Electronics > Microcontrollers

MPLab 8.92 Nightmare

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Yesterday while printing code from a project MPLab froze up.  That happens occasionally.  My PC is Win 7. I just CTRL+ALT+Delete and force closure.  That works, and there haven't been problems in the past.   Yesterday, when opening MPLAB, I get a warning it is still running. When I shut the PC down, and restarted, that problem disappeared.

However, after opening any project and closing it, then closing MPLAB and trying to reopen MPLAB, I get the warning it is still running.  The MPLAB icon is not in the task bar, and task manager (CTRL+ALT+Delete) doesn't show anything running.  I have now uninstalled and reinstalled the entire program 4x with various manipulations.  I have downloaded it fresh from Microchip and reinstalled that version.  Still that same behavior happens.

If I ignore that warning, it seems to work normally, but I don't want to risk a screw up with a sick program.  Any ideas?

Most likely there is a lock file that was not properly cleaned up. Look in the MPLAB directories and clean up suspicious files. Stuff in C:\User\<name> and may be temporary files. It might be some flag in the registry too, but I doubt it.

Also, there is no danger of any corruption, just an annoyance.

If you can't find the lock file , you can use Process Monitor from SysInternals Suite : https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

Add a rule to reject everything except data coming from mplab.exe process. If you want, go in toolbar and uncheck everything but file operations.

Clear the log if there's something in it, then run mplab executable until you get the message and look in the log to see what files the executable has opened or checked for - you'll find that lock file in the list.  (look for CreateFile or OpenFile in the list)

I opened the Microcip folder and manually removed everything.  Then from the setup.exe, I clicked on remove everything.  That seemed to go normally.  Rebooted the PC and reinstalled a fresh version again.  No errors on install, but behavior is the same.

I haven't tried rules setting, but was wondering whether installing MPLab in a different location might help. It is currently in C:\Program Files (x86); whereas Eagle (for example) is in its own folder.  If it is registry or failure to remove something that is really hidden, would that help?  (My admin. setting is supposed to allow me to see hidden and system files.)

MPLAB 8.xx was notorious for crashing while opening due to a corrupted workspace file auto-loading.   Delete the offending workspace (which was usually the last one used) from outside MPLAB, and it would be fine again though if it was associated with a project, you would need to recreate the workspace, or restore from backups if available.  It could also need the SetDefaultMPLABStartup.exe to be run which resets most registry based MPLAB settings to their 'out of the box' defaults.  N.B. the registry settings are global for all MPLAB 8 installs.

If you read the topics I contributed to over on the Microchip forums regarding corrupted workspaces, you'll find the mitigation strategies for IDE window management I found to reduce the risk of workspace corruption.



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