Hot!Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again

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Dr.Lightning
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2018/01/12 11:01:33 (permalink)
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Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again

I have a large amount of legacy code, that was tightly shoe-horned in to some PIC processors.  It used the Hi-Tech C PICC18 compiler.  Back many moons ago, the Microchip C compiler that came out made larger hex, and so I couldn't convert back then without vast re-writes to fit the code.  Therefore, I am stuck today supporting this product for a customer that can't afford a total rewrite. 
 
Year 2015 was the last time I worked on this code.  That computer died, and the VM from was never reliable.
 
Now I have a new VirtualBox VM running WinXP.  I've installed MPLAB v8.56, although recent disk searches suggest I might have been using MPLAB v7.00 back then.  I've downloaded archive version of MPLAB v7.00.  So I'll be able to use either.  I don't think I have an issue here.
 
I have Hi-Tech on the VM.  The manual is (C) 200, Sixth Printing (c), April 2002.  I'm not sure of the software version.  Doing this job on the back burner, I *believe* this is installed, but not totally certain.  When I go to a DOS CMD and run "path", I do indeed see HI-TECH SOFTWARE in the path.  So I think it's installed.
 
I have a license key.  I don't think I've done anything yet with that license key.
 
NOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT.  When I run MPLAB v8.56 and click on Project / Set Language Tool Locations, I see Hi-Tech Universal ToolSuite, but I don't see the expected HI-TECH PICC-18 Toolsuite.  When I open the legacy project, last touched in 2015, I get an error message about the toolsuite not being installed.  So I'm thinking the universal toolsuite is a red herring and I still need to install somehow.  But I don't think the Hi-Tech install that I *probably* ran will do the setup for MPLAB (unless maybe I installed it first and MPLAB second?).
 
Meanwhile, note that I have some screenshots in my circa 2015 folder.  They show help about for MPLAB v7.00, then Set Language Tool Locations with "Hi-Tech PICC-18 Toolsuite". (I just attached the three PNG screenshots.  Note they are NOT what I currently have installed, but what I might go install.  Can I install MPLAB v7.00 on top of v8.56, or should I remove first?)
 
Suggestions?  Thanks.

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#1

15 Replies Related Threads

    jtemples
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/12 11:22:27 (permalink)
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    NKurzman
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/12 13:19:22 (permalink)
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    Fisrt Microchip Bought Hi-tech and renamed it XC8.  You may be able to migrate expecilly if the Version 9.XX Plus.  It would be more work for older products.  I assume you install Mplab8 first?
    I would not Bother with Mplab 7  unless you version is very old.  Go to the install folder and check the Readme.
    #3
    dan1138
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/12 17:19:47 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Dr.Lightning
    NOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT.  When I run MPLAB v8.56 and click on Project / Set Language Tool Locations, I see Hi-Tech Universal ToolSuite, but I don't see the expected HI-TECH PICC-18 Toolsuite.  When I open the legacy project, last touched in 2015, I get an error message about the toolsuite not being installed.  So I'm thinking the universal toolsuite is a red herring and I still need to install somehow.  But I don't think the Hi-Tech install that I *probably* ran will do the setup for MPLAB (unless maybe I installed it first and MPLAB second?).

    The integration with the Microchip MPLAB IDE depends on the version of the HI-TECH PICC-18 Toolsuite you are installing.

    The latest version for PICC-18 v9.80 has the IDE integration tool as part of the Windows installer. Earlier versions of the PICC-18 compiler had a separate EXE to perform the integration with MPLAB.

    If you could be a bit more specific with regard to the versions of MPLAB IDE and PICC-18 we could perhaps suggest a better installation method.

    As a side note the most recent archive of all of the "old" compilers still work from MPLABX v4.05, and it is the compiler and linker that matter when it comes to code size not the IDE.

    Remember that all of the old crap runs on Windows. If you are running this from a VM then you may have some issues with the In-Circuit-Debug tools running on the virtual USB host interface.
    #4
    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 05:00:33 (permalink)
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    Thanks jtemples.  The link you provided worked, except that it doesn't include the compiler for PIC18.  Please see my other post reply to dan1138.  Note, I do have a PICC-18 compiler with license key, but can't figure out how to make it work...
    #5
    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 05:19:37 (permalink)
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    Thanks dan1138.  I will try a few things based on your advice, and then otherwise perhaps you (and/or others) can help me get to where I need to be.  I sincerely appreciate it.
     
