Possible hardware malfunction

Ok, super noob here and I need to troubleshoot a project on what I think is a Nano (can't find a name on it and I didn't install it).

I want to get into serial monitor mode (I think) so I can see which of the switches on my escape room are working and which ones are not. Unfortunately I have no idea what I am doing and it doesn’t appear that the nano is being picked up by the computer (but maybe it is since I only use an Arduino once or twice a year when I’m building something and outsource the coding.)

Possibly might be a bad USB cable (although it at least provides power) so I’ll replace that but any nudges in the right direction would be appreciated. Please just assume I am stupid.

You really need to know for sure what board that you have so that you can set the right board type in the Tools menu of the IDE.

Also you need to know to which serial port the board is connected. With the board unconnected to USB, open the IDE and go to the Tools menu. Put the cursor over the Port item and note the serial ports that are listed. Exit from the menu and plug the board into USB. Open the Tools menu again and look at the Ports. There should be a new port listed, that is the port to which the board is connected.

I was only getting COM 3 and COM 4 both unplugged and plugged in for nano and micro).

If the board has an on board USB to serial converter (FTDI) or a USB port it should show up when it is plugged in. A Pro Mini, for instance, will not show up cause it has no on board FTDI.

Post photos of the board top and bottom so we can help to ID it.

Then you may have a power only USB cable. Try a known good cable.

Thanks, I will update when I have the new cord and access to the site to take a photo.

You can check in Windows device manager what happens when you plug the board in.

I ended up switching out the cord and was able to access the board. From there I was able to figure out how to get into serial monitoring (at least kinda). From there I was able to track the value changes when I flipped the switches. I didn't really understand it because sometimes the value went up in the off position and sometimes the value went down in the off position. Either way, I was able to identify where the problem was and fix it. Thanks for the willingness to help!!

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