I have an ATmega328P that seems to be fried. It was in an Arduino board (Freakduino-chibi, specifically) and working when it suddenly stopped responding at all.

Investigation showed that the fault followed the chip from board to board.

Using a BusPirate, I tried to access the chip via avrdude and the ICSP header on the Arduino. No dice: avrdude failed to initialize the chip. Using the same board and a different 328P, avrdude was successful.

Any thoughts on how to possibly resurrect the broken chip?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ have you tried banging it firmly on the side? \$\endgroup\$
    – vicatcu
    Dec 8, 2010 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to set fuses in the Arduino environment? It doesn't look like the Freakduino-chibi has an external oscillator, which would be a problem if the ext. osc. fuses are set. Just put a 1MHz clock on the XTAL pin. \$\endgroup\$
    – tyblu
    Dec 9, 2010 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Banging it had no effect. :-( \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2010 at 8:14

3 Answers 3


If you "fried" it by burning your fuses incorrectly, then you just need some high voltage programmer like original STK500 or similar. Otherwise buy the new AVR MEGA chip and simply replace the bad one. If you are lucky then nothing else was burnt.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Andreja: Are you sure the AVRISP mkII can do HVSP? The documentation says nothing about it and I don't see any sort of HV source on the one sitting at my desk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick T
    Dec 8, 2010 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick T I'll do some more research and look for sources on that. I remember that couple years ago when I was researching AVR devices, I found info about mkII ISP doing high voltage programming, but I didn't savve the link. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Dec 8, 2010 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick T It turns out that I confused AVRISP for some other programmer. I apologize for spreading misinformation. I did find couple of other programmers which do support HV like this or this. \$\endgroup\$
    – AndrejaKo
    Dec 8, 2010 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. I'll see if I can cobble together something that will do the HV programming and see if I can clear the fuses. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2010 at 8:48

The HV Rescue Shield 2.x is a high voltage parallel mode fuse programmer for Atmel AVR microcontrollers.

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If that doesn't fix it...

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, it was a bit funny once. Don't kill it. \$\endgroup\$
    – stevenvh
    Dec 8, 2010 at 8:20

It's either dead or needs fuses resetting as other have said.

If you have access to an electron microscope and some impossibly thin wires or a very precise and glitchy power supply, other options are available:



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