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I've been trying to program an STM32F412RG but my program is stucked at HardFault_Handler once debug starts.

My board is an Wio LTE EU Version and I'm trying to program it using a nucleo board as an external debugger/programmer. I use TrueSTUDIO IDE and STM32CubeMX to generate the necessary code. I don't think there's a problem in my wiring or my debugger cause it works fine and also, I have programed this Wio Board in the past using external nucleo as a programmer.

My question is if it is possible to be a hardware problem in this case (for example bad mcu)?

This is the message I see on debugging:

Program received signal 
SIGINT, Interrupt.
HardFault_Handler () at ..\Src\stm32f4xx_it.c:84
84  {

I use STM32CubeMX V 5.1.0 and TrueSTUDIO Version: 9.3.0 (Build id: 20190212-0734).

I'm uploading a photo of the steps I followed to generate the code via STM32CubeMX. My program consists of only UART code (USART1) which I set up on CubeMX as picture shows. Nothing else. enter image description here

And this is the code of main.c

/* USER CODE BEGIN Header */
/**
  ******************************************************************************
  * @file           : main.c
  * @brief          : Main program body
  ******************************************************************************
  * @attention
  *
  * <h2><center>&copy; Copyright (c) 2019 STMicroelectronics.
  * All rights reserved.</center></h2>
  *
  * This software component is licensed by ST under BSD 3-Clause license,
  * the "License"; You may not use this file except in compliance with the
  * License. You may obtain a copy of the License at:
  *                        opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause
  *
  ******************************************************************************
  */
/* USER CODE END Header */

/* Includes ------------------------------------------------------------------*/
#include "main.h"

/* Private includes ----------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN Includes */

/* USER CODE END Includes */

/* Private typedef -----------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PTD */

/* USER CODE END PTD */

/* Private define ------------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PD */

/* USER CODE END PD */

/* Private macro -------------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PM */

/* USER CODE END PM */

/* Private variables ---------------------------------------------------------*/
UART_HandleTypeDef huart1;

/* USER CODE BEGIN PV */

/* USER CODE END PV */

/* Private function prototypes -----------------------------------------------*/
void SystemClock_Config(void);
static void MX_GPIO_Init(void);
static void MX_USART1_UART_Init(void);
/* USER CODE BEGIN PFP */

/* USER CODE END PFP */

/* Private user code ---------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN 0 */

/* USER CODE END 0 */

/**
  * @brief  The application entry point.
  * @retval int
  */
int main(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN 1 */

  /* USER CODE END 1 */

  /* MCU Configuration--------------------------------------------------------*/

  /* Reset of all peripherals, Initializes the Flash interface and the Systick. */
  HAL_Init();

  /* USER CODE BEGIN Init */

  /* USER CODE END Init */

  /* Configure the system clock */
  SystemClock_Config();

  /* USER CODE BEGIN SysInit */

  /* USER CODE END SysInit */

  /* Initialize all configured peripherals */
  MX_GPIO_Init();
  MX_USART1_UART_Init();
  /* USER CODE BEGIN 2 */

  /* USER CODE END 2 */

  /* Infinite loop */
  /* USER CODE BEGIN WHILE */
  while (1)
  {
    /* USER CODE END WHILE */

    /* USER CODE BEGIN 3 */
  }
  /* USER CODE END 3 */
}

/**
  * @brief System Clock Configuration
  * @retval None
  */
void SystemClock_Config(void)
{
  RCC_OscInitTypeDef RCC_OscInitStruct = {0};
  RCC_ClkInitTypeDef RCC_ClkInitStruct = {0};

  /** Configure the main internal regulator output voltage 
  */
  __HAL_RCC_PWR_CLK_ENABLE();
  __HAL_PWR_VOLTAGESCALING_CONFIG(PWR_REGULATOR_VOLTAGE_SCALE1);
  /** Initializes the CPU, AHB and APB busses clocks 
  */
  RCC_OscInitStruct.OscillatorType = RCC_OSCILLATORTYPE_HSI;
  RCC_OscInitStruct.HSIState = RCC_HSI_ON;
  RCC_OscInitStruct.HSICalibrationValue = RCC_HSICALIBRATION_DEFAULT;
  RCC_OscInitStruct.PLL.PLLState = RCC_PLL_NONE;
  if (HAL_RCC_OscConfig(&RCC_OscInitStruct) != HAL_OK)
  {
    Error_Handler();
  }
  /** Initializes the CPU, AHB and APB busses clocks 
  */
  RCC_ClkInitStruct.ClockType = RCC_CLOCKTYPE_HCLK|RCC_CLOCKTYPE_SYSCLK
                              |RCC_CLOCKTYPE_PCLK1|RCC_CLOCKTYPE_PCLK2;
  RCC_ClkInitStruct.SYSCLKSource = RCC_SYSCLKSOURCE_HSI;
  RCC_ClkInitStruct.AHBCLKDivider = RCC_SYSCLK_DIV1;
  RCC_ClkInitStruct.APB1CLKDivider = RCC_HCLK_DIV1;
  RCC_ClkInitStruct.APB2CLKDivider = RCC_HCLK_DIV1;

  if (HAL_RCC_ClockConfig(&RCC_ClkInitStruct, FLASH_LATENCY_0) != HAL_OK)
  {
    Error_Handler();
  }
}

