About 3 years ago Sparkfun had a sale on Arduino Minis, so I bought 6 of them (3 x 3.3 V @ 16 MHz and 3 x 5 V @16 MHz). I used two of them for separate projects (everything worked flawlessly) then stored the rest. Then last night I grabbed one of the 5 V and 3.3 V Minis and tried to upload the Blinking LED program to them. But I kept getting this error:
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding
I'm getting similar results on all of these computers: Mac OS X 10.10, Mac OS X 10.7, and Windows 7. I tested with default drivers and I tried installing fresh drivers based on the HardwareID's of the devices. I used both the newest version of Arduino IDE and a few older versions.
I've tried two different USB devices: Sparkfun Basic FTDI and a Generic USB to Serial PL2303 similar to this one. They both produce the same error, however the FTDI seems to be somewhat able to communicate since the RX & TX lights are flashing as well as the Arduino LED. With PL2303, the LED is lit constantly.
While searching last night, I found a few forums where people suggested things like hitting the reset button and selecting different Arduino boards in the IDE.