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Unread November 10th, 2019, 09:57 AM   #1
gsocs
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Exclamation URGENT: RSView32: 'PLC not found. Cause: Record not found"

I've hit an emergency situation with an older setup that controls a critical system. There's a Windows XP "server" that interfaces with a Rockwell PLC via ethernet.

The server had a processor thermal issue that was causing intermittent shutdowns for a period of time prior to being called in. I managed to repair this and the filesystem corruption from these shutdowns, but after I brought the system back online the RSView32 application will still not start properly. The errors are as follows:
Code:
Unable to synchronize tag 'XX0X_XXXXX_XX'.
Cause: Node 'XXXX_PLC' not found. 
Cause: Record not found.
If I'm reading this correctly the startup fault is ultimately due to the "record not found" and thus that leads me to believe that this is a database issue. Anyone able to confirm or correct my assumption here based on this message (and many repeated identical messages)?

Ultimately I'm guessing that Watcom TagServer is the problem with a database corruption. Is there a way to check/correct the consistency of this database server that would then in turn resolve this record error?

This is operating with Watcom SQL Database Engine Version 4.0e. If this sounds reasonable, is there a way to check and restore consistency to the database .db file?

Unfortunately there's no one around that understands this system any longer and the original developers are no longer available, thus I'm left trying to resolve this issue alone.

Last edited by gsocs; November 10th, 2019 at 10:01 AM.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 06:16 AM   #2
sigmadelta
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The best you could do right now is to take a backup of the entire hard disk of that computer, and have someone who is capable to take off the files you need to transfer it to a new computer. I could look if you had a way to upload it to somewhere like dropbox or Google drive.

I would look/ask around if a backup of the RSView32 application exists somewhere.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 06:24 AM   #3
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Not so easy with XP, you have to make sure the new Motherboard and CPU can actually run it natively (no VM)... they're still available but come in about 1k.

The other issue is with that age, some of the cards (PCI etc) might not play nice with a new motherboard, but if it supports XP, it should have legacy slots too.

The hard drive is maybe IDE not SATA so again you'll have to search for a dock with a ribbon cable connection. If I was doing this I would look for a dock with IDE and SATA that can clone the HDD cluster by cluster.

Have also found that Windows trying to access corrupt files and copy them on a failing HDD can be troublesome, much better to connect it to a Linux VM and mount it to that then copy.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 06:32 AM   #4
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I've used Acronis software for copying/restoring hard disks. It also makes an image file.

https://www.acronis.com/en-us/

If the communications to the PLC is Ethernet or DF1 Serial, then a VM with RSView32 would work. If it's with communication cards such as DH+, that's another thing.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 07:14 AM   #5
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In short, you have an older RSView32 PC that used Watcom Tagserver to talk to an SQL database, the PLC is connected via Ethernet and I assume RSLinx OEM, RSLinx Single Node or RSLinx Gateway.
The error code is in RSView32, and the error text sounds to me as if RSView32 cannot see the PLC. The "record not found" may not be related to the database or the Watcom Tagserver.

Do you have the RSView32 program ?
You should check the configuration of the connection to the PLC. And the check if this matches with the RSLinx setup on the RSView32 runtime PC. If it does match, troubleshoot why RSLinx cannot see the PLC.

Even if you get this sorted on this old PC, you should ultimately migrate to a newer PC with a newer OS.
And when you get that far, make an image of the harddisk for emergency recovery if the need should arise in the future !
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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@JesperMP seems to be on the right track here due to the fact that this computer has tested out as functional (various diagnostics and systemboard tests + memtest86 and hddregen). Someone apparently, while cleaning it, screwed with the heatsink and the thermal paste dried up. This is what initially caused the shutdowns. The computer is back up and all is fine there for the time being. There's no budget to replace this computer until next year and so we have to hobble along at least for the next 2 months.

FYI, I have already taken a clone of the entire hard drive onto an external drive when I was first called into this and so I have a copy of everything (albeit in a corrupted/nonfunctional state) presently.

@JesperMP your summary is correct.

RSView32 is on the system, but I'm not sure of its status as being full version or just a standalone to execute the program. I'm not familiar with the program but with my background I should be able to get around in it if I know what to look for (background in CS + 25 yrs of network/sysadmin).

This has been the trick I need to figure out. All of the network diagnostics and network connection between the PLC and this PC check out. No problems there whatsoever at the physical or network stack layers.

I've not seen RSLinx anywhere in the software so far. I'll have to dig a bit further to see if perhaps it's somewhere on the system (`cd \ ; dir /s *linx*.exe` I assume would find it?)...

