Death and rebirth of the Arduboy

I had a fun evening yesterday thinking I had broken my Arduboy. It is fixed now but I thought the info might help someone else in the same situation.

Not really sure… I was uploading things often and think maybe I started an upload when it was already doing one? Is that even possible? Perhaps I inadvertently turned it off while it was uploading. I am not sure what really happened.

Nothing on the screen. The light on the left of the screen cycled through various colours when turned on, often staying on one colour for several seconds/minutes. Various beeps and boops, clicking or buzzing from the unit. The computer couldn’t detect or write to the board. The little lights at the bottom by the plug would show as red or red and yellow when connected to the computer, sometimes these would be extremely dim and/or flickery.

I tried many things, different computers, different cables restarting the computer and the Arduboy, checking the IDE settings and libraries. I also attempted to reset the Arduboy several times.

I did get the reset to work in the end with the following method:

  • Connected Arduboy to PC and turned on
  • Pressed reset
  • Started compile/upload
  • Pressed reset again
  • Successful upload to Ardubo
  • Fixed!

It is possible to corrupt the upload if it is interrupted part way, and the reset button is the way to fix it!

Nice work and excellent write up!


I have bricked two of mine. When I turn them on nothing happens - no lights, no LEDs, nothing. Pressing reset does nothing either.

Hi @filmote, did you try uploading a program to the Arduboy within a few seconds of pressing the reset button? My (limited) understanding is that the reset button prepares the Arduboy to receive a new upload rather than resetting anything itself.

How long have they been bricked for? They might need to charge for a while before resetting if they have been dead for some time.

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No … they won’t even start so are not recognised by the computer. They are newly bricked tonight so I was hoping the battery would go flat overnight and I can try again.


When you say “bricked” that implies it was rendered inoperable as the result of flashing. It would be helpful to know the details of what was being attempted between the times it was functioning and not-functioning.

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My one wasn’t recognised by the computer either. The reset, upload, reset combo I described in my resolution allowed the computer to upload to the Arduboy even though it wasn’t detecting it normally. I usually had lights on my Arduboy though. Sometimes it didn’t have lights.

Do you recall what happened to each Arduboy before they stopped working normally?

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