Instruction on how to connect your Arduino board to a computer and make it work

Here we assume that you have an Arduino Nano board, a computer with Windows operating system, and a standard USB cable (A plug to Mini-B plug).  We will show you how to easily make your Nano board work for you.

Arduino Nano

There is actually a very good tutorial on Arduino’s website: “Getting Started with Arduino on Windows”.  It includes more details than this instruction.  So if you need to dig in further, we suggest you follow the link to that tutorial.


The simple steps to make your Nano board work are:

1. Download the Arduino software (IDE, or Integrated Development Environment).

In our case, we only need to download and run Windows Installer and follow the pop up instructions.  When asked if you want to install the Arduino driver, just press Yes.


2. Connect your Arduino Nano board to your computer.

In this step, Windows should automatically find the proper Arduino driver and install it, and your Nano board should be ready to use.  If not, please refer to the above mentioned instruction for details on installing the drivers.  Some compatible Nano boards such as DCCduino manufactured by a Chinese company use different USB-to-Serial chips so they require to install different drivers, but the installation should be quite straight forward once you have downloaded the proper drivers from internet.


3. Launch the Arduino application.


4. Open the blink example.

Open the LED blink example sketch: File > Examples > 01.Basics > Blink.

For those who are not familiar with Arduino sketch, a sketch is simply a program with various instructions telling Arduino board what to do.


5. Select your board.

You’ll need to select what type of Arduino board you are using.  In our case, simply select Tools > Board > Arduino Nano w/Atmega328.


6. Select your serial port

You also need to select the serial device of the Arduino board: Tools > Serial Port.  Usually the port number will be COM3 or higher (COM1 and COM2 are usually reserved for hardware serial ports). To find out, you can disconnect your Arduino board and re-open the menu; the entry that disappears should be the Arduino board. Reconnect the board and select that serial port.


7. Upload the program to Nano board

Now, simply click the “Upload” button in the environment. Wait a few seconds – you should see the RX and TX leds on the board flashing. If the upload is successful, the message “Done uploading.” will appear in the status bar.


A few seconds after the upload finishes, you should see the pin 13 (L) LED on the board start to blink (in orange). If it does, congratulations! You’ve gotten Arduino up-and-running.

If you have problems, please see the troubleshooting suggestions from Arduino official site.


Thanks for reading.  Open Source Photonics Blogs are supported by 612 Photonics.


  1. Harshil Kakkad · · Reply

    very nice but how can i watch pre programmed code


    1. Once the code is loaded in the Arduino board, it’s hard to reverse to get the code.


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