If I do find RSLinx, what would be the next step(s) therein to test the connectivity beyond the network layer? Or where else should I go otherwise from there?

I'll not have access to this system again until either later today or tomorrow.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 10:14 AM   #7
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RSlinx would be in the System Tray.
If you find it there you should be able to open it and check what connections are setup.

There is a remote (! no pun intended) possibility that RSView does not connect directly to the PLC via RSLinx on the same PC, but via RSLinx Gateway on another PC.
If you have the RSView32 project, you should be able to investigate the actual setup. And by that know where to look.

RSView32 can connect to a PLC either via RSLinx or via OPC. There is the odd, but highly unlikely possibility that RSView32 connects via a 3rd party OPC server to the PLC. But since the PLC is a Rockwell PLC as you write, it would be unlikely since RSLinx is more 'native' to Rockwell and RSView32.
If there are many diverse PLCs that RSView32 connects to, then it could be likely that there is for example a Kepserver with connections to multiple devices via multiple protocols.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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Interesting @JesperMP. I don't recall seeing that anywhere in the systemtray, but will investigate further. There was no discussion at all of RSLinx. Also, there is no other PC there but this one. The setup is very simple: PLC with ethernet <-> Switch <-> PC (static IP assignments). Perhaps something happened and RSLinx is not starting up as it should...? Something seemingly to investigate.

Regarding the RSView32 project, I can look at the various components of the "program", but I didn't see anything indicating a connection. It seemed limited to me to graphics and alarms without anything that indicated some form of connectivity. I had hoped to see code that I could trace to the point where the connection occurs in order to manually try this connection, but I didn't see anything of this nature...

I did see mention of OPC, but it seemed to be disabled or not active / non-existent.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 10:59 AM   #9
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In the RSView32 project there should be a list of "channels". A channel can be either with "direct driver", "OPC" or "DDE".
A channel that uses "direct driver" actually uses RSLinx.

Since RSView32 seems to communicate just fine, then there must be one of these mentioned communications methods configured and running. It may not be obvious, since both RSLinx and a 3rd party OPC server usually will be running as service.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 12:12 PM   #10
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It's some time ago now but I had a problem like this, however I believe I had multiple issues, there is a file in one of the directories to do with the tags (I cannot remember what it is called now), but if you delete it the next time you boot it re-generates it and that cures the problem, perhaps someone else remembers the filename. This happens because of improper shutdown of RSV32
I will see if I still have a copy of the application & it may remind me of the filename, however the original system has long gone. What I did first time was to re-name the file just in case I got the wrong one.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post
It's some time ago now but I had a problem like this, however I believe I had multiple issues, there is a file in one of the directories to do with the tags (I cannot remember what it is called now), but if you delete it the next time you boot it re-generates it and that cures the problem, perhaps someone else remembers the filename. This happens because of improper shutdown of RSV32
I will see if I still have a copy of the application & it may remind me of the filename, however the original system has long gone. What I did first time was to re-name the file just in case I got the wrong one.
That was to clean up a corrupt RSView32 project. You had to delete the Cache folder. Then in the tag folder delete the *.CAC and if I remember right??..you had to go to the datasources (obdc) somewhere in control panel and remove the project name.
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Unread November 11th, 2019, 01:46 PM   #12
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Hey guys, thanks again so very much. So it turns out that it was a database corruption. Someone with an external copy of RSView32 was able to get into the system and confirmed that database corruption was the culprit. They were able to resolve this (did not provide further details) and the system is now back up and running.

If I get further details on what happened there, I'll post here for posterity...
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Unread November 12th, 2019, 04:30 AM   #13
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Thanks for the reminder peter, It was some years ago, you just jogged my memory of the problem I had & obviously that was not the same. At least I do not have to troll through my old backups it could take some time. On another note: it just goes to show the importance of having good backups even previous ones going back a long time. I have backups I used to take home as even though our IT department kept all my backups on the servers & regularly took backups of them for the fire safe they did manage to loose a few. It also proved useful a few months ago. The company I worked for some years ago went into liquidation, I was kept on to shut down & manage the removal of equipment that had been sold. Where possible I made sure the manuals & backups of the code was given to the buyer, however in some cases this did not happen (not just me managing the removals). I was contacted 3 years on as one of the buyer's had lost a program due to flat battery, I still had a copy & promptly e-mailed it to them along with documentation. I still have backups going back nearly 30 years just in case.
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