Apparently updating firmware for the NXT is currently causing some users issues... please read ALL the comments in this post and the one above it (June 28, 2006) and its comments for an idea on how this issue might affect you...



Anonymous said…
Any indications what bugs or patches this new firmware provides?
I wouldn't call it new... I've probably been running 1.03 for 3 weeks... maybe longer.

Anonymous said…

Downloaded v1.03 to NXT and was told it was Successfully Downloaded Firmware!

But, the NXT just keeps ticking.

Tried Resetting the NXT to no avail.

Have downloaded v1.03 several times now, but just Tick, Tick, Tick...

Any ideas?

Was working fine prior to trying to update.

Anonymous said…

Yikes, that's wierd. I just downloaded it, and everything is working fine.


Do you know what the advantages to this firmware is?

Anonymous said…
After a "Successfully Downloaded Firmware!" message, what should happen next?

Does a Reset need to be done?

I haven't encountered this issue... running XP Pro on P3/1.8Ghz... ticking sound I hear when it's downloading, but it eventually stops and beeps loud when the download is complete.

Close down the software and reopen it... and try again. Seem to recall someone doing that once...

Anonymous said…
Tried restarting the software, but no success.

Maybe it is because I am on an Apple:
Powermac Dual 2.5 G5
Mac OS X 10.4.7

Any case, sent LEGO Tech Support an email.

Will see what they suggest.

Thanks for the help.

Rick Rhodes said…
Same problem as Greg...NXT brick was working fine. Then I downloaded firmware 1.03, and the thing just keeps ticking. Resetting does nothing.
Brian Davis said…
There are two ways to "reset" the NXT brick. First, you need to find the little button hidden deep inside the outside pinhole on the bottom under the USB port. Next, you need to press it (a LEGO antenna works just great... why use a paperclip when you can use LEGO :-) ?). A short press just reset the brick (IMS). A longer push (push and hold) will put the NXT into firmware update mode (in these cases).

Try this: Hold the reset button down for about 4-5 seconds, and then try updating the firmware again... and if that ever-so-annoying clicking continues, we'll work on another solution.

The "new firmware" doesn't neccessarily provide any patches etc... I think Jim just wanted to make sure that the firmware that is on your NXT brick is the same as the firmware the NXT-G editor expects to find there (as with any new product, it went through several revisions). If it's not, strange things can happen.

Brian "this clicking is driving me crazy" Davis
Anonymous said…

The 4 sec. Reset does allow the Update NXT Firmware utility to find and download the new firmware to the "Ticking" NXT brick.

A 1-3 sec. Reset does not allow the utility to find the "Ticking" NXT brick.

Neither Resets stops the Ticking though.

Observation: LEGO has not enable Online Updates from their website. The v1.03 Firmware file (256 KB) came from the MINDSTOMS NXT distribution disk. Perhaps my file is corrupted?

Rick Rhodes said…
Again, same problem as Greg.

A hard reset allows the firmware update to be downloaded. But the brick won't boot...just the eternal clicking.
Anonymous said…
How about adding a forum to the site, so these issue are easy accessible for future Lego NXT users...
eric said…
rick, are you also on a mac?
Todd said…
I have the same ticking issue. I did my update from the Mac. Then I tried to do it from windows with the same results. :(
If a solution isn't found for the ticking soon, most of you might have to reinstall the software so you go back to whatever version of the firmware is on the CD.

My apologies for suggesting this, as it seems to have caused some trouble. As a rule, though, it's always "supposed to be a good idea" to upload the latest firmware to account for added hardware compatibility and reduced bugs... maybe someone at LEGO will read this section and offer a fix??

Rick Rhodes said…
My firmware/brick conflicts are also with Mac OS X.

Jim, is there a way to uninstall the firware update on the brick, in order to return it to version 1.01?

Rick Rhodes
Don't accept my answer as the final one, but I believe you have to reinstall the CD in order to backtrack to an earlier version of the firmware.

Be sure to save any .rbt files or MyBlock files you created elsewhere before you do an uninstall of the software - and you MUST do a clean uninstall before reinstalling... seem to remember that was stressed to me when I was installing the software again.

Question to those with ticking problem - some of you have stated the firmware successfully downloaded but the ticking continues... does this still happen after a 4-second reboot?

Todd said…
Yes it still happens after the 4 second reset. My original attempt that caused this was on a Mac. Thinking it was a Mac issue, I installed the software on my Windows box and tried again with the same results. Seems that once its screwed up in the Mac.. its gonna be screwed up for Windows as well.
Anonymous said…
Jim & Rick,

The NXT CD only has the v1.03 Firmware. The NXT brick shipped with v1.01 installed. Can not find an earlier version on the CD.

No word from LEGO support yet.

Hopefully a solution will be found while I am at work.

Rick Rhodes said…
Yes, the 4-sec. hard reset still does not turn the brick on.

Jim, when I install the software CD, the only install option for firmware listed is 1.03 (the problem version).

