When I try to burn a bootloader to my atmega328 the arduino IDE gives me an error:

avrdude: usbdev_open(): did not find any USB device "usb"

When I burn a program to my avr chip i change the port to com3 and it works just fine, but I only know how to burn the bootloader via the arduino IDE and do not know how to change the avrdude preferences to use com3 instead of "usb". Any help on how to do that?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Enable verbose output in the IDE preferrences and search for the arvdude command and which flags it has. What exact command do you issue that throws this error? \$\endgroup\$
    – jippie
    Feb 18, 2014 at 5:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You need to select the com-port. Also, you cannot burn a bootloader without a dedicated programmer. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2014 at 8:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ive got the same message, when my FTDI chip was smoked. At this time, many of the Arduino (interface) software error codes are somewhat generic. In another case, when I got the same error, I had forgot to tie pin1, (RESET) high, and i got the exact same error. So you might re-check your connections. Alternatively, you can opt for verbose mode output, or try using AVRDUDE which (IMHO) has superior error reporting messages. \$\endgroup\$
    – j0h
    Jan 15, 2015 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


When I burn a program to my [AVR] chip [I] change the port to [COM3] and it works just fine

This implies you are using the usual USB cable to load software onto an Arduino board from the Arduino IDE.

When I try to burn a bootloader to my [ATmega328,] the [Arduino] IDE gives me an error

http://arduino.cc/en/Hacking/Bootloader says

To burn the bootloader, you'll need to buy an AVR-ISP (in-system programmer), USBtinyISP or build a ParallelProgrammer. The programmer should be connected to the ICSP pins (the 2 by 3 pin header)

Sparkfun have an excellent tutorial - it is well worth reading carefully all the way through.

Some comments on configuring the Arduino IDE

The Arduino IDE is heavily criticised by professional engineers and developers because it is very simplified and lacks a great many features that those people expect to find in their tools. It is also criticized for encouraging bad programming habits. However it is aimed at beginners and many people think it does a good job of making it easy to get started.

In the "Tools" menu of the IDE you find "Board" and "Programmer". Typically the definition of the board contains a definition of what programmer is to be used. For example in my IDE I have an entry something like "ATtiny85 (with Arduino as ISP)" which means the IDE expects you to be using a separate Arduino board as a programmer.

enter image description here
From http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/arduino-attiny

However, even after selecting this, you can go to the "Programmer" submenu and select a different programmer to be used to program the target "board". This works well for loading programs (sketches) onto any AVR.

I haven't burned a bootloader but I imagine this is how you select a programmer for boards that are normally programmed via the USB/serial connection.


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