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ATMega:Invalid device Signature???

Hi LMR!

Yes my atmega chip is at it again ;-(.

Just after learning to burn bootloaders I was enjoying programming when one of the chips decided to go crazy.

Now it has a device signature of 0 x FF FF FF.(Read this signature from verbose output) I am getting Invalid Device Signature expected type is: 0x1e 0x95 0x0F .

Now I rechecked the signature from avrdude.conf file and as the chip was ATMega328P I even changed the signature to FFFFFF , restarted ide and this time the clever chip had signature of 0X000000.I rechanged signature in conf file to zero now and the chip's signature switched back to FFFFFF.(In short = Frustration)

I tried Avrdude -F command as illustrated here :http://www.ladyada.net/learn/avr/avrdude.html but to no avail.(Maybe I'm not doing it right?Perhaps?)

Anyway Does this mean chip is corrupted now?

I am using duemilanove with atmega328.

Quite peculiar in my opinion.What do you suggest?

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Check that your power is properly regulated. The flash memory can become corrupt if the voltage is too low relative to the clock frequency. For example, your chip can run at 3.3V but if you then run it at 16MHz you are effectively over clocking the chip which can in return corrupt the memory.

As bdk6 mentioned, fuse settings are very important. If for example you set your clock fuse bits for low power then it will work fine but becomes very sensitive to power fluctuations.

If you just have a chip on a breadboard then make sure you have 0.1uF capacitors as close as possible to the power pins. The chip can generate enough electrical noise to reset, or lock it's self up otherwise.