There's no option to revert back to 1.01. (Maybe I'm missing something).
Todd said…
I just got off the phone with Lego tech support (800) 363-2140. While the menu doesn't mention NXT, I just selected an option for a previous version. The tech support guy was a real joy. His spin is this:

1) NXT shouldn't have been released yet
2) Issue is cross platform
3) The have no suggestions now
4) They are "working on it"

Okay, my suggestion, and I'll need someone's help who is running v1.01

Seems to me that when you download the firmware, somewhere on that screen is the path where the firmware is stored. Maybe someone who has v1.01 can find that location, email me the files, and I'll place them so they can be downloaded... maybe a simple overwrite of thev 1.03 file(s) will work. Can someone with v1.01 give this a shot?

Rick Rhodes said…

Thanks for suggesting this.

If you're able to post version 1.01, we may need coaching on what folder to put it in. (I think we'll only be able to reload the firmware by using the NXT software already on our computers).
Anonymous said…
TODD etal.
I'm a teacher who of course ordered the commercial version to get it soon (but skimped on delivery), but also plans to order quite a few NXTeducation versions of my own money.
Did he elaborate on "1) NXT shouldn't have been released yet" Should I hold off for later versions? Will they make them all work?
WHAT is the commonality between all of you? If I have windows am I fine? (for once mac has a problem {actually its win software wanting to be a Mac I guess?)
Any suggestions or specific warnings for people just recieving their NXT's (dont update, dont update mac? only update win? update always but know you may need to get a patch (or return to lego?) etc etc?
Thanks all!
Rick Rhodes said…

If people need their NXTs right now, I'd merely advise them not to update their firmware.

If they can wait, I'd tell them to hold off on purchasing the new units, until the firmware issues are resolved.
I think there's a way to connect the brick and upload to your hard drive any files on the brick... this should include the firmware, but I'm just guessing. I'm not on my laptop that has my NXT software to test this ability.

If this is possible, then it should be possible to grab v1.01... again, guessing.

All: Real world is calling - client meeting in 45 minutes so I'll be away for a few hours... will check in when I return.

Todd said…
Drew - I'm sure the hardware is fine to buy now and that the software is flawed. My NXT worked great out of the box. I was able to build a few projects with the kids. It was only when I tried to apply the firware did it die.
Rick Rhodes said…

Ordinarily, it would make sense to upload files from the brick to the hard drive.

However, the software's upload/download window doesn't recognize the brick, if the brick isn't on. (I tried it, and "no go").
Anonymous said…
Jim, perhaps you should change your front page post so more unsuspecting souls are not affected.
Anonymous said…
Is there any theoretical possibility of perminately damaging the NXT by "trying" the update (a software update does no good unless the brick will listen to the update.) Worst case senario please - could updating and getting a ticking result in an unfixable nxt? Legos pretty good with warranty type stuff so it would just be a delay - but I'd hate to see them be economically hurt on this venture.
I want to TRY it. But not if there is a chance that the nxt would refuse further impreved updates.

PS how has the functionality been with the out of the box version? Is there a list of changes between versions or anyone able to report problems (what doesn't work).
Rick Rhodes said…

Although the new brick won't turn on for downloads from the brick, it WILL accept downloaded firmware from the hard drive.

This means that updated firmware should fix the problem, IF Lego comes up with a fix.
Brian Davis said…
To try to answer a bunch of things...

To My Knowledge, you can not permentantly "break" your NXT by trying to put new firmware on it. For the technically-minded, when the reset button is pressed long enough, the NXT enters a boot-mode (i.e.- it's actually *supposed* to be making that annoying ticking). Really this is for the odd case where the NXT stops responding. Usually, you can updare the firmware *without* hitting the reset button. Again, To My Knowledge (although I'm certainly *NOT* employed by LEGO) you're not going to permenantly damage you new toy this way. There is a known issue with some BT dongles, in that while they are attached the firmware update option doesn't work (for some reason). This *may*? be part of the problem.

No, it is not a Mac issue, or a Windows issue, to my knowledge: there were plenty of each in the MDP, and we got it to work. I've two NXT's, and I've been upgrading the firmware for some time now (having gone through several beta versions).

There is not a way known to me to pull the firmware off a NXT and back into the computer; nor can you just "erase" the existing firmware, to provide a blank slate to upload new firmware. It doesn't work that way. Firmware is updated based on a small bit of boot-up code, and new firmware will overwrite preexisting firmware.

Regading the "shouldn't have been released" comment. I'm not sure what to say here. Is LEGO releasing an alpha version on you unsuspecting folks? NO! Let me repeat, I do NOT think this is the case. I suspect this is a case of a new piece of software suddenly being testing by several hundred folks on radically different machines with all sorts of odd install histories (Windows users: ever really browed your drivers? The list can be scary).

Suggestion for the "ticked off": remove the batteries, and count to 5. Now put them in. Still clicking? Put a LEGO antenna in the *correct* pinhole, and depress the rest button once briefly - you can feel it push in slightly, and if your not careful (especially with a paperclip) you can press on the bottom of that hole and just be pushing plastic, not button. Still clicking? Try pushing it in and holding it, fully pushed, for 5 seconds. Now, that (I *think* should have reset things so the NXT is now patiently awaiting a firmware update. Now, try running the environment, and then attach the clicking NXT to the computer via USB; make sure there are no BT dongles on the computer at the time, and you migbht want to try different USB ports. Ask the environment politely to update the firmware, and see what happens.

