Troubleshooting JTAG Programmer

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  • #10299

    Well, based on some suggestions from some Shmups forum posts, I decided not to worry too much about getting one of the official Altera USB blasters, and just got one of the much-cheaper clones off Amazon. Only problem is now I can’t get it working to update my firmware…

    With the Altera drivers installed for the blaster, my computer bluescreens if I open the Quartus programmer with it connected, though detects it alright if I wait to connect it until the program has started up. However, if I then connect and switch on the OSSC, open the .jic file as described in the instructions, and finally hit Start, the programmer runs for a few minutes before failing with the error “Can’t access JTAG chain”.

    Has anyone else encountered anything like this in trying to update their firmware via JTAG, or should I just chalk it up to the programmer being cheap junk?


    Are you using the properly signed drivers that come with Quartus or the drivers that the programmer provides?


    I think I got the official Altera drivers installed properly; I followed the instructions on the wiki and I don’t see anything wrong in the device manager. Anything look off to you?

    Altera Drivers


    Not sure if it’s related, but my computer would bluescreen whenever I connected my clone to usb after installing the drivers included with Quartus Lite 16.1. I was able to go into safe mode, connect the device, and delete the driver to stop the blue screen.

    The driver available here worked fine both with the old programmer as well as the programmer included in Quartus 16.1:


    Huh, well what do you know, that did the trick! Not sure if the driver is any different between your link and the one that comes with the current version of Quartus, but the Quartus 13 programmer that came with the download was much more stable and responsive in use. Maybe the blaster I got just really doesn’t like Quartus 16.

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