    Right now I have a WinXP VirtualBox VM with MPLAB 8.56 and HITECH v9.71 installed.  I also have an old legacy workspace.  When I open the workspace, it mentions that I need to change toolchain.  I change the toolchain to the only available Hi-Tech entry found, which is "HI-TECH Universal Toolsuite", containing "HI-TECH ANSI C Compiler", located at "C:\Program Files\HI-TECH Software\PICC\9.71a\bin\picc.exe".    When I try to build, however, I get an error in the output window: "No valid installed HI-TECH compiler drivers".  From here I'm stuck.  I did Google that error and found mention of UAC, but this is Windows XP which I believe predates UAC.  I am running as the only user which is administrator (not named "Administrator").  NOTE that I have the original install files for these, and included is a LICENSE FILE.
     
    Even if I get the above to work, it might NOT support PIC18 devices.  I think the above may be a dead end because of this.
     
    Alternatively, I find that over the past few months of low level background effort on this, I have come to have a folder "C:\HITECH\PIC18" that contains "bin\picc18.exe" dated 4/10/2002.  I believe that THIS is where I need to be focusing.  However, it appears that this is a folder that's already the result of an install, and I think I must have copied it, perhaps from a long dead legacy VM of a long dead legacy machine.  To confirm this belief, I notice that all the folders in the tree are dated recently, 10/9/2017, but all the file contents are 4/10/2002.  This implies that the contents are 15+ years old, but that I copied the folder onto my VM C drive just last October.  Unfortunately, I don't recall from where I got this, and I don't think I have the original install "program" that would have set up DLL's and registry entries other things (those are bad thing to be missing), or paths or changes to MPLAB files (such as creating toolchain entries).
     
    MY NEXT QUESTION was going to be, how can I manually add this toolchain to the list of registered toolchains in MPLAB.  However, having written the above paragraph, I become worried about having bypassed the Windows XP install.  Decades ago, back around Win 3.1 for example, there was no registry and software designers put their DLL's in their own folder.  Copying to install (and stealing, unfortunately) software was easy.  But by Win95 or whenever the registry was created, copying to install no longer works, because the registry isn't set and the DLL's or COM's or other things are in a windows folder, not an application software folder. 
     
    Therefore, what should I do next?  I am thinking I need to either
    A) Try to find the original install files that correspond to this PIC18 folder I have, perhaps by searching through old dead VM file structures, or
    B) Start Googling again to see if I can find a streamlined PICC-18 install tutorial.
     
    Otherwise, I'm just spinning in circles!
    #6
    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 05:59:25 (permalink)
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    I suddenly made some progress.  I checked old email, found some licensing help.  Now I have MPLAB 8.56 and HI-TECH 8.35PL3 installed.  It RUNS SUCCESSFULLY.  However, it's in demo mode and will quit in 20 days.  Well, I do have my old license key repeated in that old email.  I just don't know what to do with it.  That is, how do I tell HI-TECH 8.35PL3 about my license?  It didn't ask during install.
    #7
    RISC
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 06:08:02 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Hi,
    there were 2 compilers from HiTech for 8 bits devices.
    My guess is that you installed the PIC10/12/16 compiler instead of PIC18 compiler.
    You can download the old Hitech compilers from here :
    http://www.microchip.com/development-tools/downloads-archive
    Search for "HI-TECH C Archive"
    Regards
     
    #8
    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 06:16:44 (permalink)
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    Ah ha, I found activiate.exe.  But it asks for more info.  I have a "serial number".  But I don't have a "registration number" or "activation key".
    #9
    dan1138
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 06:42:32 (permalink)
    +1 (3)
    Dr.Lightning
    I suddenly made some progress. I checked old email, found some licensing help. Now I have MPLAB 8.56 and HI-TECH 8.35PL3 installed. It RUNS SUCCESSFULLY. However, it's in demo mode and will quit in 20 days. Well, I do have my old license key repeated in that old email. I just don't know what to do with it. That is, how do I tell HI-TECH 8.35PL3 about my license? It didn't ask during install.


