Pocket AVR Programmer Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Jimb0
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Installing Drivers

Driver installation is required on Windows machines only. If you’re using Mac or Linux, feel free to click over to the next section. Otherwise, follow along below as we overview the installation process.

There are two sets of instruction for driver installation on this page. The first is the easiest, quickest method, and should work for most everyone. The second installation process is only required if the first one fails – it takes a more manual approach to the driver installation.

Install the Drivers Automatically with Zadig

To begin, plug the AVR Pocket Programmer into your computer. Upon initially connecting the board, Windows will try to automatically install the drivers. Some computers may be lucky, but most will turn up with a message notifying you that the driver install failed.

Click the link below to download the drivers:

Download the Zadig USBtiny Drivers (ZIP)

Use your favorite unzipper to extract the ZIP file. Don’t forget where you put the extracted folder!

After you’ve plugged the AVR Pocket Programmer into your computer and your machine has run through the process of checking for and failing to install drivers, proceed to the “zadig_v2.0.1.160” folder you just unzipped. Then Run zadig.exe.

Zadig is a wonderful tool that can install the drivers on just about any Windows platform out there. Upon opening the program, you should be greeted with a window like this:

Zadig screenshot

There are a few options to verify before installing the driver:

  • Select the device – The top dropbox controls which device you want to install the driver for. Hopefully you only have one option here, something like “Unknown Device #1”. If you have more than one option, check your device manager to see if you can make sense of which is which (plugging and unplugging a device usually helps).
  • Select the driver – Click the arrows in this box until you happen upon libusb-win32 (vx.x.x.x), that’s the driver we want to install.

After verifying those two selections, click “Install Driver”. The installation process can take a few minutes, but after you’ve watched the scroll bar zoom by countless times, you should be greeted with a “The driver was installed successfully” message.

If you were successful, close out of the Zadig program and proceed to the next section!

If Zadig didn’t work for you, check out the instructions below for help manually installing the drivers.


Manually Installing the libUSB Drivers

If, for some reason, Zadig didn’t work for you. Read the instructions below to manually install the drivers.

Click the link below to download the drivers:

Download the USBtiny Drivers (ZIP)

Use your favorite unzipper to extract the ZIP file. Don’t forget where you put the extracted folder!

After you’ve plugged in the Programmer, and Windows has failed to install the driver. Follow these steps to install the driver:

  1. Open the Device Manager – There are a few routes to open up the device manager.
    • You can go to the Control Panel, then click Hardware and Sound, then click Device Manager.
      Opening device manager

    • Or, simply open the run tool (press Windows Key + R), and run devmgmt.msc.
  2. In the Device Manager, you should see an “Unknown device” listed under the “Other devices” tree. Right click “Unkown Device” and select Update driver software….
    Update driver software

  3. Click Browse my computer for driver software in the “Update Diver Software - Unknown Device” window that pops up.
    Browse for drivers

  4. Click “Browse…” and navigate to the “../usbtinyisp_libusb-win32_1.2.1.0” folder you just downloaded. Then click Next.
    Point to drivers

  5. Windows will begin installing the driver, and then immediately notify you that the driver isn’t signed. Click Install this driver software anyway option, to proceed with the installation.
    Driver signature check

  6. After a few moments, the driver should successfully install. You’ll be prompted with a “Windows has susccessfully updated your driver software” window. Close that, and you’ll see a “USBtiny” entry populated in the Device Manager, under the “LibUSB-Win32 Devices” tree.

Drivers verified in device manager

Congratulations! Proceed over to the next section, and we’ll start using the Programmer!


Breathe easy now! Once you’ve installed the USBTinyProgrammer drivers on your computer, you shouldn’t ever have to do it again. Now it’s time to program something!