My quite new Nano clone (ATmega328P + CH340G) suddenly stopped working. Plugging it in with USB did not light up the LED(s) nor did it get detected by my machine. I looked it up, and found some how-to's (such as this one: Repair Arduino Nano (no power on USB)), which suggested at least some diagnostics.
So I plugged the Nano in to a 5V breadboard power source using the Vin and GND pins, and the power LED lights up, but connecting via USB cable to my machine does not detect it.
So then I used some of the methods mentioned in the link, and used just a normal jumper cable (without soldering) to check if that could magically make it detectable by my machine. No luck. I tried bypassing the voltage regulator by "jumping" over it, and the power LED gets brighter, and "pin 13" LED flashes for just an instant. The same occurs if I "jump" the voltage regulator all the way to either end of what I am guessing is the "Schottky diode".
In all cases, still nothing in terms of being detected by my computer. The cable is fine because I tested with another nano clone, and it gets detected right away.
So, how do I properly diagnose what is going on here? Specifically how do I fix my poor board? How do I find which component is in need of replacing?
I found some online guides on how to have another Arduino board talk to this one over SoftwareSerial and found that I could get some data flowing through. However, the text was garbled, such that, for example if I was expecting it to say:
"Please enter some input"
It might read instead:
"Ulease XYZter some put"
Often with the same characters being garbled in the same way. I tested the Schottky diode the way it was suggested in the video (with some guessing as to the multimeter setting I had to use was, since I have a different model than the one in the video), and it seems the diode is fine. So at this point I am guessing it is the ch340g chip that is toasty, either that, or the ATmega chip itself, which I don't know, but that sounds less likely.
So, could it be that it is the CH340G chip, since I get no power over USB, and the TX/RX over serial is being interfered with? Is there anything else I can do to figure out if it is the CH340G that's damaged before I go about trying to replace it?