As to what the difference in functionality between the two firmware version is, I don't remember (if indeed I ever knew). But in general, the MDP has been running on 1.03 for some time now. Some of the blocks may have odd or reduced functionality under earlier (non-supported) versions of the firmware.

On a personal note, I'm sorry some of you are having these troubles. A lot of us on the MDP spent a good bit of time trying to break our toys (& sometimes succeeding) to try to prevent issues like this. All I can say is even a bunch of dedicated fans can't identify problems that we didn't find, and this sounds like one of them. We may not work for LEGO, folks, but we're trying to figure out how to help.

Brian Davis
Anonymous said…
The topic name contains 28th june 2006, but 28th is wednesday and there it says: ''Some videos of the RoboCenter challenges''

Am I missing something?

P.S. Nice long post, Brian.
There's another post for Wed June 28... look at the one BELOW the video post.

Anonymous said…
I get the message, but above the ''NXT Problems? Post Problems and Solutions/Suggestions'' topic and below the videos is ''Tuesday, June 27, 2006''

I wrote the date wrong... both are June 27.
Anonymous said…
Hope I helped.
I gotta go to bed (Hey, it's 11:58PM here and I'm 11 years old boy, so...) I'll check again tomorrow.
Anonymous said…
"Lucky people" isn't worth (or possible) to post a working firmware so people having problems can try with another one. May be there is a defect in some distribution CD and for what ever reason that file is corrupted.

Feel free to do not post this if you think it is not worth the try.
Anonymous said…
Back from work and I see much has been discussed.

Tried all suggestions so far (in both Posts) with no luck.

Have not had a response from LEGO Tech Support on my email. Glad Todd was able to call them directly.

I would like to thank all the MDPers for their suggestions on this issue. With LEGO still ramping up their support, your experience is all we have to go on for now.

Anonymous said…
I wanted to post and shre my experience with the NXT firmware. Hopefully it will help.

I use a dual core intel MacBook. I have the bluetooth capability turned OFF. I have never had a need for bluetooth until receiving my NXT kit, so it has been off to help battery life.

I installed the Mindstorms NXT application and proceeded to update to the 1.0.3 firmware. The firmware updated without incident and the new rcx is working perfectly with no clicks. I have cycled the unit on and off repeatedly, and have also downloaded a test program. I could not get my rcx to click like so many have experienced.

I have been lurking on the board throughout the day and would have to agree that problem seems to be related to the bluetooth functionality. You might try disabling your computer's bluetooth cpability, resetting your rcx, and trying updating the firmware again.

Hopefully this may help some, if not, hang in there I am sure that Lego or a bright NXT user will help us get through this very soon.
Anonymous said…
anonymous, sorry to say somthing not helping you problem, but in the 1st part of your post you said NXT but you then switched to rcx. I was just trying to get somthing straight. did you mean the NXT?
Anonymous said…
Sorry, by "RCX" I mean the lego intelligent brick, the one with the processor =)
Rick Rhodes said…
For what it's worth, here's an excerpt from an email, sent to me today from Lego Customer Support:

"We are aware of the issue with the (firmware) update and our developers are currently investigating the issue...We are Very Sorry For the inconvenience..."
Todd said…
LOL Rick,

Well, at least you got a nice email. My tech support agent was quite rude to me at first telling me that he couldn't take my word that others were having the issue and it was most likely something I was doing because he had never heard of this issue. After checking with another agent he came back and said that others had indeed reported the issue. He also questioned their ability to support the mac. At that point in the conversation it was all "blah blah blah, you're screwed for a while.. blah blah blah." :)

I'm in I.T. and I understand things happen. I'll understand and wait the time it takes to get out a fix. I was just expecting a better experience from Lego tech support.
Anonymous said…
It should be noted that a stomach ache can be caused by many things (food poisoning, stress, coffee etc)
Hence the same principle applies HERE. Their maybe multiple problems (not saying that likely) but when diagnosing I think we should look at BT for sure, but also keep an eye out for other commonalities from the MANY different computer configurations.

As for customer service the only time I've EVER had a problem was with ME knowing more about a product than the lego rep. Some times that can lead to a little "Wow slow down mister - and so how do you know THAT huh?"

They where so nice that when they called me back once and got my Mom (home from university back then) they actually told her how normal it was. "Actually mam, quite a few of our customers for this product, probably 60% are adults, and most of them are proffessionsal, doctors, engineers and teachers etc." That made my year (until she realized with another call to confirm that I might be a Lego UNDERACHIER... but those where RCX days... now during the NXT step I am on par.
Anonymous said…
I also had a problem updating the firmware, but I did eventually get it to work.

My first attempt (with my PowerBook) found the NXT and claimed to have downloaded it successfully, but the screen was blank on the NXT and it was clicking. I unplugged the NXT from the Mac and even tried to manually power cycle by pulling a battery. That didn't work.

For my second attempt, I reconnected the USB cable and tried again. This time the program on the MAC froze and I had to force it to quit. I then rebooted the Mac.

