LEGO NXT Clicking brick Syndrome    Send article as PDF   
If you LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick appears to be dead, and it’s making a low clicking noise, don’t despair as it is a relatively easy fix. As a rule this often happens when the USB Drivers on your PC or Mac is incompatible with NXT Brick. Sometime if you haven’t used your LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick for a long period of time the Brick appears to ends up with corrupted Firmware.

The NXT Brick uses two USB interfaces, and thereby it needs two separate drivers. The first of these drivers is needed for normal operation, such as when you are connecting the brick to your PC while making your robots too download your software. The second driver is needed when the brick is in Firmware Update Mode, or SAMBA Mode.

Clicking Brick Syndrome


If you use Arduino Microcontrollers you can/will have the same Drive issues, as the Arduino USB Drive has the same Hardware Ident (#011) as that of the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick.

  1. Disconnect the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick from the USB Port on the PC.
  2. Uninstall (“Delete”) the Arduino Driver via MS Windows Device Manager.
  3. Reset the PC.
  4. Connect the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick via USB to the PC.
  5. MS Windows should automatically select the SAMBA Mode driver.

The main driver is usually generally installed when you install the NXT software, whereas the second driver is a default driver provided by the operating system. In Windows 7 (or higher) the default driver is not compatible with the NXT brick. As a result, when you invoke that driver to upgrade your firmware, the firmware upgrade fails and brick goes into a clicking mode.


I have found that if your LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick appears to be dead, simply remove the batteries for five (5) Minutes, and replace the batteries with a fresh set. Next by preform a Hardware Reset, and the Brick will be reborn and begin happily Click, Click, Clicking

It is a good idea to preform a Hard Reset your LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick, before performing a Firmware Update using either a Windows PC or Mac computer. To preform the Hardware Reset, you will need to depress a small button that is concealed inside the top corner mounting on the bottom of the NXT Brick, near the USB Socket (See image below). Depress and hold the button down for about 5 seconds. A Knitting Needle or thin shanked Screw Driver is ideal for the job.

Hardware Reset

The Fix:

  1. Completely disconnect your LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick from the computer (no USB connection).
  2. Reboot the computer (this is to make sure no other application is trying to compete for the USB port).
  3. Start the LEGO Mindstorms NXT-G Application (and, if possible, don’t start any other applications).
  4. Remove “ONE” battery from the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick for 10-15 seconds, then reinsert it.
  5. Push the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick’s Hardware Reset Button firmly for five seconds (make sure you actually press it, and press it for the whole five seconds).
  6. Now the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick is Clicking, the SAMBA Environment up and running, connect the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick to the computer via the USB cable. Preferably use a “primary” USB port, that is one on the computer itself, and not on a keyboard or monitor.
  7. On a PC, you can go to the device manager and check to see if the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Brick shows up in “Firmware Update Mode(if not, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the software and drivers).
  8. Update the Firmware to the LATEST Version (Download Firmware v1.05) using the “Update Firmware” under the tools menu in the NXT-G Enviroment.
  9. If this fails, try *briefly* pushing the reset button again (one second).


If the above sequence does not work for you, try repeating steps 1-9, but using a Different USB Port on the computer.

If you are a Apple Mac user, please refer to this article: How do I solve the LEGO NXT clicking brick syndrome?

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