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I've been using MPLAB X and XC16 to build and program projects for a dsPIC 33EP128MC506 for about a year now. For the last two months, I've seen some new and unusual behavior on two separate machines. Both are running the latest MPLAB X and XC16. One PC is Windows 7, the other is Windows 8.

When I press "build and program" the project builds properly, then hangs. I sit there with a "Build successful message" and I can operate the IDE as normal, but it never proceeds to the program stage. The only way I can get the IDE to program my chip is to open the Windows task manager, kill the javaw.exe process, and reopen MPLAB X. I then get one good program before it starts exhibiting the same behavior.

In other words, every time I program a chip, I have to kill MPLAB and reopen it. That gets kind of old. The IDE is also constantly "Scanning projects", but I can't tell if that's related, because I can't make it stop.

I've opened a ticket with Microchip, but no response. I've recreated the project from scratch, no luck. I don't have this problem with dsPIC 30F6012a projects. Has anyone seen this? Is there a known solution?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you called microchip? It seems they only work on your ticket if you call, otherwise they'll try to close it without really doing much. There isn't a chance a thumb drive is involved? I have noticed odd behavior with certain drives, its like it searches for them and hangs if they are plugged in. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Friesen Jun 20 '14 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ This happens to me also, but I'm using the Linux build. However, it doesn't happen all that often. It happens to me more when using the debugger. Also it happens more if I am getting frustrated already (this could be my imagination). My solution is the same as yours so far. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Jul 28 '14 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've had similar problems for a long time now with MPLAB X. The scanning projects issue is old and makes it pretty much unusable. I'm wondering if Microchip are not advancing MPLAB X if such an old and serious problem has not yet been addressed. \$\endgroup\$ – user59296 Nov 29 '14 at 11:42
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Found this page and thought of sharing my experience. I searched on Google and found these two links:

http://microchip.wikidot.com/mplabx:jvm-configuration-options

https://performance.netbeans.org/howto/jvmswitches/index.html

These talk about tuning switches for the JVM so that Netbeans starts out well and uses a better GC, and Hotspot kicks in faster than it would normally.

I did what they said in here and now MPLAB-X is much more snappy. I noticed that my CPU usage and RAM usage goes up initially when the application starts and parses all the open projects, but then it settles down to a comfortable level and IDE performs much better.

Your Mileage May Vary.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ 2 years late, but thanks anyway, this worked wonders. +1. The specific parameters that did it for me were '-J-XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled -J-XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled'. Now single stepping, as well as the whole UI experience is much faster. This should be the default settings honestly. \$\endgroup\$ – Charlie Dec 25 '16 at 12:51

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