For my third attempt, I pressed the reset button for 4+ seconds and thought I heard it click differently. I then plugged in the USB and tried to download the update. This time it worked!

Except the motors didn't work! ARG.. I tried running the demo program it just sat there. I then power cycled the NXT and then the motors finally worked again.
Anonymous said…
Since it works for some (most?) people, my best guess is that there is some data corruption (over-/underrun?) in the USB transfer of the firmware when it fails. So I suggest trying to update the firmware on a different machine.

Anonymous said…

if i remember correctly, then it's already tried.
Anonymous said…
For how many non-MDP people is the firmware update working well? It is hard to really diagnose a problem if you mostly have the cases where it didn't work.

Todd said…
An interesting test

I downloaded the Robot C program from

This includes their special firmware for the NXT. I thought that I would try to download it and see what happened. Well, their program said "successfully downloaded firmware" but then gave me an error saying "NXT failed to reboot after download." Yes, my NXT is still ticking. Doh! :)
Anonymous said…
Sorry if this sounds stupid (Im dont know that much about computers) but what did you mean by downloading the firmware from a different machine?
Anonymous said…
He probably meant a different computer. Under the assumption that a different computer would use different components (different interactions/conflicts), a new install and have a chance to change atleast some variables in the hopes that one of them makes things better.
Anonymous said…
Here's another datapoint for contrast-- my firmware update went fine on a Dell laptop. I disabled Bluetooth, connected to the NXT via USB and rolled the dice. Success.

I felt a bit nervous though- I've "bricked" a few wireless routers in the past through botched firmware upgrades. However, based on Brian's comments it seems that any damage can (someday) be reversed.

YMMV... good luck everyone...
Rick Rhodes said…
I'm one of the folks whose brick "died" when installing firmware v. 1.03.

I got my brick UP AND RUNNING by going to another machine WITHOUT BT dongles, and without Bluetooth enabled.

So, maybe this will help some folks (I hope).

Brian (or anyone): should I refrain from enabling Bluetooth, on the theory that Bluetooth may be part of the problem?
Todd said…

Okay, I was able to raise my brick from the dead. Here is the rundown. This may or may not work for anyone else:

How I killed it
Using my PowerBook G4 I updated the firmware to 1.03 via USB (I had bluetooth on if that makes any difference). After the update - just ticks.

How I TRIED to fix it
I installed the software on my windows machine, plugged the USB cable into the USB jack on my MONITOR and tried - no luck

How I got it to work
unplugged the usb cable from the brick and computer. Reset the brick (5 seconds) without any cables. Plugged in the USB cable into the back of the computer and into the brick. Downloaded - SUCCESS. No why? Blind luck? Maybe. I was also thinking that there might be a difference in the USB between my monitor and the back of the computer... Powered vs no power or high power vs low power.

Somebody else give it a try and let us know! :)
Brian Davis said…
Rick, Todd... good news! Thanks. I never even thought of someone using anything other than the "normal" USB ports, but you are completely correct - the ones on a monitor or keyboard are almost certainly not the best bet. As to the BT issue, yes, trying a USB FW update on a machine with some BT dongles results in a problem (I think I mentioned this before), so that too is a good (great!) idea. Regarding turning BT on... well, I'm using it flawlessly on a PPC G4 Powebook with built-in BT, so I know you *can* do it that way: Rick, I think you should be able to enable BT for "normal" operation (again, at least I do).

If you really want to have fun, join the elite NXTbusters: now that you've got your NXT working again, try to see if you can reproduce "braking" it again, to figure out exactly how it happens. Hey, now you know part of what beta-testing is about ;-).

Brian Davis
Todd said…
I still wonder why it wasn't working on my powerbook G4. Perhaps I was running on battery and I needed to be plugged in. I don't know if that has anything to do with the power sent by the USB jack.

Concerning bluetooth. It was working great on my powerbook. I used it to download all of my programs to the brick.
Anonymous said…

I swapped USB ports on my laptop.

I reset the brick for 5 seconds. Got into the clicking mode.

Then I just swapped my USB mouse with the cable that goes to the NXT brick.

Then I plugged the brick into the cable and did my firmware upgrade again.

then it came back to life.
Just let us know where to send The NXT STEP invoice for tech support... ;)

Seriously, though - thanks to the community for helping each other out... the NXT is off to a good start with this level of testing and assistance...

Rick Rhodes said…
Brian--You were right about Bluetooth. It works fine (on XP, anyway).

BT doesn't work on the Mac. The computer recognizes the brick, but it won't upload/download programs.

I'll try it on another Mac later. (I'm not complaining, 'cause I'm up and running)!
Rick Rhodes said…
Jim/Brian/et al:

Thanks MUCH for setting up this block and making comments.

It has been great to commiserate about NXT issues.
Anonymous said…
SO is this a solution? Primary full power USB ports and No Bluetooth and then tryu again? is that it? Or ar people still having trouble once they tried the above?
As they might say on NXTBusters (mythbusters style)
Is the NXT Ticking Sollution Confirmed (99% solved), Plausable (some people) or Busted (none)
Anonymous said…

Thanks to you guys. Tried a different USB port, in my case the one on the back of the monitor worked as opposed to the one on the front of my PowerMac G5 tower.

