Update: Check out our most recent article on this subject HERE.

PanelView Plus 700The ability to transfer Rockwell Software's FactoryTalk View Machine Edition runtime files (.mer) to the PanelView Plus and PanelView Plus 6 using standard USB Memory Stick (aka USB flash drive, USB thumb drive) is a handy feature, if you know how to do it.

In most cases, you'd typically download the runtime file (.mer) directly to the PVPlus via Ethernet, however there are some occasions when this won't be practical:

  • When the PVPlus isn't networked
  • When the PVPlus doesn't have an IP address assigned
  • When the PVPlus doesn't have an Ethernet Port (some 400 and 600 models)
  • When there's no easy way to get your PC near the PVPlus to connect to it
  • When you have an old pre-6 version of ViewStudio (and the Transfer Utility,) but a new PVPlus 6 (the PVP6 does support older v3.1-v5.1 .mer's, however the old Transfer Utility doesn't support the new PVP6)

Sandisk Memory StickIn these cases, using a USB memory stick to transfer your program from your development PC to the PanelView Plus can be the quickest and easiest, if not the only way to get your file on the unit.

The trick is, the PVPlus and PVPlus 6 only look in one folder on the USB stick for .mer files, and unless your .mer is located in this location the PanelView Plus won't find it:

Rockwell Software\RSViewME\Runtime

PVPlus Load ScreenBut before you go manually creating these folders you should know of a neat little trick to have them created for you automatically.

If you insert your USB memory stick into your PanelView Plus, then browse the USB memory stick, if the PanelView doesn't find the default directory on the USB stick it create it for you.

To do this, start by plugging your USB memory stick into your PanelView Plus.

Next, from the configuration menu select “Load Application” and change the source to “External Storage 1” which represents your USB memory stick (assuming no other removable memory was installed prior to your inserting of the USB memory stick.)

After a few seconds, change the source back to internal storage and back out of the load menu.

Click here for a list of currently available USB Memory Sticks and Flash Drives

Now remove your USB Memory Stick from the PanelView and plug it into your PC.

Then browse it with Windows Explorer and you should find the required folders have been created for you.

At this point you can copy your .mer file(s) to the memory stick into the Rockwell SoftwareRSViewMERuntime directory.

Then safely eject it from your PC, and plug it back into the PanelView Plus.

Now, back on the PVPlus, navigate to the File Manager screen under Terminal Settings.

Then copy your .mer runtime application to the internal storage of the PanelView Plus.

Load the application, and set it's defaults, and in most cases you'll also want to go back into terminal settings and setup the startup options as well.

I hope the above information on how to use a USB memory stick to transfer runtime files to your PanelView Plus was helpful.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to share them with us by using the “post a comment or question” link below.


