RSLinx Backup Restore Utility

The RSLinx Backup Restore Utility will allow you to easily backup your driver configuration.  There are several reasons, you may want to use this utility…  Remember, you may have several drivers configured with many IP Addresses or Host Names under each driver.

A)  If you get a new laptop into your shop, you may want to backup the drivers on the old laptop to a USB drive.  Then you can restore the driver configuration to your new laptop.

B)  Drivers are very easy to delete.  If you had many IP Addresses under a particular driver, and it is deleted, this utility can save you a lot of time and a lot of research if you had the driver configuration previously backed up.

C)  Maybe you suspect a problem with a corrupt system, and need to re-image your workstation.  You will want to be sure your drivers are backed up, so they can be restored after the re-image operation is complete.

D) If you have problems communicating with a certain processor or other equipment, once you have a known configuration, you can back up the known configuration that works with that equipment, and the next time you need to communicate, you can restore the configuration to a known state that works with that processor.

Please understand that this is a separate utility from the RSLinx communication server itself.

1) To access the Backup Restore Utility, click Start | All Programs | Rockwell Software | RSLinx | Backup Restore Utility.

2)  Choose “Backup” to back up your current driver configuration, then you will be prompted where to save the file.  Choose your location, and file name, then press “Save”.

Your backup is now complete.  It’s also a good idea to save your backup onto your server, or a USB drive in case your workstation ever fails!

To restore the configuration, just open the Backup Restore Utility, and hit the “Restore” button….  Browse to your backup file, and your drivers will be restored to the state of when the backup was made.

Note:  RSLinx must close and re-open to restore drivers.   The utility will warn you of this.

Using the BootP/DHCP Server (RSLinx)

A new Ethernet module (such as the 1756-ENBT) has no initial IP Address.  When replacing an Ethernet Module, there are a couple methods that are normally used to issue this IP Address.

One way would be to configure the DF1 Driver (or a driver to another communication module), and in RSWho, browse across the backplane to locate the Ethernet Module.  You can then right-click the module, and choose “Module Configuration”, and then enter the IP address on the “Port Configuration” tab.

The method discussed in this document will be the “BootP” (Bootstrap Protocol) method.  This will allow you to assign the IP address directly over the Ethernet Network.

To summarize these steps…  When we power up the module, it will begin sending out the Ethernet Address, some also call this a MAC ID or Hardware Address.  In the BootP server utility you will see these requests, and we just double-click the Ethernet Address to assign the IP Address.  Don’t forget to disable BootP after the IP address has been assigned if you need the IP Address to remain static!!

1)  Write down the Ethernet Address of the Device.  This is a six-byte hexadecimal number embedded by the device manufacturer.  This can be usually be found documented on the device itself once it’s removed from the chassis.  If your device also has an alpha-numeric display, and no IP Address has been assigned yet, you might find this ID scrolling on the face of your device.  An example of an Ethernet Address might be:  00:00:BC:1E:98:D9.

2)  Open the BootP Server.  This is usually installed when you install RSLinx Classic.  This is under Start | All Programs | Rockwell Software | BootP/DHCP Server.

3)  Once the server is open you may have to enter some network details such as the Subnet Mask and Default Gateway.  Usually, just the Subnet Mask is required.  A common Subnet Mask is

4) Power up your processor, and you should see the device begin to request an IP Address:

5)  Double click the MAC ID of your device.  Be sure you are on the correct MAC ID.  Entering the wrong IP Address into the wrong device could have disastrous consequences!!!  Some sites will even have procedures in place to disable all other network adapters, and plug directly into the device with a cross over cable to minimize the chance of getting the wrong IP Address in the wrong device.  You can also enter a hostname and description at this time if required.  Most sites I’ve seen only require the IP Address.  Be sure to hit “OK”.

6)  Now you can attempt to ping the device to verify the IP Address is responding.  You can do this from the command prompt using the PING command.

7)If you wish for this IP to be static, be sure to disable BootP for this device.  You can right-click the MAC ID in the relation list (in the bottom frame of the BootP Server), or highlight the MAC ID in the relation list, and use the “Disable BootP/DHCP” button.  If you happen to get an error when doing this, just attempt the request again.

8)  If possible, cycle power to ensure the device held the IP Address.

Configuring the “Ethernet Devices” Driver in RSLinx

The “Ethernet Devices” Driver can be set up in RSLinx to communicate with Ethernet devices such as a ControlLogix Ethernet module, SLC 5/05 processor, an Ethernet PLC-5 processor, and many others.  The advantage of Ethernet (vs. DF1) is the the communication speed is generally much faster.  For example:  If we flash a ControlLogix processor over Ethernet, the process may take just a couple minutes, but over an RS232 connection, this could take over an hour!