NOTE: Internal BT was enabled at the time.

I knew I came to the right blog.

Anonymous said…
Just wondering, have most people fixed their problems with the advice given here?
Anonymous said…
I have a hardware problem. I just opened the NXT box today and put together the starter kit. The A port on the brick is not responding to "try me" and just sounds a continous beep. I'm 90% sure that the port has shipped broken or defective.
Brian Davis said…
Not to be obvious, but have you connected a motor to the A port when trying the "Try Me" for that? I don't have my NXT handy, so I don't remember if it prompts you to do that.

Brian Davis
Rick Rhodes said…

I would try skipping the "Try Me" parts of the in-box instruction booklet.

I tried some of those "Try Me" prompts, too, and they didn't work. But when I used the software to download programs, the sensors/ports worked fine.
Anonymous said…
Just to chime in.

I've tried all the solutions described above and still a dead ticking brick. I'm on a 1.67ghz powerbook and I've tried both usb ports several times, still no dice.
Todd said…
anonymous -

If you are running off of battery power make sure you try it plugged in. Also, make sure the usb cable is totally unplugged from the brick when you do the 5 second reset.

just a thought...
Klendathu said…
Regarding the tryme function, the trymotor thing doesn't turn the motor, it makes a sound, and you have to manually turn the motor to change the pitch, that's all it does.
Rick Rhodes said…
What follows is a post on another venue from someone named "John".It's the complete sequence to follow when troubleshooting firmware issues.

While some of the steps are specific to XP, most of the sequence applies to Mac OS X as well.

1) Completely disconnect NXT from computer

2) Remove all suspect BT dongles from computer, and turn off BlueTooth

3) Quit Merlot & restart the computer.

4) Push NXT reset button for five seconds (make sure you actually
press it).

5) Hook NXT to computer using the USB cable; plug cable into a "primary" USB port (*not* the one on the monitor, or keyboard, etc).

6) Go to the device manager and make sure that the NXT shows
up in 'Firmware Update Mode'. If not, uninstall and reinstall the
software (and driver).

7) Use environment to update firmware to 1.03

8) If this does not work, try *briefly* (1 second) pushing the reset
button (for some, this "soft reset" process
has fixed some things).

9) If the above sequence does *not* work, first try repeating steps
1-8 but use a different USB port

10) If this *still* does not work, try migrating to a completely different computer, install the environment, and try the above sequence yet again.
Brian Davis said…
Out of curiosity, Rick, where did this originally get posted? And thanks very much for adding it to the blog - you beat me to it, and I'm glad :-) ! Popping it to a post of it's own...

Brian Davis
Rick Rhodes said…

The list of firmware troubleshooting tips came from Dale Yocum, who got it from someone else. (I don't know the original source).

BTW, Dale Yocum is with the "Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program" (ORTOP), and has posted a WAY cool multimedia tutorial for those new to the NXT:
Anonymous said…
I'm still having problems, I have tryed everything I've read, I tryed about 8 different ports (on 2 different computers). I don't have any bluetooth on either computer but was wondering if maybe there's some option that might be on the computer that has the same affect even though I don't have the bluettoth hardware. Also is it possible I could have bricked it, because it froze the first time I tryed to update firmware, but it froze before it even reached "Preparing NXT".
Anonymous said…
S.B. - don't be hard on yourself - it's not you. My son and I have spent the past 24 hours trying all the great suggestions, same as you. Two computers, seven USB ports (only USB 2.0 no 1.1 in the house), reinstalling software - you name it.

I spoke with Tech Support earlier today(dial 800-363-2140 and press 1, then press 5 - there is no NXT option yet) and, while trying very hard and spending over 20 minutes on the phone with me, they had no additional suggestions.

They promised to have the Developers contact me - after July 4th weekend.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone who HAD or still HAS the problem to email so they get a sense of how widespread the problem is.
Anonymous said…
I also got mine fixed before I came to this blog. I don't know if it helps you or not, but let me explain anyway.

I have tried all kinds of things just like something written here, but none them worked.

So I made a last try.

1.Hard reset (>5 sec press).
2.Wait 5 sec to hear the ticking.
3.Connect my NXT to a USB2 port of my WinXP Home SP2.
4.Firmware download to NXT from my WinXP Pro SP2.
5.It say completed successfully.
6.But it was still ticking....

It was 2am and I was so tired. NXT was still making the ticking sound. So I wrote an email to LEGO support then kind of fell a sleep on a chair.

I don't know how long I was sleeping. Maybe five minutes or less? I woke up hearing the start-up sound of NXT!

I didn't do anything special. I was using the same USB port. Only thing I did is I kept the USB cable connected after firmware upgrade and left it for a while.

Not sure if I was lucky or not, but it may worth doing it if you still have the problem.
Rick Rhodes said…
I'd like to ditto what RoboDad said about contacting Lego tech support with your concerns.

The second time I contacted Lego support via email, I got a "form letter" response, saying all I had to do was hit the reset button. The more people they hear from, the better it will be.
Anonymous said…
Success. Exhausted all tricks, but still had 1 last option.

