I have developed and produced a custom board with a ATmega 2560 on it and a FT232RL for USB communication. I want to burn an Arduino bootloader onto the board without using an external Arduino as ISP. I can't seem to figure out how. When I just click "burn bootloader" from the arduino software it says:

avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer not responding

What am I doing wrong and how can I correctly burn the bootloader?

1 Answer 1


To burn a bootloader you have to use some external device. That can either be another Arduino or a hardware programmer, like an USBASP or something similar.

You can't just magic the bootloader on there through the USB and a dose of wishful thinking. To use the USB you first have to have the bootloader on there.

  • Okay, thanks for your quick reply. Is there any way I can use other pins than the MOSI and SCK? I don't have those available in the design, the MISO, Reset, GND an VCC are available.
    – nicolaasb
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 13:36
  • No. You have to program the chip through the pins that you program the chip through. If you didn't provide access to those pins in your design then your design is wrong. You will have to manually solder wires to those pins either direct to the chip or to somewhere that those pins are connected to.
    – Majenko
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 13:37

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