Are you having trouble with your SainSmart, TinkerVault, Hossen, RioRand or whatever Arduino Nano not connecting? That sucks.
You have been a victim of FTDI’s idiotic policies. Read more about it here hackaday. They essentially set the PID on your Arduino to 0000, and it will no longer be recognized.
So now your Nano won’t connect to windows. It’s not recognized by the Arduino IDE. It doesn’t show up in your OS’s device enumeration facilities.
First thing you need to do is UNINSTALL the FTDI drivers in windows. NOW. Do not install them again. When we’re done, windows will automatically find non-bricking drivers that you can use, or you will use modified drivers. FTDI pulled the ‘bricking drivers’ from windows, so the automatically found drivers will not reset your PID. Just don’t install the latest drivers from FTDI unless you want to be reminded that you were scammed into buying a counterfeit product.
Easiest thing to do is install the drivers here: at reddit.This allows Arduinos with 0000 PIDs to operate correctly. If you switch between OS X and/or Linux, then this isn’t enough. Your Arduino is still soft-bricked. You will need to fix the PID in order to use it in another OS.
If you have access to linux then just follow the directions here.
If you’re using windows then download FT_PROG from FTDI SUCKS. Install it. Run it. Scan and Parse. Find where you can edit the PID (Product ID), somewhere under USB_Device_Descriptor. It will be listed as 0000. That is why your Nano is broken. Change it to 6001. Click program. Your Nano is probably fixed now and will work in OS X or linux.
If you are getting the “avrdude: ser_recv(): programmer is not responding error.” error, then you can try the reset trick listed at stackoverflow. That never worked for me, so I had to reburn the bootloader using another Arduino. Follow the directions here or more advanced at this place.
Update: Amazon refunded the money for all my counterfeit TinkerVault Nanos even outside of the return time. Good going Amazon! (and thanks to ‘Calvin’ from the India call center for his fast, polite and efficient help).