This is taken from the Trobleshooting section of the official Arduino guide
* Be sure that you are resetting the board a couple of seconds
* However, on some computers, you may need to press the reset
button on the board after you hit the upload button in the Arduino
environment. Try different intervals of time between the two, up to 10
seconds or more.
* Disconnect digital pins 0 and 1 while uploading (they can
connected and used after the code has been uploaded).
* If you get this error: [VP 1] Device is not responding
correctly. try uploading again (i.e. reset the board and press the
download button a second time).
* Check that you’re not running any programs that scan all serial
ports, like PDA sync applications, Bluetooth-USB drivers (e.g.
BlueSoleil), virtual daemon tools, etc.
* Make sure you don’t have firewall software that blocks access to
the serial port (e.g. ZoneAlarm).
* If you have a really ancient Arduino board, you may need to
change the baud rate at which sketches are uploaded to 9600 (from the
normal 19200). You will have to change the speed in the preferences
file directly. See the preferences page for instructions on finding
the file. Look for the file in your computer and change the
serial.download_rate property to match the one in your board. If you
have such a board, it’s recommended that you burn the latest
bootloader (which works at 19200 baud). This can be done with the
‘Tools | Burn Bootloader menu item.
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