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Entry type: FAQ, Entry ID: 24330202, Entry date: 01/02/2007

How can you improve the performance in the SIMATIC Manager and in the STEP 7 project?

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The table below describes a number of remedies for improving the performance in the SIMATIC Manager and in the STEP 7 project.

No. Causes and remedies for improving performance:
1 Influence of the size of the swap file (virtual memory) on the performance:
Check the settings of the virtual memory in System Properties of your operating system. 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 (recommendation: 1500 MB). Please also refer to the information in the readme file, section 3.2: Memory Requirements).

More information on setting the virtual memory is available in our Entry:

  • "How do you make the settings for the virtual memory in MS Windows XP/2000/ME/NT/9x?"
    Entry ID: 20440472
2 Reorganize your STEP 7 project. This deletes the gaps in the program and compresses the project. This method reduces the project's memory requirement.

Save your STEP 7 project with "File > Save as..." and activate the option "With reorganization (slow)".

Fig. 01

Change the project name or enter a new project name and acknowledge with "OK".

3 Influence of the network environment on the performance:
If you are working with one of the earlier versions of STEP 7, opening blocks, for example with STEP 7 version V5.1 in Windows 2000, can take longer than with the same project in Windows 98.

Remedy 1:
Deactivate the network environment. The blocks can then be opened within a short time. You can deactivate the network via "Start > Settings > Network connections".

Fig. 02

If the network environment is activated, the icon of the two offset PCs is displayed in the taskbar. Each time you open a STEP 7 block or start the SIMATIC Manager, the color of this icon changes from black to blue.

Remedy 2:
Deactivate the "Client Service" software for NetWare from Novell. This clears the performance problem.

4 Influence of the virus scanner on the performance:
Each time a file is called the virus scanner is activated and requires time to check for viruses. It is a characteristic of STEP 7 to access numerous files that the scanner then blocks. Impairment of performance was found in the following constellations:
  • Opening STEP 7 files on a Windows 98 computer with WinGuard (Dr. Solomon's) installed leads to drops in performance.
  • When a block container is marked in the SIMATIC Manager there are significant delays on computers on which "McAffee ScanEngine 4.00.2" is installed.
  • Performance problems can be prevented on computers on which Norton AntiVirus Version 7.07.23D is installed if the virus scanner is set so that it only checks files when created or downloaded and not each time they are opened.
  • It is not recommended to run virus tests in online mode, because using a virus scanner in running operation can lead to failure of the online connection. For this please refer to the notes in the readme file of your STEP 7 installation.
5 Hardware requirements:
Please note the hardware requirements for your version of STEP 7. For example, for STEP 7 V5.4 your PC requires at least 512 MB RAM and a processor of at least 600 MHz. More information is available in the readme file, chapters 2 and 3 (hardware and software requirements).
6 Compatibility with other SIMATIC software products:
Please also note the compatibility of your version of STEP 7 with other SIMATIC software products. Information on this is available in our FAQ "Which SIMATIC software packages are compatible with which Microsoft Windows operating system and with STEP 7 V5.4?" in Entry ID: 18734363.

System configuration, System requirements, System performance

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