Is my Arduino dead?

I have an arduino Mega 2560 R3. I had it running under Windows 8, using the IDE v1.5.8.

It was working, accepting programs and running them. Then it stopped, or at least it stopped responding to the computer.

I can no longer upload programs to it. I've tried resetting it immediately before upload, I've tried resetting during upload. I've tried different USB cables. I've tried the v1.0.6 IDE. I tried a loopback test, which it fails, but then I don't know if it ever did pass that, and everything that I've seen on the loopback test are on the Uno, so is that even valid? I can't tell.
I get the following when trying to upload "blink":

avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_ReceiveMessage(): timeout
avrdude: stk500v2_getsync(): timeout communicating with programmer

I built a parallel programmer using the method here.. Arduino IDE is unable to burn a new bootloader, says:

avrdude: can't open device "giveio"

avrdude: failed to open parallel port "lpt1"

Error while burning bootloader.

I don't know if it just doesn't get the parallel port on that OS, or if it just can't do anything with it. (As markings on the board are poor for the programming interface, I am assuming that pin 1 is on the top left if the silkscreen layer is right side up, as it appears in the diagram for the parallel programmer.

I've ordered a USB programmer, but it won't be here for a bit, and I wanted to see if I could burn a replacement bootloader, and if that solved the problem.

Did the last sketch you uploaded use the serial port heavily?

If so, try a bit more with the reset before upload. What you want to do is time it to release the reset just before the upload actually goes to upload. This may take a few goes.

Upload a mostly black sketch.

What do you mean the markings on the board are poor? They aren't legible? Where did you purchase this board at?

There are a lot of counterfeit Arduino boards around which have that issue.

What I mean by "poor markings" is that it is not clearly indicated which pin of the programming interface is pin 1. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the silk screen, just that I needed to make an assumption as to how the pins go onto the interface.

I've ordered a replacement mega, but if this can be salvaged, it's not like I don't have other projects that I could use it for. (Actually, I ordered two from Newark element14, and another off of eBay which I kind of expect to be a knock-off, but when it comes it will have a spare set of the other electronics that go with the project.)

The sketch that the board was running when it went AWOL is the "Marlin" firmware for use with the RAMPS 1.4 board used to control a 3D printer. It does use the serial port to accept commands from the PC and send them to the appropriate motors, as well as to provide the PC feedback as to the temperature of the 3D printer's hot end and print bed. The printer in question is a DIY kit, recently built, and I was attempting to calibrate it and get it set up when it stopped obeying commands, and giving feedback as to the temperatures of things. It's the RAMPS board and stepper motor drivers that I bought the eBay kit for, since the whole thing costs about what a couple of spare motor drivers cost from a more local supplier -- and I'm 99.99% sure that they're just re-selling the same Chinese ones that I'll get off of eBay. The board which is dead was purchased as a part of a DIY 3D printer kit from a web shop. I can't speak much as to the reputation of the shop, but I can say that their skills at putting together a kit really blow chunks.

I don't know what a "mostly black" sketch would be. I kind of figured that "blink" would be as good a test as any, as it's simple, small and should run on any and all Arduino (and compatible for that matter) boards.

I've also ordered a USB programmer, but that'll take a while to get here. Newark is really fast for shipping, but of course doesn't have a programmer for the Arduino. (Though they do have DB25 connectors, pin headers, and metal film resistors which I can use to take another stab at a parallel programmer, so I will try that. I scavenged the parts for my first attempt, so it's kind of ugly.)

A completely blank sketch looks like this:

void setup() { }

Void loop() {}

Did you try something like that?

Ah blank, not black.

No I have not tried it, but I don't expect different results. I'll check again tonight after work. I strongly suspect the same results though.

Maybe the firmware in the 16U2 got corrupted. I had that happen on my UNO.
I had to enable DFU mode on the chip and used flip (Smart | Connected | Secure | Microchip Technology)
to reload it

Conclusion:

Yeah, the arduino is dead. Why is still a mystery. I hope it was just a chance weak component, and not something that I'm doing, or else the one I bought as a replacement will soon follow. I've gone over all of the connections to everything to be sure that I haven't done anything wrong, cross connected or otherwise, and it all seems good. Can't find anything wrong, except the mega. What appears to have failed is communication, so it's PROBABLY trying to run the software that I last installed to it, but since that has no way of talking to anything outside of the board, I may never know.

I bought my replacements from Newark (I bought 2, since I have another project that I'd like to try with it.)

There do seem to be some cosmetic differences between the one that I had and the new ones. I guess this means that the one I had was a knock-off? It would seem fairly bold if so.

On the old one:
"Mega" text block is solid white with blue text.
There is no "MADE IN ITALY" above the USB port, but it says "ARDUINO.CC" and "MADE IN ITALY" to the top left of the processor.
The blue colour is somewhat darker

On the new ones:
"Mega" text block is dotted outline white, white text.
"MADE IN ITALY" above USB port
"ARDUINO.CC" rotated 90 degrees left of processor, right next to RX/TX lights
Blue colour a shade towards cyan.

Actually, the old one looks like the one on the adafruit page. I guess there were some different R3 boards then.

SupraGuy:
Conclusion:

Yeah, the arduino is dead. Why is still a mystery. I hope it was just a chance weak component, and not something that I'm doing, or else the one I bought as a replacement will soon follow. I've gone over all of the connections to everything to be sure that I haven't done anything wrong, cross connected or otherwise, and it all seems good. Can't find anything wrong, except the mega. What appears to have failed is communication, so it's PROBABLY trying to run the software that I last installed to it, but since that has no way of talking to anything outside of the board, I may never know.

I bought my replacements from Newark (I bought 2, since I have another project that I'd like to try with it.)

There do seem to be some cosmetic differences between the one that I had and the new ones. I guess this means that the one I had was a knock-off? It would seem fairly bold if so.

On the old one:
"Mega" text block is solid white with blue text.
There is no "MADE IN ITALY" above the USB port, but it says "ARDUINO.CC" and "MADE IN ITALY" to the top left of the processor.
The blue colour is somewhat darker

On the new ones:
"Mega" text block is dotted outline white, white text.
"MADE IN ITALY" above USB port
"ARDUINO.CC" rotated 90 degrees left of processor, right next to RX/TX lights
Blue colour a shade towards cyan.

Actually, the old one looks like the one on the adafruit page. I guess there were some different R3 boards then.

Did you try reflashing the 16U2?