I'm new to the Arduino world so please bear with me. I'm not sure whether the ATmega328 bootloader needs to be burned. What I'm reading is all that needs to be done is plug the board into the computer by USB cable. Then burning the 328 is also mentioned. I appreciate any help.
If you bought an Arduino Uno the bootloader comes pre-programmed.
"The ATmega328 on the Uno comes preprogrammed with a bootloader that allows you to upload new code to it without the use of an external hardware programmer. It communicates using the original STK500 protocol (reference, C header files)." - from the oficial page.
Might want to take a look at this discussion if you're confused.
You only ever need to burn a bootloader if:
- You are building your own "breadboard" Arduino
- You have somehow erased the bootloader that is on your Arduino
- You have replaced the original chip on the Arduino
The chip that came already inserted into the Arduino board already has the bootloader installed into it.
It depends. If you bought the arduino from most places, it will be already be burned. However, some less reputable sources might not burn it. If the LED on pin 13 blinks when you power on the arduino, that means the bootloader is installed.