New ethernet shield appears bricked - noob

Hi guys, complete noob here, have done some looking around and couldn't seem to find anything similar to my problem or how to fix it.

Basically i recently purchased an arduino, arduino ethernet shield and 4 channel relay. for a school project involving automation. when i plug the the arduino into my pc, via provided usb cable, the power led comes on and the default flashing led starts.

however once the ethernet shield is attached and the device is again connected i get no led activation, as far as i am aware it seems completely dead.

now for some more information that i have no idea how to interpret;

  • if i have the arduino plugged in, and running the default flashing led, then if i insert only digital pins 0-13 of the ethernet shield while the arduino is on (the ethernet shield is tilted/angled such that only pins 1 through 13 are connected) then i get the LED closest to 'AREF' turning on, on the ethernet shield while all lights remain on the arduino (no idea how to interpret this... seems like a better outcome than completely dead?)

  • Under conditions directly above if any of the 'ICSP' pins touch their female counter parts on the shield - all led's turn off and the 'usb eject' noise on my pc can be heard. (appears bricked... to me atleast)

  • however if only the ICSP pins are connected (shield reversed such that the ICSP pins can be connected without any other pins being in contact) then the default LED blinking on the arduino stops but the power led on the arduino remains.

Since i really have no idea what i'm doing i understand if maybe some ignorant action similar to my strange troubleshooting above is responsible for the problem. I assume either the shield or arduino is broken but i do not know which... any help would be appreciated

You are trying to do too much at once

Since i really have no idea what i'm doing

Check if the Arduino works on it's own with Blink uploaded. If that works, then the Arduino is probably OK.
It's a very bad idea to deliberately not connect all the pins of a shield as you may introduce all sorts of voltages where they shouldn't be. Launching into Ethernet boards and relays without doing a lot groundwork is bad for boards and pockets - relays in particular can play havoc with outputs without proper protection.

all led's turn off and the 'usb eject' noise on my pc can be heard

The chances are you are pulling too much current from the USB port which is complaining - you may have to use an external PSU. If you carry on willy-nilly, you will end up messing up the PC as well.
The ethernet shield and Uno (I presume) - genuine boards, not Ebay? - are a well-tried combination. Look at the official tutorials, don't rush.
Some boards are very forgiving of mistakes, but not many retailers will give you your money back if there is the slightest evidence of misuse.

the power led comes on and the default flashing led starts.

You have looked at the Ethernet library?? Haven't you?

The arduino (yes uno) does run the led blink and seems normal (i don’t have to upload blink do i, i thought it came pre-loaded on an uno), both are just off ebay which is why i jumped straight to the conclusion one is faulty.

All of the information i gave came by accident really, i knew the arduino worked without the shield so after hours of trying to get them both to power up when joined i eventually unplugged the shield while the uno was connected via usb - a flashing light on the shield was seen and the rest just sort of came after that.

I thought it might be the USB failing, so i plugged the uno (with shield attached) via usb into a wall socket USB connector.

tigger:
You have looked at the Ethernet library?? Haven’t you?

briefly, i don’t know what you mean by this? that the coding will be complex?

If you are just starting out, do yourself a favour and get the genuine branded Arduino Uno etc. and either the Arduino Ethernet shield or the single board that has the correct Ethernet chip (Whiznet). If you get unknown stuff from Ebay etc., you don’t know what you are getting or even if it will work. This could cost you hours of frustration.

(i don’t have to upload blink do i, i thought it came pre-loaded on an uno)

No, you have to load the Blink sketch which comes with the Arduino IDE distribution - you do have that, don’t you? A fresh factory board, untouched has a default LED flashing routine on it just to show that it’s working, but it’s not Blink.
You really have to start with the basics, go through the examples, and down the list you will find Ethernet example sketches. If you open one up, you will see a reference to somethlike #include <Ethernet.h> - this is the Ethernet library - this is code that makes it a lot easier

briefly, i don’t know what you mean by this? that the coding will be complex?

It will get you started, but if you haven’t got Blink up and running, you are going to find Ethernet a challenge to say the least.
Arduinos are pretty tough and forgiving, but dont plug anything until you are really confident - the first extra bit of kit to get is a digital multimeter (DMM) so that you can see that voltages are correct. Not all wall PSU’s are the same - Arduino needs a centre positive - I found one the other day with centre negative.
If this helps, you could give a me a Karma point