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Entry type: FAQ Entry ID: 109475049, Entry date: 06/27/2018

Why is the selected communication driver marked red in the "Connections" menu in the HMI configuration?

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  • Associated product(s)
Cause and solution and information about which current and older panels can communicate with SIMATIC S7-1200 and S7-1500 PLCs.

If in the selected S7 communication driver is marked red in the "Connections" menu in the HMI configuration, this might be due to incompatibility between the Image version of the HMI panel and the Device version of the SIMATIC PLC.

Fig. 01

The following table shows which versions of HMI Image are compatible with which versions of SIMATIC PLCs.  

Overview of communication options between panel and PLC

Panel groupImage versionCommunication Route to PLC
                                                           V11 V12

V13 SP1
V14 SP1

 V15 S7-1200 S7-1500


 V2, V3 V4 up to V2.x

Basic Panels 1st Generation

Basic Panels 2nd Generation----XXBAAA
Comfort PanelsX------BABB

Mobile Panels
(except Mobile Panel 177)

Mobile Panels 2nd Generation
(KTP Mobile Panels)

-- XX-- 1)BAAA

Mobile Panel 177

X------ BABB

(Operator/Touch) Panels

Multi PanelsX------BABB

Table 01 


  • "X" = Connection is supported.
  • "--" = Connection is not supported (communication driver is displayed in red).
  • "-- 1)" = See further information in Entry ID: 109753749.
  • "A" = You can configure a direct HMI connection (without any other settings). How to establish this connection is described in Entry ID: 89852595.
  • "B" = There is no communication driver for this panel in the corresponding version of the TIA Portal. How to establish a connection nevertheless is described in the following (see Solution: Communication Route "B").
  • "C" = Enable the option "Permit access with PUT/GET communication...". (see Solution: Communication Route "C"). 

Solution: Communication Route "B"

  • In the TIA Portal Engineering System you go to the folder of the panel concerned and open the "Connections" menu.
  • Create a new connection.
  • Select "SIMATIC S7 300/400" as the communication driver (1).
  • Select "ETHERNET" as the interface (2).
  • Enter the IP address of the controller (3).
  • Specify "1" as the PLC's slot (4).
With this you cannot establish a secure connection/encryption between PLC and HMI.

Fig. 02

Now access to the PLC tag can only be "absolute". In the HMI tag table, make sure that the "PLC tag" column is empty for the tags concerned and is thus set to "<Undefined>". Furthermore, the data block to be accessed via the HMI is to be configured as "non-optimized".  

Fig. 03

Solution: Communication Route "C"

Instructions for establishing HMI access via PUT/GET communication (enable PUT and GET).

  1. Open the project on the Project View.
  2. Click "Devices & networks" in the project tree (1).
  3. Click the PLC (2).
  4. Open the Properties and select the "General" tab.
  5. Click "Protection" (3).
  6. Scroll down (4).
  7. Enable the option under "Connection mechanisms" (5).

Fig. 04

Notes on the Image versions

How to determine the Image version on the panel

The Image version of a panel does not have to match the version number of the TIA Portal used to configure.
In the TIA Portal you can also configure panels with a lower firmware version than the version of the TIA Portal.

If the required panel is not listed in the hardware catalog, no connection can be established.

How to determine the Image version on a panel

  1. Read the version directly in the header of the boot loader (also "Loader" or "Start Center" depending on the version) (1).
  2. For more information click "Settings" in the boot loader (2) and "OP" in the Explorer (3).
  3. In the "OP Properties" window you select the "Device" tab (4).
  4. Read out the Image Version installed on the panel (5).

Fig. 05

How to determine the Image version in the TIA Portal

  1. Open the project in the Project View.
  2. Click "Devices & networks" in the project tree.
  3. Right-click the panel.
  4. Click "Change device / version".
  5. Under "Current device:", next to "Version:" you find the currently programmed Image version (1). The image of this version is installed on the panel when the project is transferred if the version differs from the version on the panel.
  6. If you select the model again in the device tree (2), then under "New device:", next to "Version:", the drop-down list box shows alternative versions of Image (3) that you can configure with this panel in your current version of the TIA Portal.

Fig. 06

Performance quality level
It is recommended to create only the block used for communication with the panel as "non-optimized". The other blocks should be created as "optimized".

All the data relevant for the HMI should be copied only once during the PLC cycle from the "optimized" block to the "non-optimized" block. There should not be a more frequent data exchange. This prevents unnecessary negative effect on the performance of the S7-1200 V4/S7-1500 by the "non-optimized" block.

Create a non-optimized block

  1. Open the folder of the controller in the project navigation (1).
  2. Open the "Program blocks" folder.
  3. Double-click the block used for communication with the panel (2).
  4. Open the Properties and in the "General" you click "Attributes" (3).
  5. Remove the check mark for "Optimized block access" (4).
  6. Acknowledge the message with "OK". 

Fig. 07

Further Information
Information about optimized blocks is available in the Programming Guidelines (section 2.6) in Entry ID: 90885040 (PDF).

Information about configuring an S7 communication via a PUT/GET communication connection is available in the manual in Entry ID: 109755202. Enter "PUT/GET" as search keyword.

A description of how to manually upgrade the firmware of S7-1200 and S7-1500 PLCs is available in the following Entry IDs.

  • Description of Firmware Update for S7-1500 CPU and Displays 
    (Entry ID: 77492231)
  • Where do you find the latest firmware for the SIMATIC S7-1500 CPU and which SMC do you need for an Offline Update?
    (Entry ID: 89257657)
  • How do you perform a firmware update for the S7-1200 from V3.0 onwards in STEP 7 (TIA Portal) by means of the web server?
    (Entry ID: 67190848)
  • Where do you find the latest operating system updates (firmware) for SIMATIC S7-1200 controllers?
    (Entry ID: 77430184)
  • What additions are included in the firmware changes of the S7-1200 controllers? 
    (Entry ID: 92047260)

Creation Environment
The screens in this FAQ response were created with TIA Portal V13.

Additional Keywords
S7 connection, HMI, BASIC, PN, DP, COMFORT, IWLAN V2, OP, mono, color, TP, Portrait, MP, Key, Touch, 1200, 1500, KP300, KTP400, KP400, KTP600, KTP1000, TP1500, KTP700, KTP900, KTP1200, KTP400, KP700, TP700 KP900, TP900, KP1200, TP1200, KP1500, TP1900, TP2200, 177 DP, 177 PN, 277, 277F, 73, OP73, 77A, OP77A, 77B, OP77B, 177B, OP177B, 277, OP277, 177A, TP177A, 177B, TP177B, 277, TP277, MP177, MP277, MP377

Security information
In order to protect technical infrastructures, systems, machines and networks against cyber threats, it is necessary to implement – and continuously maintain – a holistic, state-of-the-art IT security concept. Siemens’ products and solutions constitute one element of such a concept. For more information about cyber security, please visit
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