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MSPDS Debugger Up- and Downgrade

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As mentioned on the MSP Debug Stack page, the MSP430.DLLv3 is an all new version. Besides general firmware changes, it is also based on the CDC USB protocol stack (previously VCP). Therefore, the MSP-FET430UIF debuggers require a larger update than usual. The process is split into two parts - a USB stack update that includes a reset of the interface (to enumerate as CDC device on Windows) and a standard firmware update of the interface. Details on how the update is being performed are described below.

Please note that once the upgrade has been completed, the debugger won't be recognized by old IDE versions or other MSP430.DLLv2 based tools. Therefore, you can always perform a downgrade as well. The following instructions were created under Windows 7 for CCS. Windows Vista or XP work in the same way. The procedure for IAR works in the same way as well.

When performing an up- or downgrade, make sure to have only one debugger connected to your PC. Do not disconnect your debugger during an up- or downgrade, unless the IDEs or standalone utilities ask you to do so.

Upgrade process to MSP430.DLLv3

The IDEs and all other MSP430.DLLv3 based tools include a mechanism to upgrade your MSP430-FET430UIF interface in an easy and fully automated manner.

Update procedure for all newer MSP-FET430UIF debuggers (Rev. 1.4 and newer)

  1. New USB driver installation
    Whenever you install a new IDE (>CCSv5.1 or >IAR EW 5.40) or other MSP430 utilities that use the MSP430.DLLv3 the new CDC USB drivers will also be installed on your PC without any user interaction.
  2. MSP-FET430UIF debugger update
    When a debug session is being opened, the IDE will ask you to perform a debugger update. BEFORE continuing, please ensure that no other debuggers are connected to your PC. You also need to have administrator rights on the PC that you are using. Click "Update" in the IDE dialog.
    MSP430.DLLv3 Upgrade in CCSv5.1
  3. The update will happen in a fully automated manner.
    It will take a few minutes, you will also notice that Windows will disconnect from the debugger during the process and that a new USB device will be installed. That's normal. Never disconnect your interface until the update procedure has finished.
The update procedure describes the update for all MSP-FET430UIF interfaces version 1.4 (sticker on bottom of debugger - see photos in FAQ section below) and newer. Older interfaces (manufactured until end of 2005) do not have any version stickers (however, the version number on the PCB shows v1.3) and require an extra step (manual power cycle):

MSP-FET430UIF interfaces Rev. 1.3 update procedure:

  1. Start update in IDEs by clicking UPDATE
  2. After a few minutes this error message will appear:
    MSP-FET43UIF v1.3 Upgrade Error Message in CCSv5.1
  1. Abort the UPDATE (Click CANCEL on the error message)
  2. Now DISCONNECT your interface
  3. Wait for a few seconds and RECONNECT the interface again
  4. Wait until the debugger was detected by Windows and the drivers have been installed (~20 seconds)
  5. Re-launch the debug session
  6. Click UPDATE, when the IDE asks to perform a debugger update
  7. Congratulations - you've successfully updated your MSP-FET430UIF debugger!

In case of any issues during the update procedure, please see FAQ section below.

Downgrade back to old MSP430.DLLv2

The interface needs to be reverted to the VCP USB protocol, which has been used previously. This is required if you want to use a MSP-FET430UIF interface with legacy IDEs or other MSP430.DLLv2 based utilities again.



Note that downgrading is offered only with recent versions of these IDE's that use DLL-V3 resp. the USB-CDC driver. For IAR workbench this applies to Version 5.4 ff. Actually, downgrading is performed by a tool UpdateTool.exe which is in the appropriate bin directory of the IDE.

A firmware downgrade must only be performed by the tool which triggered the DLLv2->DLLv3 upgrade. For example, if the debugger firmware was updated by Code Composer Studio, a downgrade may only be done using the Downgrade utility that came with this exact version of CCS.
Ensure to have only one debugger connected to your PC before performing a debugger downgrade. The instructions apply to both, MSP-FET430UIF revisions (1.3 and 1.4x debug interfaces).
  1. Launch Downgrade Utility
  2. Confirm that you only have connected a single debugger (MSP-FET430UIF) by typing "y" + "enter"
    MSP430.DLLv3 Downgrade Utility Start Dialog
  3. Watch update process until you'll be asked to disconnect the debugger.
    MSP430.DLLv3 Downgrade Utility Disconnect Debugger
  4. Confirm that you have disconnected the debugger and type "y" + "enter"
  5. Wait for a few seconds and re-connect the interface
  6. Confirm that you have re-connected the debugger and type "y" + "enter"
  7. The downgrade procedure will continue once the interface has enumerated as a VCP device.
Please be patient - it will take up to 30 seconds until the debugger has enumerated again in Windows

Congratulations - you've successfully downgraded your MSP-FET430UIF debugger!

In case of any issues during the downgrade procedure, please see FAQ section below.

Frequently asked questions


Q1: I'm using a 3rd party software that doesn't use the MSL430.DLLv3. When and how do I get an update?

A1: We're working with all 3rd parties on getting their software updated accordingly. Updates should be available soon from all our partners.

Q2: I'm using CCSv4 or the IAR EW430 5.30.x and older. Can use the new MSP430.DLLv3 wiht that?

A2: The MSP430.DLLv3 only supports CCSv5.1 and IAR5.40.x and newer.

Q3: How can I find out whether I have an MSP-FET430UIF version 1.3 or 1.4x?

A3: All 1.4x debuggers have a version sticker on the bottom of the enclosure - see left image below. Older v1.3 interfaces don't have any stickers, but show a "CE" mark on top of the enclosure (underneath "Target") - see right image below.

MSP-FET430UIF rev. 1.4 and 1.4a MSP-FET430UIF rev. 1.3

Q4: I can't use my UIF interface anymore for older IDE version or other tools.
How can I get it to work again?
A4: First of all you need to check whether the interface uses the CDC or VCP USB protocol. You can look this up in the device manager - under LPT and Com Ports the interface will be either listed as "MSP-FET430UIF - VCP" or "MSP-FET430UIF - CDC" or you may check the LED blink sequence when powering up the interface (see above). In case the interface is not listed here it is either not connected or the CDC driver wasn't installed. Please check or re-run the installer. If the interface is listed but doesn't work, check the IDE specific FAQ.

Q5: How can I tell whether my MSP-FET430 was updated to the MSP430.DLLv3 or not?

A5: When you connect the interface, the LEDs will show which version you are using:

  • Older, un-updated interfaces will blink: red-red-red-green (green remains on)
  • Updated v3 interfaces will just light up the green LED, when connecting to the PC

Code Composer Studio

Q6: I get an error message "Error Initializing Emulator: Only one MSP430 device can be accessed at a time per each CCS..." (see below). What happened?
MSP-FET43UIF v1.3 Upgrade Error Message in CCSv5.1

A6: You are using an MSP-FET430UIF interface rev. 1.3 (please check - see FAQ above). If so, please:

  1. Click CANCEL
  2. Unplug your MSP-FET430UIF debugger
  3. Wait for a few seconds, reconnect debugger
  4. Wait until Windows has installed the USB CDC debugger driver
  5. Re-launch debug session and update interface a second time

The CDC USB driver installation on your PC failed. Please re-install CCS and ensure to have the MSP430 drivers selected during the installation setup. Also ensure that you run Windows with administrator rights

Check if you have connected multiple MSP430 debuggers to your PC. You can only have a single MSP-FET430UIF connected for the update. Please also unplug all eZ430 or Experimenter's boards.