Shawn Tierney
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Forum Comments:
  1. When downloading an application to a customer via tight VNC - update communications is checked. Everything works fine until power is lost - the PVP will then try to load the previous version loaded in the PVP, however, it has been deleted since there is a new version. Is there a way around this?
    If we use the ME Transfer Utility, it works fine, however not all customers have that installed on their machines. We Team Viewer into a lot of customers, and then transfer the files to their computer, then open tightVNC, and transfer to the PVP.
    Thanks for your help
    Kristi Prafke
    Good morning Kristi,
    Great question (and for any new users reading this, I do cover this in my PanelView Plus course, PVP Basics.)
    The PanelView Plus Start-up application can be set using either the Transfer Utility (via the Run Application at Startup checkbox,) or in the PVPlus Configuration Menu.
    Also, if your new .MER file has the same name as the old file that is set to autorun, if you manually overwrite the old file with the new file, the new file will automatically run on startup.
    Now what I've seen most people do in the field is copy a new .MER file (with a new name) over to a PVPlus, then run it, but when power is cycled the old file attempts to run because the user never set the new file (with new file name) as the one to run on startup.
    That, or they don't check the run at startup checkbox in the Transfer Utility.
    I also explain in my course that a lot of people enter the Config Menu, make the Autorun change, but don't click on OK to save the change so it isn't saved.
    With all that said, if you're still having issues it might help to share your PVP PN#, Firmware ver., and ViewStudio ver, since they all have subtle differences.
    Hope this helps,
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor, The Automation School
    I have been using tight VNC to transfer my files to PVP 7 - the original transfer will work, however if the PVP is powered down, or a loss of power, the application will not reload.
    Good morning Kristi,
    As I said, if you copy a file to the PVPlus and Run it, that doesn't make it the default application.
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor, The Automation School
    Good Day Shawn,
    Recently I have been forced to plan to change out the Panel View Plus 1500 HMI's we have in the plant on our Low Pressure Gas Compressors.
    This is due to the screens becoming very faint because I assume of direct sunlight. (Of late there has been change in that we
    have more direct sunlight on the screens than we have had previously.
    I have managed to procure new Panel View Plus 1500's
    My intention is to power up the new Panel View Plus 1500's in my office, insert a thumb-drive with the relevant *.mer files and copy them
    onto the new Panel View units.
    My challenge is that I do have the original *.apa files for each HMI. (from 2010), but need to convert the *.apa to *.mer.
    How do I achieve this? ( I have Factory Talk View Studio 5.10.00 CPR9 SR2 original project used 5.0.00 )
    Eric Hartwell
    Good morning @Eric_H,
    Yeah, the standard displays are not rated for direct sunlight 🙁
    I would have recommended just buying a "High Bright" display for your existing PanelView Plus 1500 since it sounds like the Logic Board is still good (if you don't want the old one I'll take it for use on The Automation Show! 😉
    One option you have, as you eluded to, would be to just copy the .MER files off of the old unit and put them in the same place on the new unit, and then set one to autorun again.
    This can be done manually or with the transfer utility.
    But you could also restore the APA files in View Studio using the application manager, and then create new runtime files (be sure to choose v5.0 if the panel has v5 firmware) and download them, but this seems like a lot of extra work over just uploading and downloading the MERs, especially if you don't need to make any changes.
    For more about using the PVPlus, see the links below in which I cover all of this and more:
    - https://theautomationblog.com/?s=panelview+plus
    - https://theautomationschool.com/courses/pvp-core-basics-course/
    Hope this helps,
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Hi Shawn,
    Thanks for your assistance, i did what you said and managed to get the new PVP 1500 running with the .mer file i copied from the old unit.
    Another question if I may.
    I seem to be having heat/direct sunlight issues on all the PVP units on the Starboard side of our FPSO.
    The latest one is from our Crane cabin we have a PVP 700 connecting to SLC via DH+
    I managed to obtain a new PVP 700.
    The .mer file was copied and transferred to the new unit.
    However, when the new unit is connected & powered up, I get the graphics but no update from the PLC to the screen.
    I have checked the configuration setup but don't seem to find anything out of place.
    I would imaging in this case the IP address settings would not matter as we are using DH+. I anyway made the IP settings on both units the same.
    Because the crane is used daily for marine operations, I was forced to put the old unit (with the heat damaged screen) back into operation.
    The old one booted up fine and is displaying the PLC's info.
    Thanks once again for your forum it really is a breath of fresh air to have some place to get assistance when you are on your own in the middle of the sea.
    Good morning ,
    First, the PanelView Plus line is not rated for direct sunlight, and Rockwell recommends either a "hood" or their own "High Bright" display module (uses same Logic Module)
    Second, I would recommend you check in the configuration of both PVPlus's to see if the shortcuts are the same? Some people don't set their projects to load communications on startup, which would leave the project with no connected shortcuts:
    - https://theautomationblog.com/how-to-check-your-rslinx-enterprise-shortcut-on-a-panelview-plus/
    If the second one is not the same as the first, you should be able to set it to be the same in the configuration menu.
    PS - I'm assuming you're using the same RN6 on both PVPs?
    Hope this helps,
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Hi Shawn,
    We are now going to protect the PVP with covers etc.
    Yes it is exactly the same RN6 as I am replacing the original unit with a new unit. It is the new unit that is not "updating" from the PLC once powered up & connected.
    One other thing, the PVP 700 battery is flat, the spare PVP 700 was in storage for some years. Unfortunately I do not presently have a replacement battery, but still need to use the new PVP 700 for crane operations.(The old one has screen damage).
    On another note, one of the new PVP 1500 spare units I received as spare has a firmware version of (CPR7) all of our PVP 1500 are version (CPR9)
    Do you possibly know where I could get version (CPR9) from?
    Best Regards
    Good morning ,
    Great to hear you're going to protect the PVPs from direct sunlight - this is really a must and if you have a sheet metal shop it should be easy to make a hood /visor.
    To get out of a jam with comms, I would try the old Logic board on the new Screen.
    To me it seems the Shortcut setup on the old unit was changed on the terminal itself, so it's not loading with just the MER file on the new screen (you can view/edit either in the config menu - see my previous post for the link)
    As far as the battery, it's a standard watch-like battery, but if you don't have any onboard then when you shut off power to the PVP the clock is going to stop updating or even reset (just like other electronic devices with clocks and dead batteries.)
    As far as where to get PVP firmware, check out:
    - https://theautomationblog.com/how-to-find-and-download-a-b-plc-and-hmi-firmware-in-2018/
    Hope this helps,
    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at www.TheAutomationSchool.com