My son's computer was running XP Media Center (and MS VISTA); My computer was running XP Home. Both computers were using AMD Athlon chips.

I noticed in the readme that MAC OS required an Intel chip, so I decided to try using my daughter's notebook, which was XP Home, but an Intel chip.

First attempt worked perfectly.

Not sure if the chip was the problem, but the workaround seems to be try on multiple computers, including notebooks and both AMD and Intel processors. Enough variation should yield good results.

Good Luck.
Rick Rhodes said…
Has anyone sucessfully installed Robot C firmware, then done some programming with it?

I'd like to fiddle with turning and line tracking in Robot C, but am leery of messing up my NXT firmware again.
Aurelian Design said…
Has anyone tried it on WinMe by any chance? (I can dream...)

LogJam said…
When I contacted Lego tech support, they asked me to email to them a copy of my "reqcheck.xml" file (C:/Program Files/Lego Software/Lego Mindstorms NXT) Lego as well as to some special non-lego email account. Not sure what they were looking for...

In any case, I received an email from Lego stating they could not read the .xml file and to send it to them in .txt format. I just opened the .xml file and did a copy-and-paste of the info.

We'll see if that helps them at all.
LogJam said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
I had the same problem when attempting firmware v 1.03 download with an iMac G5. Tried resetting (short and long), changing USB ports, restarting the computer and the software application. All with no success, and the same annoying ticking sound.

I then tried with my MacBook (Intel 2.0GHz), and achieved success with v 1.03 dwnload on the first attempt.

I understand that the software application runs on Rosetta emulation on the Intel Macs, and that could, in theory, affect the download speed/inter message delays, etc.. Just guessing..

I agree that the problem seems to be related to the download process rather than the software itself..

Havent played around much with other things to comment on stability/functional issues with the firmware/hardware.
jagnac said…
I have 2 NXT bricks which both had the clicking problem after the software update. I solved this by upgrading the bricks from a cleanly installed machine with a VIA Nehemiah processor.
Previous attemts to upgrade the firmware was done from 3 different machines all containing AMD processors.
Anonymous said…
Umm, it worked fine for me. The program itself was slightly glitchy, though, or maybe it was just me. Fine now.
Anonymous said…

My 11 year old just got a NXT and if you plug in all the sensors, only the touch sensor will work. If you unplug that sensor, all the others work.

Lego suggested the new firmware 1.03. Did that, still no solution.

Anyone know the answer?
Henry Cadmus said…
NXT just died after online firmware upgrade to 1.03.
Now I see this to be a known issue with Lego. So much for the registration benefits. They could have shot an email out to me about this bug before I go stuck on it....

Thanks Lego... these goes the weekend.
Don't despair... shouldn't take your entire weekend away.

There are numerous suggested fixes, including just holding down the reset button for 5 seconds and then trying again.

Of course, if you call LEGO tech support, they will send you a patch OR you could do a search and find the patch file somewhere... I'm sure someone has saved it and put it out there for download.

Henry Cadmus said…
Thanks Jim,
The Lego help site tells me to refer to my printed manual. There is no printed manual in my box! Just a 'how to build my first unit' pamphlet.
There is no PDF on the CD and I can not find a user guide to download off the Lego site.
I have pushed the button under batteries (which I assume is the reset) multiple times from a few to many seconds.
Changed all new batteries to again all new batteries.

Unit just dead. No tick, no click, 'no nothing' (I know double negative). Hard to believe that I grew up with this company and now they manage to have my sons and I sit here and wonder why a large company like Lego can release such a flawed product. Just proves that pasted reputation is no indication of future (or in this case, present) ability to put a working product out there.
I do not even see a phone help line, not even if I were willing to pay for the call.
The patch can be found here:

I knew I remember seeing it somewhere...

Anonymous said…
This is caused by a bug in the USB driver supplied on the NXT cd. Download the new version of the usb driver.
Anonymous said…
My NXT was in this clicking mode after I tried to update the firmware to 1.04.

This is what I did to repair it...

reset the NXT using the switch under the USB connector for a full 5 seconds (at least).

Download the version 1.02 DRIVER from the NXT updates site.

Follow the ReadMe steps to delete EVERY FILE LISTED.

Install the version 1.02 DRIVER.

DELETE THE 1.04 FIRMWARE UPDATE FROM YOUR COMPUTER!!!!! This step is very important so that the NXT software does not find the 1.04 update.

Disconnect the NXT at the USB port.

Fire up the NXT software and, once it is up, power up the NXT and be sure you can hear the clicking that indicates that the NXT is in firmware download mode.

Select Update Firmware from the tools menu and select the version 1.03 firmware version.

Click Download firmware and wait.

When I did this my NXT came back up with version 1.03 firmware installed.
Anonymous said…
OK, it's Christmas evening, and I was the alpha geek Dad who updates his son's firmware right away. Oops.

I'm on a Powerbook G4, and my NXT is now a brick that is not even clicking- just making a barely audible cyclical squeal, with nothing visible on the LCD screen. I can't seem to update or downgrade the firmware, since the screen won't wake up and the Mindstorms software can't connect to the NXT.