    For MPLAB integration you may need the UniversalToolsuite-1.37 installer.

    Do you know for certain that you need to use the HCPIC18-std-8.35PL3 version of the compiler?

    If this version does not support your PIC18 target then the PICC_18_9_80_win version is your next best choice.

    From what I have been able to find the license was a node-locked type that requires a key generated by HI-TECH for the specific computer the installation is done on. It is possible that your license keys may no longer function in your new VM installation. There are key generators floating around the internet that can be used to activate old PICC18 compilers. A google search for the phrase "HI-TECH Universal RSA Keygen v2.2" may turn up an ftp site or two.
    post edited by dan1138 - 2018/01/13 06:45:38
    #10
    NKurzman
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 09:31:27 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    If you have the license code but not the key file you can try contacting: swlicensing@Microchip.com
    They should be able to generate it and maybe tell you what version you are at.
    It should be a long string of letters and numbers.
    I think he is right, 9.71 is PICC not PICC18
    #11
    dan1138
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 12:58:22 (permalink)
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    @NKurzman,
    Let me pose an hypothetical situation:

    So your coffee maker started using four times as much water when brewing a cup. Going to the manufacturers web site and find that because you moved to a new house the coffee maker has returned to free mode. To get it to license mode just send in your proof of purchase and your address and get a key. So you do that then find that your coffee maker is no longer a current model, you need to contact legacy support. Legacy support tells you that they cannot find a record that the license for the serial number of your coffee maker has been transfered to your address and could you please provide a copy of the original invoice. After providing the requested documentation you are told that the person that knows how to make the keys is off for a few weeks so please be patient.

    This story is just an analogy, so cannot be specifically relevant to any situation in the real world, but please consider these questions:

    How hypothetically patient would you be?

    It is just possible that you would seek for other solutions to fill your coffee needs?
    post edited by dan1138 - 2018/01/13 13:00:08
    #12
    jtemples
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 13:20:24 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    C:\Program Files\HI-TECH Software\PICC\9.71a\bin\picc.exe

     
    This compiler does not support the PIC18.
     
    MPLAB X still supports Hi-Tech V9 compilers, and you don't have to fool with all of the tool suite stuff, it configures automatically.  And it can import your MPLAB 8 project.
    #13
    NKurzman
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/13 14:03:43 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    Dan yes and no.
    You have a perfectly working project and want to make minor changes. Switching to a new compiler could cause issues to apper and require much more testing. What is the R.O.I on a legacy product.
    In this case he should be able to get it working. If the project was done on a pre OCG compiler. There will be work to port it to XC8.
    They will need to make the desision about the best way in this case.

    1. Always back up compilers and Keys.
    2. Always write the compiler version in the code. And make sure you update it.
    #14
    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/15 08:13:42 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Please note I've been away from the forum for a few days.  I see a lot of new posts.  It's not time effective to read all of them, but thanks very much for the offerings.  I did read the last one from NKurzman, who hit the nail on the head as well as implied parts of the prior conversion.
     
    NOTE MY PROBLEM HAS BEEN SOLVED (so far).  I now have MPLAB v8.56 running on my VM, along with specifically HI-TECH PICC-18 v8.35PL3 that I got from ftp://Compilers-RO:C0mP!0511@ftp.microchip.com/  .   That built, but in super slow demo mode and a 20-day warning.  Then, given that I already had an old legacy license, I got assistance from SW.Licensing@microchip.com to get my license working again.  Now it builds in a snap and offers to do so forever.
     
    OF COURSE, now I find my changes are too complex to simply edit, build, and ship to my customer to test (as I have done many times on their legacy products).  Instead, I need to debug and analyze.  DARN.  Now I'm trying to get my old ICD 3 working (I gave my ICD 2 to this customer).  Yes, I saw a warning from someone about the VM, and I am aware of such concerns.  I'm about to post a new question about that.  After posting, I'll come back here and put a link, in hopes that one or more of you look into that for me.
     
    Thanks VERY, VERY much for all of your assistance.
     
    -Helmut
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    Dr.Lightning
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    Re: Trying to get legacy Hi-Tech C project working again 2018/01/15 08:28:06 (permalink)
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