This entry describes some of the properties that you should take into account when opening and saving projects and blocks, and with hardware configuration in STEP 7. If projects, the dialogs of the blocks and the hardware configuration cannot be opened at all, or can only be opened with error messages or only as "read only", then the following are probably the cause of this behavior.
- Using an earlier version to process a STEP 7 project of a current version.
- Updating of the hardware catalog.
- Incompatible or missing optional software packages.
- User rights
- Memory requirements
- Defective files in the STEP 7 project.
- Copying of the STEP 7 project in the Explorer from the S7Proj directory.
- Opening of blocks whose project is on a server.
- Incorrect setting of the system date in Windows.
- Opening a project that was created in only one operating system language that does not correspond to a STEP 7 and current Windows language
- Access Protection activated
- Opening or restoring deleted projects
To process the project, make changes in the hardware configuration and execute the menu command "Save and Compile" we recommend the remedies in the following table.
||Notes on processing STEP 7 projects:|
Using an earlier version to process a STEP 7 project of a current version
STEP 7 version V5.3, for example, is downwards compatible to STEP 7 version V5.2. Projects created in version V5.3 can be processed in this version as long as no components and functions are used in a V5.3 project, which are not supported in earlier versions of STEP 7, like new CPUs or new functions, for example.
- If a STEP 7 V5.3 project is to be process, for example with STEP 7 V5.2, then in the V5.3 project you can only used module order numbers that are known in version V5.2. If necessary, you should configure new modules with the "predecessor order number".
- As of STEP 7 V5.2 in future you will be able to "retroload" new modules.
Please also refer to the note in the readme file in section 6.6 "Changing between the different versions of STEP 7", "New modules in old versions of STEP 7". If you open or dearchive a project in STEP 7 version V5.2, which has been created in version V5.3 or V5.4, the following messages might be displayed and subsequently you can only read the hardware configuration.
- S7 Hardware Update options package not available.
- The project includes objects of the "Hardware Update" options package that cannot be processed, because the options package is not installed or an obsolete version of it is installed.
Updating of the hardware catalog
We recommend that you install the missing updates for updating the hardware catalog. In the Hardware Configuration you execute the function "Options > Install Hardware Updates...". More information on this is also available in our FAQs in the Internet in the Entry IDs given below:
- "How do you update the STEP 7 module catalog in STEP 7 V5.2 and V5.3?", Entry ID: 17581199.
- "How can you update the hardware catalog without direct Internet access?", Entry ID: 22374877
In the "Install Hardware Updates" dialog in the Hardware Configuration under "Options > Install Hardware Updates...", you see the specifications of the modules listed and as of which version of STEP 7 you can install the hardware update.
Incompatible or missing optional software packages
Check which additional optional packages were used to create the STEP 7 project. Highlight the name of the project and right-click it. Then select "Object properties" in the pop-up menu that opens. Then, in the "Properties - Project" dialog, you select the "Required software packages" tab. This gives you a list of the software packages required for processing the project and whether or not they are installed on your PC.
Install any options package that is missing, like S7-HiGraph in the example (Fig. 02).
The software packages required must be compatible with the version of STEP 7 installed and the operating system. Check the compatibility list to see whether your installed options packages are compatible or whether you have to retrofit and upgrade or an update. The compatibility list is available in Windows under:
- "Start > SIMATIC > Product Information > English > Compatibility List"
The compatibility list shows for your installed version of STEP 7 and the operating system the version you require for the options package, e.g. S7-GRAPH (Fig. 03). If your version of the relevant options package is not compatible with your version of STEP 7, you must upgrade your software accordingly.
Entry ID: 18734363 includes a complete overview of the compatibility of SIMATIC software products with Microsoft Windows operating systems and with STEP 7 V5.3 and V5.4.
Please also refer to the information in the readme file, section 3.1 "Runtime environment", "User rights". In STEP 7 V5.3 SP2 in Windows 2000/2003/XP you must log in at least as user (not as guest). For all earlier versions of STEP 7 you need at least standard user rights. You need administrator rights for installing STEP 7 and the options package and for setting up the PG/PC interface.
STEP 7 V5.4 requires between about 650 MB and 900 MB of free memory on your hard disk.
