SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

By djmadison121
Problem: I cannot upload the Blink sketch to the Sparkfun SAMD21 on the Sparkfun Wireless Joystick

I recently purchased the Sparkfun Wireless Joystick, which uses the Sparkfun SAMD21 Microcontroller. Using the hookup guides, everything went smoothly until I wanted to have my Windows 7 computer recognize the device.

When I plug in the device, it shows 2 identical SparkFun SAMD21 entries in the Other Devices category in Device Manager. I downloaded the Device Driver from the hookup guide (zip file named SparkFun-SAMD21-Driver-111115). Two files existed in this zip file, I placed them into a similarly named directory.

I selected the first SparkFun SAMD21 entry in the Other Devices category and attempted to install the driver via Update Driver and navigating to the folder I created with the 2 driver files. WIndows immediately returned a message saying it could not find the driver software. I then selected the second SparkFun SAMD21 entry in the list and repeated my steps. The device installed correctly and now shows up in my Ports list in Device Manager as Sparkfun SAMD21 Breakout (COM7). The first entry in the Other Devices list is still there and no driver is present.

After this was completed, I selected the SparkFun SAMD21 Dev Breakout board in the Arduino IDE, and also the COM7 port (only one in the list) noted above.

When I try to upload the Blink sketch and the following message appears: No device found on COM7

I have performed various combinations of uninstalling and re-installing with no luck (including just uninstalling the one listed under Other Devices), always ending in the same results.

Any help would be appreciated!
By sqaltester
I am having exactly the same issue (i.e. code compiles but COM port error when uploading) with the Sparkfun Wireless Joystick, even though the SAMD board appears in the Device Manager (on the appropriate COM port) with the appropriate driver installed correctly. Has anyone found a workaround/solution to this?
By slothsd
Did any find a solution? Im on windows 7. Driver installed only on one of the SAMD21 listed under other devices in device manager. Still have a SparkFun SAMD21 in Other devices. The driver will not install on this one. Get "bossac.exe: extra arguments" found when trying to use the com port that is in the device manager with Arduio IDE version 1.8.7. I have tried pressing the reset button twice to put in to bootloader mode but I can't get the yellow light to turn on. This is for the Sparkfun SAMD21 Mini.
By mmarchetti
I'm having the same issue, also on Windows 7.

Install the driver - now have a COM port, but still an see a "Sparkfun SAMD21" under Other Devices in device manager.

Can't upload to the board, the uploader gives "bossac.exe: extra arguments found" error.

Turn on verbose upload messages in Arduino preferences, remove "true" from "-U" option on the command line so it becomes:
Code: Select all
C:\Users\Mike\AppData\Local\Arduino15\packages\arduino\tools\bossac\1.8.0-48-gb176eee/bossac.exe -i
 --port=COM9 -U -i -e -w -v  -R C:\Users\Mike\AppData\Local\Temp\arduino_build_177650/sketch.bin
and it fails like this:
Code: Select all
Set binary mode
Send auto-baud
Set binary mode
No device found on COM9
I'm a bit concerned that this has been a known issue for many months and there is no reply from SFE? This looked like the best SAMD Arduino deal out there, but right now I'm not able to use it at all.
By awootton
I'm having this problem too. I followed the driver installation procedure but got an error.

The folder you specified doesn't contain a compatible software driver for your device. If the folder contains a driver, make sure it is designed to work with Windows for x64-based systems

Does this mean the driver is only 32 bit? If so what to do?

Thanks in advance.
I have been using the SAMD21 mini for a couple of years and while they have been touchy to program at times I've been pretty happy with them. Today something changed and I am suffering the fate of those here in this thread. I just updated my my board definitions to the latest (Arduino SAMD 1.6.20 and Sparkfun SAMD to 1.5.4) and am concerned that there is something about the latest definitions that are "soft bricking" my Minis. OS is Windows 7 with latest patches applied as of this writing.

What I am seeing is that I attach a brand new out of the package SAMD21 Mini, hit upload, the upload fails, and the mini is stuck with a blue pulsing LED at 0.5 Hz. I can no longer upload a sketch or get it into bootloader mode by double tapping reset. I did this to two new minis, then downgraded the board definitions to Arduino SAMD 1.6.19 and Sparkfun SAMD to 1.5.3 and hosed a third one. I'm stuck now because I don't want to keep bricking these. I want to stress that I'm using a PC that has programmed these boards hundreds of times and the only things that changed from the last successful program attempt maybe 6 months ago were the board definitions and windows updates were applied.

The common thread here I think is the blue pulsing LED (that's different than the "Blink" that runs when you plug in a new SAMD21 breakout/mini.) I'm guessing that everyone who really can't get this to work (unlike 8thscale who just didn't have drivers installed) has a board with the pulsing blue LED. The bottom line is that if you have a board in this state you can't program it via the bootloader because it will never get into the bootloader.

This is not a driver issue. Yes, you see an entry under "Other devices" but that's not the bootloader interface. I don't know what it is but as awootton discovered that device is not listed in the sparkfun.ini so windows reports it can't find a driver for it. Forcing it but adding the hardware id will not solve the problem either. The fact is that the bootloader isn't running and if it isn't running you can't program it via the bootloader. I'm guessing nothing short of re-flashing the bootloader will fix this?

So why is this happening? Is this an issue with the board definitions? Something changed with bossac?

I have a pile of these at home along with a Windows 10 laptop where my Arduino setup (hopefully) hasn't been updated in 6 months or so and I will try programming one of them with that. If successful I'll get versions of everything and try to reproduce on Windows 7. Anyone have anything to add regarding their setup?
By hank_scorpio
At home, on a Windows 10 machine, I can program the devices that seemed to be borked. Once I realized that I googled a bit and landed on this:

Pretty much exactly what I am seeing though I didn't think my minis were stuck in bootloader mode because the blue LED is pulsing and the yellow RX led is not illuminated like it is when you double tap reset. What's curious though is this same PC has historically programmed these without issue. Now it cannot. Another Windows 7 PC I have can program non-borked boards but it cannot program the borked ones. As an aside, reflashing the bootloader doesn't seem to fix this.

So the bottom line is that certain combinations of Windows 7, PC hardware, and OS updates cannot program these boards and will leave them stuck in a mode where they have to be programmed on a Windows 10 (or I am assuming Linux or Mac) machine. I wish I would have stumbled on that post earlier....