the FTDI chip. Maybe the screw created a short circuit which fried the FTDI chip. (In this case, you can either replace it (buy a new one and solder it), or use an FTDI cable/breakout board (from adafruit, sparkfun etc) to connect directly to pins Rx/Tx pins of atmega 328).

thanks florinc, i rechecked that, but alas it is as i feared, the ftdi chip is most likely fried... I orderer an ftdi breakout board, and an additional arduino ... and will be more carefull next time!

You might also want to do as LadyAda suggests and put little rubber feet on the bottom of your Arduino to keep it off the table.

You might also want to do as LadyAda suggests and put little rubber feet on the bottom of your Arduino to keep it off the table.

What I did is hand screw in 4 #6 nylon machine screws into the bottom of the board. This keeps it up off any surface and gives it a little support, looks cool also ;)


BroHogan: unfortunatly i DID have those rubber feet installed at the bottom, but what can i say , it was a big screw ..(and a big screw up by me:)

retrolefty: well , that would be a VERY good solution, i think i will look around for nylon screws this week end :) thanks for the idea