Please. Save.
Anonymous said…
(Please. Save.)...

Anonymous said…
We just had the very same problem and this thread and others helped solve the issue. Installing the 1.02 driver did the trick. We did not delete any files from the PC nor did we remove the 1.04 update.

After the we updated the driver we just rebooted, started the update software, selected the 1.03 firmware and it installed fine. We then tried 1.04 and it also worked.

Anonymous said…
OK, I hope this helps everyone with that nasty klicking and useless nxt block.

Santa brought ours on Christmas and everything was fine until good old Dad tried to update the firmware to v1.04. The block came with 1.01 installed and performed an update to v1.03 when we hooked it up to the computer.

We are an Apple family and have 3 computers all of the powerPC generation. Our son uses his to do his nxt programming. He has a 14" iBook G4. I have a first generation 12" Powerbook G4 (867 MHz). I'm telling you this because others on the blog have tried using other computers to solve their clicking dead nxt blocks.

Anyway, here is what I did to solve the problem. I did what everyone else on this blog reported worked and had no luck. What worked however is this—start with disconnecting your nxt block from all of the sensor wires and motor wires. Pull the battery out and count to 10 or more. Replace the battery. Do a hard reset—use a heavy wire paperclip to push the button inside the Technic hole in the upper left corner of the nxt block, it's just below the USB outlet. Remember hold the button down for at least 10 seconds. Your going to get the clicking sound again but that's OK. You want that. As others have reported, this means that the block is ready to be updated.

What I did from here is start from scratch. I turned off the BT connection on my computer. I reloded the Lego software to the computer. Then I went on line to the Lego Mindstorms update site there I found an update: MINDSTORMS NXT Driver v1.02 "This software updates the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT driver and addresses an issue that prevents the firmware from being downloaded to the NXT on some occasions."

I followed these instructions provided by Lego: "When you have installed the new driver and want to download new firmware to the NXT, please initialize the NXT brick before you start downloading the firmware. If your NXT is clicking when you insert batteries, push the hardware reset button for five seconds before you insert the USB cable. This will ensure that the brick initializes correctly for the firmware download. The hardware reset button is located within the LEGO Technic hole below the USB connector on the NXT brick. If your NXT brick is not clicking when you insert batteries just go through the normal firmware download process as described within the manual when the new driver is installed."

I then launched the nxt software and performed the upgrade: go to Tools > Update NXT Firmware. Your User Guide explains all this on pages 74 and 75. I only upgraded to v1.03 which comes with the CD Install Disk. It worked fine when I we first installed so it should work fine now. And if you read the firmware upgrade for v1.04 it says:

Updating to LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Firmware V1.04 will improve the following:

- Multiple datafile control within user programs
- Communication with 3rd party external devices
- Bluetooth communication within user programs

NOTE: Only update your firmware if you have experienced issues related to the above

So unless you are experiencing these issues I'd leave well enough alone. "Son, do as I say not as I do."

There must be a USB driver issue and the driver is missing in v1.03. You have to download and load this driver update and the USB connection works.
Take your time and don't throw your nxt across the room and you'll be OK. (I didn't pitch it across the room only because my son was with me, keep your kid next to you at all times, they're presence will likely prevent you from making rash and destructive mistakes)

Good luck! Oh, I am still waiting to hear from Lego on this issue.
Anonymous said…
MINDSTORMS NXT Driver v1.02 did the trick for me. Felt the panic coming destroying the son´s new toy.
/Tommy, Sweden
Nadia said…
I am not sure if I am on the right path, but, I did download "Win32 leJOS NXJ- Alpha version 0.2.0"from: ""
and I did create the ssystem/ user variales and everything
and then put my brick on the update mood, I connected it to the computer..
but nothing, except beeping, happened!
then I tried to put it back to the initial firmware by NXT software.
now my brick is working fine, but I still dont have firmware changed to NXJ!
any idea, how should I try to make it work?

btw, I have Java on my computer. but when I downloaded files from leJos website I saved them on desktop.. was that going to make a problem?

I am so lost, its been a week that I am stuck on chapter 2 :(
Nadia said…
y I never get any reply from this website?
Because you are posting a comment in a post from June 2006, over a year ago. Most people do not go back and read comments from that long ago. We now have forums for questions and I would suggest you post there and more people will be able to offer up help.

Anonymous said…
Just wanted to Thank Scott Carpenter. You saved my nxt :-)
Anonymous said…
Following the instructions posted far above (pull the battery for a few seconds, hit the reset for at least five seconds and then updating the firmware worked like a champ! Updating to firmware 1.03 did nothing, but when I tried 1.05 which comes with the version 1.1 through Lego Education, it updated in about 10 seconds and XP immediately recognized the brick as new hardware. I should note that until I got it to update the firmware, XP had no idea anything was plugged into the USB port and it wasn't visible under the NXT programming environment, so don't be discouraged if you don't see anything happen when you plug into the USB cable.
Unknown said…
ummm no idea how it worked this is the sequence i followed... (i'm guessing that to get it to work on the 1 machine - you would need to disable/reenable the USB ports.. nfi how you do that)