15 Blog Comments

  1. Shawn,

    Excellent site, sure to save me and others untold hours of work / headaches and system downtime. Keep up the good work.

    • Good afternoon Rojelio,

      Yes sir it does – I just did it myself this morning while filming my PanelView Plus course,


      Shawn Tierney

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    • You’re very welcome Richard!


      Shawn Tierney

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  2. Shawn,

    Thank you for the great idea.

    But i had a little bit problem when i implemented it in Panelview Plus 700, when the alarm/diagnostic display was active, the button to close them (F4) can not be activated (same behaviour with F1, F2, F3).

    When i try to change the display number of alarm, diagnostic, information to non zero number, it made the button of the active screen can not be activated.

    Do you have any idea related to this issue ?

    Thanks before…

    • Good morning Nur,

      Not sure if you posted this comment on the right article as I can’t find the suggestion you are referring to?

      In any case, to be clear are you saying that when an alarm occurs and the alarm display pops up, you can’t close it by pressing F4? (sounds like the same is true of the diagnostic display?)

      Can you confirm the model is indeed a touchscreen and you can press buttons on other screens?

      Also, can you check in the project to if the screen control tag under global connections is being used?


      Shawn Tierney

      Find my articles or comments helpful? Check out my courses here.
      Support our site to disable ads, get free downloads, & more here.
      Have a news tip? Share it with us here.

      • Sorry shawn i made a mistake, my comment should be in the “logging using activex me data store plus”.
        Do you have any idea about my question before? It is related to logging using activex me data store plus

        • Good morning again Nur,

          Sounds like the “on top” display you have the ActiveX on is stealing focus away from your other displays, but I don’t understand why it is happening.

          When you run your application on your PC does the same thing happen?


          Shawn Tierney

          • Good morning Shawn,
            It also has same behaviour when i tried with the pc, i can not change display by press the button F1, F2, F3, etc.
            But when i clicked the button with the mouse, i can change the display, same with the panelview, if i used mouse, it was working.

            Thank you Shawn for your kind for sharing.

  3. Hello. thanks for the tip. does this folder structure ” Rockwell Software\RSViewME\Runtime” also work for PanelView 800 (2711R-T7T) ? I tried that but still not detecting USB . Please advice .

    • Good morning,

      Best way to find the path to your USB is to exit ViewME on your PVP7 and then use file manager to browse to you usb drive.


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