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Arduino, avr-gcc, Eclipse and Windows 8.1

Recently I upgraded – and I use the word with some reluctance – to Windows 8.1 and found that in this environment I couldn’t successfully use the avr-gcc compiler (that ships with the Arduino 1.0.5 package) from Eclipse with the AVR Eclipse Plugin because attempts to Build from Eclipse resulted in a failure to start the avr-gcc compiler with the error:

avr-gcc.exe – Application Error

The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142). Click OK to close the application.

avr-gcc failing in Eclipse on Windows 8.1

The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142). Click OK to close the application.

Setting up my PATH and running the failing avr-gcc on the command line worked fine, but attempting to run avr-gcc via make all from the command line resulted in the same error as when running from Eclipse. At least that eliminated Eclipse from the equation.

Eventually I stumbled across a workaround which is to use a different build of make. I downloaded and installed GNU “make“ for Windows from the GNU Win32 project which installs make.exe into the C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin\ directory.

A quick change of PATH demonstrated this would allow a successful compile from the command line and so I made the equivalent change in Eclipse:

1) Go to Window->Preferences and then to the AVR->Paths section. Here select the entry for GNU make

Eclipse AVR Paths

2) Click Edit… and then Browse… and navigate to the path to the newly installed make.exe


which should leave you with:


3) It should now be possible to do a successful build!

I’m none the wiser to as the actual cause of this problem which doesn’t occur on earlier releases of Windows, so this is a workaround, rather than a true solution.

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  1. Steve
    November 20th, 2013 at 15:34 | #1

    I’m afraid this does not work, still get the same error. Windows 8.1 on 64bit. GNU Make x86.

  2. Robert Smallshire
    November 27th, 2013 at 21:06 | #2

    @Steve I’m sorry it doesn’t work for you. It works for me and several other people. Have you tried running the build manually from the command line?

  3. December 6th, 2013 at 16:18 | #3

    I have the same problem with Win 8.1 64 bit with AVR Studio 4.18. I installed Gnu Make x86. It doesn´t work with AVR Studio. I tried to run the build manually from the command line. But it seems to call the make.exe from WinAVR-20100110, that I used before. How can I call the make.exe from Gnu Make

  4. Thijs Groot Zevert
    January 2nd, 2014 at 12:03 | #4
  5. Baz
    January 22nd, 2014 at 21:40 | #5

    Actually, the solution that consists in installing Gnu WIN32 make did not work for me.
    However, using MinGW-32 on windows 8.1 64 bits worked like a charm. In the MinGW bin subfolder, duplicating mingw32-make.exe and renaming it make.exe and changing avr-paths preferences in Eclipse solved the problem.

  6. Skeeterbug
    June 28th, 2014 at 09:28 | #6

    Your solution worked like a charm! If AVR utils is on your PATH it will still and try to use that make instead of the newer version. Thanks again!

  7. Vladislav
    October 11th, 2014 at 23:15 | #7

    GnuWIN32 didn’t help. Mingw32-make.exe doesn’t produce an error but also doesn’t produce necessary files like .hex and .elf. I have fixed the problem replacing utils\bin\msys-1.0.dll by http://www.madwizard.org/download/electronics/msys-1.0-vista64.zip

  8. John Ridley
    October 26th, 2014 at 01:45 | #8

    Vladislav – Winner! This fixed it for me on Windows 10

  9. markotikvic
    August 23rd, 2015 at 18:15 | #9


    This solutions works perfectly. Thank you so much. I just hope other people having this problem stick trough to the last comment.

  10. pokerallo
    September 2nd, 2015 at 18:12 | #10


    Worked OK in Windows 10. Thanks.

  11. David
    September 10th, 2015 at 20:51 | #11


    Confirmed that this will work on Windows 10, thanks!

  12. Hikmadi
    October 4th, 2015 at 02:28 | #12

    Thank you.
    This method works on Windows 8.1 if replace this file into http://www.madwizard.org/download/electronics/msys-1.0-vista64.zip on …. \ utils \ bin

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