1. Spent 4 hours trying to unbrick my brick. Send frantic emails to lego support, read numerous forum/blog posts. none seem to fix my issue.
2. try to reset brick 1000 times, hard and soft, try pluggin /unplugging usb, try uninstalling / reinstalling driver/software. try upgrading to 1.2 driver. try to get some sleep.
3. Next day brought it into work, installed everything on work laptop. updated driver to 1.2. device manager not detecting it, after changing batteries, and resetting device! :(
4. considering writing abusive email to LEGO...
5. plugged it into machine again, didn't bother with reset of device, just pressed orange button on front panel, suddenly Device manager detects unknown device which changes to LEGO "firmware update mode" name.
6. now ran Update Firmware command from LEGO Mindstorms app and all is well!

The part that helped me was trying it on a second machine, I just wish i knew what the solution to reseting the usb configuration for the original machine was, as this would probably also have fixed it.
Unknown said…
I had same problem after updating v1.05 firmware today.
Finally, I gotta install the Mindstorm software into other computer, then put NXT brick into firmware update mode, then connect the USB cable, run Firmware Update from Mindstorm software, download v1.03 and it worked again. Note that when I tried v1.05 it had the same problem with ticking sound, v1.03 works fine.

Good luck
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said…
I tried every thing but updating the driver, the second after my computer started up after updating the driver it worked! Thank you so much Scott Carpenter!
Anonymous said…
thanks a bunch!

chancing USB port did the trick for my NXT... it is now alive and well !

thanks again....
Purchased the NXT 2.0 kit and upgraded my PC software and drivers by installing it over the previous version. Afterwards,the Firmare upgrade worked without a hitch.
scomer said…
Bought the NXT 2.0 Went to update the firmware from 1,2,8 to 1,2,9. After that the thing turned off and it startet clicking. I have tried taking out all cables, batteries, putting the batteries (fresh) back again. Tried the reset button for more than 10 seconds... Nothing, tried this tons of times. Its dead.

I am getting to be very tired of expensive things that dont work. Cant even get a support phone. AND WORST OF ALL!!!! In all these years since 2006, LEGO has not even responded with a fix. I am not proud of being danish today!!!

The disappointment on my sons face is evident. Shame on a crappy product.. LEGO
scomer said…
Well, its me the frustrated dane again. After writing this and putting another set of batteries in and holding the reset button for more than 60 seconds. I tried via the USB to download the firmware again. Even though its clicking, it worked once i tried to tell it to install (Download) firmware 1.2.9

So the solution was to think out of the box, and yet again be patient!

Thanks to all the rest here, for pointing out that patience is a virtue. especially when your kids next too you!

Merry Christmas
The Gunners said…
i tried several times already... but it just say "cannot locate nxt device to download firmware"... pls help me !!
Anonymous said…
Firmware update seems random at best. I tried the following:
1. both reset types.
2. install updated fantom driver.
3. plugging the laptop into mains power.
4. fresh batteries, alkaline not rechargeable.
5. a high quality USB cable.
Somewhere in 4 or 5 it decided to work, maybe the supplied USB cable is crappy. I don't know. Good luck.
Anonymous said…
The firmware process seems random at best. I tried the following before it worked:
1. both reset types.
2. update Fantom driver.
3. plug macbook into mains power.
4. fresh batteries, alkaline not rechargeable.
5. use a high quality USB cable.
Somewhere between 4 and 5 the firmware update decided it would work. Good luck.
Moses said…
Tried above ways. It works!

you're awesome, Mike.

I inserted six AA Alkaline Batteries.
Pressed the reset button for almost 2 minutes.
Go find another USB cable.
Turn the NXT on.
Enjoyed the ticking for a while, saying goodbye to it.
Plug the USB cable in both Mac and NXT.
Updated the firmware. (1.31)
It just works!

Yesterday, i did update the software, but it was taking too long, and the NXT only produce the ticking sound. so i plug the USB out without waiting the update to finish. (fyi, this time I downloaded 1.31) and, obviously, i failed. I tried many tricks said by friends up there, and didn't get to work it out. i changed to PC and it solves nothing. i tried downloading the 1.03 version on PC, and failed again. After i take a nap, I read Mike's advice.

i return to my mac again and tried to update with the 1.31 version, and it works.

My dad suggests the problem would be because i did not finish the update, so the NXT was half running in 1.03 and half running in 1.31. which will crash.

thanks all!

I just loaded version 1.29 into an old NXT. Now all I get is the ticking as soon as you plug in the batteries or reset the NXT. Is there any way to get firmware version 1.03 back into my NXT. It is completely dead. The NXT software indicates the 1.03 was loaded properly, but it still does nothing but tick.
Mark C said…
Had the "Clicking Brick Syndrome" as well and followed this link.

Worked perfectly !!!!
Unknown said…
So for those who do have this same problem:

Just change the computer press reset for 5 segunds and update the firmware :D

Thanks for your help :D :D
Unknown said…
Hi Jim.
I've launch the brick in software upload mode, the computer recognised it as"Lego NXT update firmware mode" but the program says that there aren't any brick? What Can I do?

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