The Windows operating systems supported require additional memory on the hard disk (typically disk C:) for the swap file, depending on the memory expansion available. You should keep at least twice the size of the main memory free. (Example: with a main memory expansion of 512 MB you need another 1024 MB of free memory on the hard disk for the swap file after installing STEP 7). Depending on the project size you might need a larger swap file when copying an entire project, for example (twice the project size in addition on the hard disk). If the memory for the swap file is too small, errors might occur (or the program might even crash). Other Windows applications (e.g. MS Word) running simultaneously with STEP 7 V5.4 also require additional hard disk space for the swap file.
More information on setting the virtual main memory in the Windows operating systems is available in our FAQ
- "How do you make the settings for the virtual memory in MS Windows XP/2000/ME/NT/9x?",
in Entry ID: 20440472.
||Defective files in the STEP 7 project|
Make a copy of your project with "File > Save as..." and the option "With reorganization (slow)". This also deletes the gaps in the program and compresses the project. Data storage is optimized and the project's memory requirement reduced.
||Copying of the STEP 7 project in the Explorer from the S7Proj directory:|
For each STEP 7 project in the SIMATIC Manager a directory is created for the project data on the drive via "<Drive name C or D, ...>:\Programs\Siemens\STEP7\S7Proj". You must always prevent STEP 7 projects being copied from this directory to another drive or to a server via the Explorer.
If you copy the project directory from "S7Proj", not all parts of the project and not all parts of the database are copied and in this way the project can be destroyed. The STEP 7 projects should always be
- copied using "File > Save as ..." to save them on a different drive or in a different directory,
- or backed up using "File > Archive ...". The ZIP file created can then be transferred to another PC and dearchived there in STEP 7.
||Opening of blocks whose project is on a server|
If you are working with one of the earlier versions of STEP 7 (V4.x, V5.0 or V5.1), you must assign a drive letter when connecting with another computer. In order to set up a connection to the server, you must first close all the STEP 7 applications and set up the link to the server by assigning a drive letter to the server path via the function "Tools > Connect network drive..." in the Explorer. Once you have set up this connection it is possible to have complete access (read and write) to the project.
In STEP 7 V5.2 and higher the connection option is supported via the UNC path.
||Incorrect setting of the system date in Windows|
Check the setting of the system date on your PC. In certain cases it might be the case that after dearchiving a STEP 7 project, error messages appear upon opening a block if the system date is set incorrectly. In this case we recommend that you close all the STEP 7 applications and the correct the system date in the Control Panel. Then reboot the PC and this behavior should be cleared.
||Opening a project that was created in an operating language that does not correspond to the STEP 7 or current Windows language|
From STEP 7 version V5.3 SP2, for system-specific reasons, the message appears that the project can only be opened in the specified Windows language:
- in projects which have been newly created from STEP 7 V5.3 SP2 and
- which have been created in an operating system language which does not correspond to one of the STEP 7 languages or
- the current Windows language, and
- if the project has not been set to be language-neutral.
If you open a STEP 7 project that was previously created in an operating system with the language setting e.g. Russian, then you must set the language to Russian beforehand in the control panel of your operating system. If you wish to open your STEP 7 project or your library under any language setting, you have to mark your project as "language-neutral."
Instructions and more information on this are available in our entry:
- Why does a message appear indicating that a foreign language has to be installed in the operating system when a project is opened from STEP 7 version V5.3 SP2?
(in Entry ID: 22635865).
More information is available in the STEP 7 Online Help under "Use foreign language character sets".
||Access protection activated|
If you activate the access protection for a project in the STEP 7 Version 5.4 ("Extras > Access protection > Activate"), you can no longer open this project with a previous version of STEP 7. In this case you must deactivate the access protection beforehand in the SIMATIC Manager of STEP 7 V5.4 ("Extras > Access protection > Deactivate"). In order to open a project with access protection in STEP 7 Version 5.4, you have to enter your user name, password and the domain in the "SIMATIC Logon Service" dialog.
More information is available in our Entry:
- "How do you activate access protection for a STEP 7 project and set up a user as project administrator?"
(in Entry ID: 25470496).
||Opening or restoring deleted projects|
You cannot restore deleted STEP 7 projects.
Archiver programs, Program abort, Multi-user systems, Multi-user mode, Multiprojects, Version conflict