Learn how to load Arduino bootloader on a ATMEGA328 IC using ISP programmer and Arduino board. randofo @ instructables.com writes:
Bootloading an Arduino with a ZIF socket allows you to easily program a lot of chips at once without worrying about mangling the pins. The reason for this is that ZIF stands for “zero insertion force,” and as the name implies, ZIF sockets don’t require any force to take the chip in or out. This means that you do not have to worry about any of the pins bending when you take the chip in and out of the socket. This is particularly useful if you need to bootload a lot of Arduino chips at once for inclusion in an electronics kit or if you need to repeatedly program a chip and transfer it back and forth between a separate circuit board.
Bootload an Arduino with a ZIF Socket - [Link]
TUTORIAL: Arduino Hacks -Burning bootloader chips using an Arduino.
A lot of people start learning about microcontrollers with an Arduino but then want to build their own projects without having to sacrifice their dev board. Or maybe they want to make their own Arduino variant, that is compatible with the IDE. Either way, a common problem is how to burn the bootloader onto the fresh AVR chip. Since AVRs come blank, they need to be set up to be Arduino IDE compatible but to do that you need an AVR programmer (like the USBtinyISP).
The good news is that you can burn bootloader using your existing Arduino with only a little bit of work. There’s even a minitutorial on the arduino.cc site
This tutorial is an extention of that tutorial. First we’ll show how you can make a permanent bootloader-burner by soldering a 28-pin ZIF socket to a proto shield and use the PWM output line of the Arduino to generate a clock. This will let you ‘rescue’ many chips that have been set to the wrong type of oscillator, or change ones that are set from external oscillator (most Arduino bootloaders) to internal (such as the lilypad).
Arduino Hacks -Burning bootloader chips using an Arduino - [Link]
Programming in a ZIF! @ The Custom Geek. Jeremy writes – [via]
This is just a quick post about a board I made to program a whole bunch of ATmega 328′s for some kits I’m making. I am ordering the 328′s in bulk, so they are brand new and do not have an Arduino bootloader on them. One of the ways you can get an Arduino bootloader on a factory fresh 328 is use an Arduino Uno and a USBTiny. Sure, I could pop about 100 of these into an Uno, but that would be a lot of work as well as wear and tear on the 28 DIP socket on my Uno.
The answer? A ZIF socket! These are fantastic! Anyone who has installed/upgraded a CPU in a computer knows what these are. ZIF stands for Zero Instillation Force. That means you drop the chip in the socket very easy, then pull a lever down to secure the contacts and prevent the chip from bouncing out of there. Making swapping out a bunch of chips to program them a lot easier, faster, and less prone to damage to the pins or chips!
Programming in a ZIF! - [Link]