Why Is The White Box Missing On My PanelView Plus? Why Doesn't F1 Bring Up Configuration Mode?

Why is the PanelView Plus “Goto Config Mode” white box missing on boot? Why doesn’t pressing F1 on boot bring me to the PanelView Plus configuration mode?

PanelView Plus Configuration ModeYesterday we discussed how to get into the “Configuration Mode” of a PanelView Plus, and we learned the easiest way to do so was to either put a “Goto Config” button in your FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ViewME) project, or intterupt the boot process of the terminal by pressing the “White Box” in the lower left corner of a touch screen unit, or the “F1 Key” on a keypad unit.

But what do you do when the “White Box” doesn’t show up, or the “F1 key” doesn’t work?

There’s two reasons why this may be happening:

PanelView Plus 3.20.09 Patch Release NotesFirst, it could be your PanelView Plus has a firmware version prior to 3.20.09. If that’s the case, the firmware loaded in your terminal predates the inclusion of the “White Box” and “F1” power-up auto load interrupt. In these cases I highly recommend backing up all the .mer files on your PanelView Plus, and well as recording all your network and communication settings, and then flashing your unit up to the latest firmware available for your PVPlus, which would be version 5.1+.

This will not only add the “White Box” and “F1 Key” boot-up option to enter “Configuration Mode,” it will also provide all the advantages the latest 5.1 firmware provides (including ViewPoint web clients, if your unit has enough memory to run it.) Just beware the version 5.1 firmware supports ViewME Runtime files (.mer) back to 3.1. There’s some question as to if a version 3.0 file would also work on a 5.1 terminal, but no question as whether it’s supported (it’s not.) So if your project is version 3.0, I suggest you be sure you have the full project (the .apa file, not the .mer) and the capacity to rev. the application to version 3.1 before you commit to flashing your PVPlus.

Rockwell Software Downloads 3.0 to 3.1 FUP FilesYou may also have to visit the Rockwell Software Downloads Page to find a copy of the 3.0 to 3.1 firmware migration files as last time I checked 3.0 first has to be migrated to 3.1 before it can be migrated to any other version

The second reason you may not see the “White Box,” or the “F1 Key” does not work to interrupt the boot process could be because you have a PanelView Plus 6 with firmware 6.0. It’s quite an annoyance that version 6.0 of the PVPlus 6 did not have this feature which so many people rely on, and to bring the feature back you’ll need to first flash your PanelView Plus 6 to version 6.1. And just like when flashing a PanelView Plus, before you do so you should back up all your .mer files which are on the terminal, and well as record all the terminal’s network and communication settings.

PanelView Plus 6 Manual Boot OptionOnce your PVPlus 6 terminal is flashed to 6.1 you still need to enable the “White Box” / “F1 Key” functionality. To do this you must exit “Configuration Mode” to get to the “Windows CE” desktop. And to do that you’ll need to know the password, which by default is “password.”

Once in Windows CE, open the Control Panel, chose “System,” then “Start-up Options,” then “Boot Option,” and select “Detect safe mode request at startup.” It’s quite a few steps, but it does bring back the “White Box” and “F1 Key” boot-up functionality, which I have to say is much better than the option provided in version 6.0 required plugging in a USB keyboard into the back of the PVPlus 6.

If you have anything you would like to add to the above, or have any questions on this information, please feel free to use the “Leave a reply” form below to comment on this article.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Consultant
Insights In Automation

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Legacy Comments

  1. Very Useful information, thank you very much, I have just see a PVPlus 6 without the white box, so I was wondering why?. I’m going to download an app with a shut down button, so I can access setup page and to activate the white bow.

  2. What about a standard PanelView Plus? Not a CE?

    • Good morning Corey,

      All you need is firmware version 3.20.09 or higher (5.1.x) to get “White Box” and “F1″ power-up auto load interrupt on the original PanelView Plus (or VersaView CE / PanelView Plus CE)

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney

      Did you find my comment helpful? Why not become a Premium Member with a small donation, and in return I'll give you a coupon for $10 of my automation downloads! Find out more here

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