1)  First we must make the connection to the network.  You can use a crossover cable to connect directly to the device, or a standard patch cable, if you are connecting through a switch.

2)  We must know the IP address of the device we are connecting to.  If the IP address is not written on the device (or scrolling across the alphanumeric display), this may be documented in the offline project for the device.

3)  From your command prompt, type “ipconfig” all one word, no quotes.  You will see the IP address of your laptop.  Verify that you are in the same subnet as the device you are communicating with.  If you are not familiar with how subnets work, you can look at the Ethernet Addressing section of the ControlLogix Level 1 workbook.

4)  Open RSLinx Communcation server.

5)  On the Communications Menu, choose “Configure Drivers”, or you can hit the “Configure Drivers” icon in the standard toolbar.

6)  Choose “Ethernet Devices” from your driver list.

7)  For this exercise, we will leave the driver name default.  Just hit “OK”

8)  Enter the IP Addresses of every device you wish to communicate with.  If you wish to use host names instead of IP addresses, you can reference the section “Configuring the Host file” in the ControlLogix Level 2 workbook.  A DNS server can also be used to serve Host names.  For this exercise, we will simply enter the IP Addresses.

9)  You will see the driver is now running.  Press OK.

10)  We will now verify the driver is communicating, so we need to open the RSWho Screen.

11)  Click the Ethernet Driver on the left side of the RSWho screen.  The devices you are communicating with with appear on the right.


If you have trouble communicating with a device, try to PING the IP address or host name from your command prompt.  If you do not get a response from the device using the PING command, verify your physical connection, and ensure you are in the correct SUBNET!  If you can PING the device, but it is not appearing in RSLinx, verify your IP Addresses are correct in the driver configuration.  If RSWho is showing the device, but it’s unrecognized, you may have to update RSLinx, or the Electronic Data Sheed (EDS) for the devices that are unrecognized.

You must now go to RSLogix to go online with your processor at this point…

Configuring the DF1 RS232 Driver in RSLinx

The RSLinx DF1 Driver can be used for point to point communication between your workstation and an Enhaced PLC-5 Processor, SLC 5/03 or higher, or ControlLogix L6x or lower processor.   This document assumes that Channel 0 of your processor has been left to factory defaults (DF1, RS232)

1)  First connect your Null Modem cable between your workstation and your processor.  You will need to know which COM port you are connected to.  You can get this information from your Device Manager in Windows.  If your COM port is built into your workstation, this will usually be COM 1, but if you have a USB to serial adapter, simply plug in the adapter with Device Manager open (and PORTS expanded), and it will be easy to see which new COM port is added when you plug in your adapter.

2)  Open RSLinx Communication Server.  RSlinx must first be set up before communication to your processor is possible.

3)  Click on “Communication” from the menubar, and choose “Configure Drivers”

4)  From the “Available Driver Types” pull down menu, choose RS232, DF1 Devices, then hit “Add New”.

5)  For this example, the name can be left at default.  Press “OK”.

6)  Be sure to choose your COM port that you found in Step 1.  The communication parameters can be entered manually, but if you are connected to the processor with your NULL modem cable, simply press the “Auto-Configure” button.  RSLinx will test the processor for different baud rates, and other settings, until it finds a setting it gets a response on.  You will get a message that the autoconfiguration was successful.  If you received a message that the autoconfiguration has failed, be sure that you have the correct cable, the processor is powered on, Channel 0 is at factory default setting (DF1), and the correct COM port has been selected, then try the Auto-Confugure button again.

7)  You will now see the driver is running.  Close the driver configuration screen.

8)  Now lets, verify communication by opening the RSWho Screen within RSLinx.  This can be found under the “Communication” menu, or you can hit the RSWho Icon on the standard toolbar.

9) Click your DF1 Driver on the left side of the RSWho Screen.  The devices you are communicating with will appear on the right.


To go Online with the processor, you must go to RSLogix at this point 

ControlLogix USB Driver

I’ve gotten several questions about how to connect to the ControlLogix L7x processors using a USB Cable using RSLinx Classic.

The L7x series processors do not have the standard serial port that the other processors have had in the past…  Instead, you just use a USB Cable (A-Male to B-Male) such as you would find for a standard printer.

1)  Verify you have RSLinx Classic 2.57 or higher installed.

2)  Connect your cable from your workstation to your processor.

3)  If this is the first time you’ve connected to this type of processor, the windows driver installation wizard will appear.  Just choose to install the software automatically.

4)  Open RSLinx Classic

5)  Under the Communications menu, choose RSWHO.

6)  Click the + next to the USB driver, and an icon of your processor will appear to verify that you are connected.

Note:  You do not need to configure the USB driver within RSLinx!!!!  It will appear automatically.