Programming Arduno via serial and how to enable bootload mode

Right now I can't find my USB type B cable so I was wondering is it possible to use a USB serial cable and connect the white and green wires to TX (pin 1) and RX (pin 0) respectively? Also, do I need to put the Arduino in bootload mode to accept a new sketch upload?

is it possible to use a USB serial cable

Is it an RS232 serial cable or a TTL serial cable?

If TTL then yes, don’t forget to connect the ground.

do I need to put the Arduino in bootload mode to accept a new sketch upload?

Yes.

You hold down the reset button and when it says “loading” in the IDE window you release the reset button.

No you can't do that with a USB cable.

Mark

It's a TTL USB cable.

Am I supposed to press and hold the reset button while the code is compiling? Is there a way to make it pre-compile so I don't have to sit there waiting for the moment? Also, when you say 'loading', do you mean 'uploading'? It said uploading but I didn't see it say loading.

I get error avrdude: ser_open(): can't open device "\.\COM5": Access is denied.

I originally didn't have ground connected. Hopefully that didn't break anything. TX and RX LEDs don't light up at all. The Com5 setting is correct.

Edit: I disconnected and reconnected power and now it's uploading, according to the IDE, but the TX and RX lights on the Arduino aren't flashing.

do you mean 'uploading'?

Yes sorry.
When you see it try counting "1 and 2 and 3" and then release. It takes bit of practice.

If your lead has a DTR line then connecting it to the Arduino reset through a 0.1uF cap will restore the auto reset circuit.

Thanks. I'll have to look up what you mean about auto-reset.

It just fnished uploading and said there was an error but gave no information about what that error was. Like I say, the RX and TX LEDs weren't flashing. Are they meant to?

I pasted the error output at pastebin because it was too big to put here: http://pastebin.com/nvD3FhJu

Edit: My cable has CTS and RTS wires. Are either of those the same as DTR? I'm thinking maybe not.

Like I say, the RX and TX LEDs weren't flashing. Are they meant to?

No they are controlled by the USB driver in your computer.

My cable has CTS and RTS wires. Are either of those the same as DTR

No. You can tell because the letters are different.

Okay, thanks. Unfortunately it isn't working so I'm going to have to wait until I can use a USB tybe B cable. Thanks again.