I followed this tutorial a couple of times and when I clicked on bootloader I get this error:

avrdude: Device signature = 0x000000

To see the configuration file click here.

  1. Why do I get this error (Arduino can't communicate with chip, problem with software)?
  2. How can I fix it?
  3. Is something in the tutorial incorrect?

Keep in mind I use an Arduino Uno Rev. 3 and ATmega328P


There is one part of the tutorial that is incorrect - or rather missing.

When you open the serial port the Arduino resets. That includes when the serial port is opened by avrdude.

You need to prevent that from happening, so that the ArduinoISP sketch receives the serial data, not the Arduino's bootloader.

There's a number of ways of doing that:

  • Add a 10uF or greater capacitor between RESET and GND on the Arduino
  • Add a small (say 100R) resistor between RESET and 5V on the Arduino
  • Cut the RESET-EN trace on the underside of the Arduino

Of those my preferred method is the first: add a 10uF or greater capacitor between RESET and GND on the Arduino.


Now that you have provided photographs of your actual setup I can see that the ground wire between your Arduino and the breadboard is actually plugged into the VIN pin of the Arduino, not GND.

  • It already has a 10k resistor between 5V and pin 1 (on the chip) – manarinian Jun 6 at 16:15
  • So? That has absolutely nothing to do with the RESET pin of the Arduino. – Majenko Jun 6 at 16:16
  • OK! Thanks I will try again with the resistor/capacitor! – manarinian Jun 6 at 16:22
  • I still get the same error: avrdude: Device signature = 0xffffff (probably .avr8x_mega) avrdude: Yikes! Invalid device signature. Double check connections and try again, or use -F to override this check. – manarinian Jun 6 at 16:42
  • And you did connect the capacitor to the Arduino's RESET pin, didn't you? Not the signal that goes to the RESET pin of your target ATmega? – Majenko Jun 6 at 16:46

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