/**
  * @brief USART1 Initialization Function
  * @param None
  * @retval None
  */
static void MX_USART1_UART_Init(void)
{

  /* USER CODE BEGIN USART1_Init 0 */

  /* USER CODE END USART1_Init 0 */

  /* USER CODE BEGIN USART1_Init 1 */

  /* USER CODE END USART1_Init 1 */
  huart1.Instance = USART1;
  huart1.Init.BaudRate = 115200;
  huart1.Init.WordLength = UART_WORDLENGTH_8B;
  huart1.Init.StopBits = UART_STOPBITS_1;
  huart1.Init.Parity = UART_PARITY_NONE;
  huart1.Init.Mode = UART_MODE_TX_RX;
  huart1.Init.HwFlowCtl = UART_HWCONTROL_NONE;
  huart1.Init.OverSampling = UART_OVERSAMPLING_16;
  if (HAL_UART_Init(&huart1) != HAL_OK)
  {
    Error_Handler();
  }
  /* USER CODE BEGIN USART1_Init 2 */

  /* USER CODE END USART1_Init 2 */

}

/**
  * @brief GPIO Initialization Function
  * @param None
  * @retval None
  */
static void MX_GPIO_Init(void)
{

  /* GPIO Ports Clock Enable */
  __HAL_RCC_GPIOB_CLK_ENABLE();

}

/* USER CODE BEGIN 4 */

/* USER CODE END 4 */

/**
  * @brief  This function is executed in case of error occurrence.
  * @retval None
  */
void Error_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN Error_Handler_Debug */
  /* User can add his own implementation to report the HAL error return state */

  /* USER CODE END Error_Handler_Debug */
}

#ifdef  USE_FULL_ASSERT
/**
  * @brief  Reports the name of the source file and the source line number
  *         where the assert_param error has occurred.
  * @param  file: pointer to the source file name
  * @param  line: assert_param error line source number
  * @retval None
  */
void assert_failed(uint8_t *file, uint32_t line)
{ 
  /* USER CODE BEGIN 6 */
  /* User can add his own implementation to report the file name and line number,
     tex: printf("Wrong parameters value: file %s on line %d\r\n", file, line) */
  /* USER CODE END 6 */
}
#endif /* USE_FULL_ASSERT */

/************************ (C) COPYRIGHT STMicroelectronics *****END OF FILE****/

and this is the code of the file stm32f4xx_it.c is mentioned in debugging message:

/* USER CODE BEGIN Header */
/**
  ******************************************************************************
  * @file    stm32f4xx_it.c
  * @brief   Interrupt Service Routines.
  ******************************************************************************
  * @attention
  *
  * <h2><center>&copy; Copyright (c) 2019 STMicroelectronics.
  * All rights reserved.</center></h2>
  *
  * This software component is licensed by ST under BSD 3-Clause license,
  * the "License"; You may not use this file except in compliance with the
  * License. You may obtain a copy of the License at:
  *                        opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause
  *
  ******************************************************************************
  */
/* USER CODE END Header */

/* Includes ------------------------------------------------------------------*/
#include "main.h"
#include "stm32f4xx_it.h"
/* Private includes ----------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN Includes */
/* USER CODE END Includes */

/* Private typedef -----------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN TD */

/* USER CODE END TD */

/* Private define ------------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PD */

/* USER CODE END PD */

/* Private macro -------------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PM */

/* USER CODE END PM */

/* Private variables ---------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PV */

/* USER CODE END PV */

/* Private function prototypes -----------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN PFP */

/* USER CODE END PFP */

/* Private user code ---------------------------------------------------------*/
/* USER CODE BEGIN 0 */

/* USER CODE END 0 */

/* External variables --------------------------------------------------------*/

/* USER CODE BEGIN EV */

/* USER CODE END EV */

/******************************************************************************/
/*           Cortex-M4 Processor Interruption and Exception Handlers          */ 
/******************************************************************************/
/**
  * @brief This function handles Non maskable interrupt.
  */
void NMI_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN NonMaskableInt_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END NonMaskableInt_IRQn 0 */
  /* USER CODE BEGIN NonMaskableInt_IRQn 1 */

