Gunther Cox How to fix NXT Click of Death

Salvius the Robot

Salvius is an open-source humanoid robot built from recycled parts.

How to fix NXT Click of Death


Symptoms: NXT screen is blank, computer may or may not recognize the brick, and a very quiet clicking noise is audible coming from the brick. I have also witnessed an NXT brick that after the clicking was resolved was not being detected correctly by the computer. These steps also worked for that.

Robot builders who use the LEGO NXT Programmable Brick may run into a error where the NXT has a blank screen and makes quiet clicking sounds repeatedly. This problem may occur due to an error while updating the NXT's firmware. Some solutions that have been mentioned that may work are:
  • Unplug the USB cable from the NXT and the computer.
  • Make sure that any external Bluetooth dongles have been removed from the computer.
  • Restart the NXT software that you are using.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Remove the batteries for a few seconds and then put them back in.
  • Press the hidden reset button in the hole underneath the USB port for 7 seconds.
  • Let the NXT stay untouched somewhere over night with the batteries in.
  • While the NXT is clicking connect it to the computer via USB port. It is better to connect it to a primary port (one that is directly connected to the computer) and not one that is on a monitor or keyboard because those USB ports are using dividers that have to handle data being sent from a USB port designed to connect to only a single device rather than many. If the NXT is not connected through a primary USB port there may be errors.
  • Attempt to re-download the firmware to the NXT brick.
  • Call LEGO support and they will send you a new one probably for free.
If the above options do not work or are not an option as they were for me because I have long ago voided the NXT warranty you can also try the following steps which worked to fix my NXT.

NOTE: If you are using Windows you can go to the device manager and check to see if the NXT shows up in "Firmware Update Mode" (if not, you may need to uninstall and then reinstall the software and drivers). It may also be a good idea to make sure that you have all of the proper drivers installed. LEGO provides a free NXT driver that you can download from their website.
  1. Know what software you use to program the brick; EX: RobotC, Labview, Robolab, LEGO Mindstorms NXT software etc. Developers originally based Robolab and LEGO Mindstorms NXT software off of Labview so all those programs use the same firmware on the NXT brick. Other software like RobotC uses different firmware. The NXT brick automatically makes the clicking sound when it is in firmware update mode and is waiting for an update. Because for some reason the NXT looses the connection to the computer that told it to enter update mode the NXT will remain in that state (clicking).
  2. Find/download a copy of programming software that used NXT firmware other than the one that you are currently using.
  3. After installing the new software you will need to use it to update the NXT's firmware. Doing this will be somewhat different for whatever software you are using so if you have any problems figuring it out simply search online for instructions or check the software's documentation under the help menu.
Your NXT should now work and be functioning normally! Also one of the best things about resolving your issue this way is that modifying the firmware does not delete any of the programs that you have saved on the NXT brick so you may be able to recover everything!