Newbie is stuck -Java.Lang.NullPointerException


I'm a novice, so I'll appreciate any help!

Trying to hook an Arduino Mega board to a Windows XP (SP3) computer through USB.

First program: Blink

Arduino Sketch version 0018 Using FDDI USB connection on COM11. Correctly selected Arduino Mega on Board menu Correctly selected COM11 on Port menu

This error happens: Java.lang.nullpointerException at 7)

and then a lot of other java errors. I'm too inexperienced to figure out how to copy/paste all the errors from Sketch. (

Other errors include: Exceptin in thread "AWT-EventQueue-0" java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException:52

Nothing gets uploaded.

About a year ago, I used something called AVRDude when trying to get a Pololu robot to work. Perhaps this is some leftover code conflict? If so, is there any way for both programs to coexist on my computer?

Thanks to all, -Cliff

Still have same problem.

I have removed all files from the old Pololu AVR installation, and removed all files with AVRDude in their titles. Still have the same errors. Nothing uploads.

Is AVRDude used for a normal (novice-level, introductory) Arduino environment?

Still no luck. Very frustrating.

The target board is a brand-new ATMega board.

I see something about having to burn a bootloader. As a novice, this seems mysterious.

I clicked on "Burn Bootloader". And then "AVR ISP". Then got these errors: avrdude: stk500_getsnch(): not in synch: resp 0x00 avrdude: stk500_disable() protocol error expect 0x4 resp 0x51

More mystery.

Can anyone help? Am I doing anything right???

Continued Mystery:

According to the Arduina Mega documentation, "The ATmega1280 on the Arduino Mega comes preburned with a bootloader that allows you to upload new code to it without the use of an external hardware programmer"

So I'm guessing that I do not need to burn a bootloader onto this.

Can anyone comment on my assumption?

When I open the "SERIAL MONITOR TOOL" and type gibberish into the "Send" window, the little green RX LED blinks on the Arduino Mega board. So apparently, there is communication between my windows machine and the arduino.

But I still get the same original error message when I try to upload the unmodified BLINK program: java.lang.nullpointerexception at followed by a lot more bumpf that I can't type. And the little green RX led does not blink when I try to upload this program, suggesting that nothing is being uploaded to the Arduina mega board.

Is this the normal frustration for using an Arduino project?

Well I solved the problem:

The preferences file had upload.using=bootloader I changed it to upload.using=avrispv2

and now things work. Easy? Yes. Obvious? Yes, now that I've spent several hours on it. Sigh...

Perhaps a more experienced forum member can edit the Arduino Troubleshooting page to include under the "Why I can't upload my programs to the Arduino board?" ... * If you see strange Java Null Pointer exceptions, try erasing your preferences file and restoring the Arduino software.

Warm cheers to all, -Cliff