Transferring Runtime Files (.mer) To PanelView Plus Using USB Flash Drive

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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.

Sincerely,

Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger
If you enjoyed my article, you may like my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com


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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

5 Old Comments:

  1. 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?

      Sincerely,

      Shawn Tierney

      If you enjoyed reading my article you may also like my affordable training courses at TheAutomationSchool.com

        • 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?

          Sincerely,

          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.