Need Help Installing USB Drivers


I recently purchased an Arduino Duemlanove from eBay. I downloaded the Arduino software and went to install the USB drivers and received an error 'The system can not find the specified file.'. Tried diffrent approaches etc. but no luck.

When I connect the Arduino board to the USB port the power LED illuminates as expected and a red LED located near the RX/TX LEDs flashes rapidly.

The platform I am trying to install the drivers on is Windows XP SP3.

I should let you know I am new to this and I could be overlooking something very obvious.

Frustrated, please help! :o



Unzip the download file before you do anything else, if you're trying to run it from within a windows 'zip folder' it will probably fail. It depends how your system is setup to handle zip files.

I did as you suggested before attempting to install the USB drivers. I should of been more clear. I can not stand when XP gives a super generalized error message. It would be easier if I knew what file it could not find. ARG! Sorry a big fan of DIY electronics and hacks and the Arduino was the holy grail for me, never had one. I only could read about what it could do on the net.

Any help is appreciated!

What I would do is firstly extract just the FTDI drivers from the Zip file into its own folder on your desktop. Then go into device manager and find the errant device (it should have a yellow exclamation mark at the side of it) and and right click 'Update Driver' and then point it at the driver folder on your desktop. It takes the Install script out of the equation.

USB driver is a very grandiose name for what amounts to a USB to serial convertor. Sometimes Linux is just too easy (The standard kernel has had FTDI drivers built in for years).

Ok I give, this is becomming frustrating. Same result as before. Would the flashing red LED on the Arduino board indicate anything ?

Did you have any indication of the USB device in Device Manager ?

Assuming its an Ebay knockoff, the RED Led is probably showing that the chip has been preprogrammed with Blink and it showing its working. My real Arduino's pin 13 LED is amber, the cheap knockoff's is red.

The knockoff does work exactly as a real one except for the LED colour.

Ok well that is a little more soothing. I am no novice when it comes to hardware installation. What pains me is Windows will not tell me what file it is missing. This should be as simple as plug-n-play. Not plug-n-curse! What is funny too is the USB drivers will repeatedly want to install. It would seem as though it is looping. I also checked VID and PID on the board and they match the driver inf files. I do appreciate your help. Any advice is appreciated!

Download the top driver file (Presently 2.06.00 dated 3rd November 2009) and point device manager at that.

No dice, I did notice though the devices are showing in device manager but are disabled. They are not flagged with an exclamation point or red 'X'.

Right click and enable ?

Could be your Windows is cooked and theres something screwy. Another computer and/or USB lead is an option if you have them available.

Something else you could try is a Linux Live Disk, boot it up into Linux and see if Linux recognises the board.

All Ubuntu versions are 'Live' which means they run off the CD and leave the existing operating system as is. Assuming you have a CD burner and a blank disk. Once its running its just a matter of running 'Terminal' and typing 'dmesg' and see if its found the board. It takes a possibly screwy windows out of the equation and proves the board/lead or not.

Very good suggestion. Sorry it is early in the morning still. I will dl the Linux distro and burn it. I will report back with my findings...

Ok I did not run the live distro. I used the super windows fix. Wiped the system clean and reinstalled windows. Do not worry unlike most all data dear to me was backed up. Windows will drive a sane man crazy at times and through experience it is sometimes easier to re-educate your machine than it is to trace down a glitch.

The arduino board USB drivers installed perfectly with the fresh install of Windows. The IDE began to behave itself also and I verified everything by writing a simple blinking program and uploaded it to the board. Needless to say when I realized the board was behaving like it should after I uploaded the test program I started thinking 'WORLD DOMINATION', LOL. No I thought this is truely cool concept and I started going through the possibilities of use with it in my head.

I would like to say thanks for all the help...


Wiped the system clean and reinstalled windows.

That usually cures 'em :slight_smile:

Funny enough it would have been simple to fix under Linux, gather that ?

Its pretty easy to get the drivers on under Linux, because they're already built in, the IDE has its share of problems, usually related to Java. I suggested the Live Linux because its a fairly simple, non destructive way of getting Windows out of the equation and establishing if your Arduino works. I doubt whether the IDE could be made to run from a Live system, but you could establish if the board was working. I run Linux full time (I figure I don't owe M$ anything) but maintain Windows systems for a living (well, until I was made redundant last week....). Each has their pros and cons, Windows is very good at getting bogged down with software (at least half of it uninvited ::) ), and some of it screwing something else is very common. Many people throw up their hands in horror at doing what you did, but it cured the problem did it not ? ;)

I'm having the same EXACT problem as Leo. I don't have time to reinstall Windows right now. Does anyone know if I can simply copy and paste the drivers into the windows system folder? If so, which files do I copy? There are a bunch in the drivers folder. And where do I copy them to exactly?

I got the drivers installed on my laptop so I know its my desktop that's the problem.

Since re-installing windows cured his problem, its very likely that its a registry setting or some 3rd party software that is screwing it up, copying driver files is very unlikely to achieve anything, particulalarly since his drivers were in but it wouldn’t let him enable them. Did you try the newest drivers from the website I mentioned in an earlier post ?

Yes I installed the most recent drivers and did everything mentioned earlier in the thread. I have Arduino working great on my laptop so I’m pretty sure it’s the registry, like you said.

Is there a way to locate problems like this in the registry? Otherwise I guess I’ll have to wait until I have time this summer to wipe my hard drive.

Thanks for the help.

You could try a registry cleaner, this ia reasonable free one I trust :

No guarantees, it could be legitimate software entries that are conflicting.

Another thing you could try is going through the installed software in 'Add remove programs' in Control Panel and ruthlessly remove everything you think you can live without. It will improve the performance of your PC if nothing else, whether it will cure your Arduino problem is another matter.

An adware/spyware/malware remover like Spybot S&D is another route you could try, again it will probably work wonders for your performance but it may not cure your problem.

The registry is a monster and finding a specific problem among its hundreds of thousands of entries is very much like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The registry is a monster and finding a specific problem among its hundreds of thousands of entries is very much like looking for a needle in a haystack.

That is the impression I had. Thanks for your suggestions. I am familiar with the software you mentioned so I'll give them a try. Frankly I think this topic was solved at "wipe Windows". ::)