Reviving a Dead Arduino




Well I managed to kill my arduino. It no longer accepted uploads with the classic out of sync error. After asking on the arduino forum I was told I would need a high voltage programmer to rectify, so I decided just to buy a new chip.

I was a bit scared about doing this but it was really easy and thought I would share my experience. 

Step 1: Gathering the Parts

After having a look at the price of high voltage programmers, I decided it would be cheaper just to replace the chip on the arduino, and at least this way I knew I would have a working arduino.

I found the cheapest atmel 328p (the same as was coming out of my arduino, with the arduino bootloader preloaded on it) on ebay, buy it now from the UK so I would have it as quick as possible so I could continue with my arduino powered project (await future instructable ;) )
Total cost: £5.90 delivered next day

Step 2: Removing the Old Chip

This was surprisingly the easy part.

I gently wedged the bar under one edge of the chip edge, not the edge with the pins mind (I still plan on fixing this chip)

I wedged it then on the opposite side of the chip. Neither not enough to pull the chip off just to loosen it off uniformly.

The when both were loose I wedged the bar under it again and this time twisted to pop the chip up, then repeated again on the other side.

Now the chip is free to remove with your fingers.

Step 3: Inserting the New Chip

With a comparison of the new chip and the old chip I noticed the pins were not bent properly for the arduino.

I carefully pinched the pins together with my finger, not enough to match the same as the old pin but straight down so when I push the new chip into the board the board bent the pins into the correct place.

Step 4: Testing the New Chip

Now the chip was in place, I plugged it into the computer, fired up arduino and sent the blink program into it



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    15 Discussions

    This didn't solve my problem after all... well assuming the guy on ebay actually installed the arduino software... I think ether my board or my drivers are messed up. tho i wont know for sure for a while.

    1 reply

    you know, if you go to the right place (actually show up physically at their store) alot of times if your only getting one chip they'll give it to you for free!

    2 replies

    You can rewire your arduino up to write to its own chip to reprogram it The tutorial I followed was

    I tried it but I don't have net framework 2.0 and cannot get it. So I think all i can do is buy a new one. thanks for trying.

    Thats a shame, I know the latest (I believe) Arduino 0018 build has a burn bootloader via arduino, something I still need to do to see if I can salvage my chip would be interesting to see if it could be used for bit banging

    yeah it does have that but it doesn't work, unless it only works if you modded the chip for bit banging before hand. I might give that a try.

    i do that a lot but i just buy the chips form atmel and program them myself by bit-banging them or using a adafruit tinyusbisp both work well

    1 reply

    Think I am going to do that next, with being unable to bit bang my chip back to working order, I lost a little faith and just wanted my arduino back so I can carry on my project.