  /* USER CODE END NonMaskableInt_IRQn 1 */
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Hard fault interrupt.
  */
void HardFault_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN HardFault_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END HardFault_IRQn 0 */
  while (1)
  {
    /* USER CODE BEGIN W1_HardFault_IRQn 0 */
    /* USER CODE END W1_HardFault_IRQn 0 */
  }
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Memory management fault.
  */
void MemManage_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN MemoryManagement_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END MemoryManagement_IRQn 0 */
  while (1)
  {
    /* USER CODE BEGIN W1_MemoryManagement_IRQn 0 */
    /* USER CODE END W1_MemoryManagement_IRQn 0 */
  }
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Pre-fetch fault, memory access fault.
  */
void BusFault_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN BusFault_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END BusFault_IRQn 0 */
  while (1)
  {
    /* USER CODE BEGIN W1_BusFault_IRQn 0 */
    /* USER CODE END W1_BusFault_IRQn 0 */
  }
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Undefined instruction or illegal state.
  */
void UsageFault_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN UsageFault_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END UsageFault_IRQn 0 */
  while (1)
  {
    /* USER CODE BEGIN W1_UsageFault_IRQn 0 */
    /* USER CODE END W1_UsageFault_IRQn 0 */
  }
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles System service call via SWI instruction.
  */
void SVC_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN SVCall_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END SVCall_IRQn 0 */
  /* USER CODE BEGIN SVCall_IRQn 1 */

  /* USER CODE END SVCall_IRQn 1 */
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Debug monitor.
  */
void DebugMon_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN DebugMonitor_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END DebugMonitor_IRQn 0 */
  /* USER CODE BEGIN DebugMonitor_IRQn 1 */

  /* USER CODE END DebugMonitor_IRQn 1 */
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles Pendable request for system service.
  */
void PendSV_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN PendSV_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END PendSV_IRQn 0 */
  /* USER CODE BEGIN PendSV_IRQn 1 */

  /* USER CODE END PendSV_IRQn 1 */
}

/**
  * @brief This function handles System tick timer.
  */
void SysTick_Handler(void)
{
  /* USER CODE BEGIN SysTick_IRQn 0 */

  /* USER CODE END SysTick_IRQn 0 */
  HAL_IncTick();
  /* USER CODE BEGIN SysTick_IRQn 1 */

  /* USER CODE END SysTick_IRQn 1 */
}

/******************************************************************************/
/* STM32F4xx Peripheral Interrupt Handlers                                    */
/* Add here the Interrupt Handlers for the used peripherals.                  */
/* For the available peripheral interrupt handler names,                      */
/* please refer to the startup file (startup_stm32f4xx.s).                    */
/******************************************************************************/

/* USER CODE BEGIN 1 */

/* USER CODE END 1 */
/************************ (C) COPYRIGHT STMicroelectronics *****END OF FILE****/

Both of them are auto-generated pieces of code. I did try to remove every line from main() but it couldn't help.

I clean re-installed my toolchain, twice, but it didn't work!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you place a break point on the first line of code in Main() add see if you can hit it? \$\endgroup\$ – Tyler Apr 12 at 23:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder if you can see instruction that was being executed when the fault occurred by setting a breakpoint in a debugger window. \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Apr 12 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ A debugging question such as this needs to include a minimal code example which demonstrates the problem. To some extent, that is a "trick" requirement, because in producing such, you will probably find the mistake in the program causing this; if not, at least you'll have constrained the problem to one where others can point out the subtle invalid assumption causing it. Without code this is unanswerable \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Apr 13 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also for anything with a mobile data modem beware an insufficient power supply, long leads, etc is likely to lead to brownouts. Best to do your initial tests with the modem inactive. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Apr 13 at 2:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What is your initial stack pointer (1st little endian word of binary)? Which exact complete part number is on your board? \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Apr 13 at 7:27
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This problem could TECHNICALLY be caused be caused by a bad MCU, but so could literally any problem in any embedded application anywhere. There are many things that could trap you in that handler that would each be orders of magnitude more likely than a bad MCU. Last time I worked with STM32F4 I used a different toolchain that you're using, but I was constantly getting stuck in the HardFault because of compiler issues, then a memory management issue from a library I was using, then also just because I wrote dumb code (as we all do occasionally). Maybe you could try implementing some of the other error handler interrupts to narrow down your problem? There are lots of things you could try to narrow down your issue, but that's outside the scope of the question you asked here. Your question specifically was about whether hardware could cause this, and the answer is technically yes, but it's about a .000000001% chance, and there's no way to determine anything further without much more information about the code you're trying to deploy

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First of all put a hard fault handler that will give you the information about program counter and stack pointer.

Example: https://mcuoneclipse.com/2012/11/24/debugging-hard-faults-on-arm-cortex-m/

Second - if you hit the handler again - disable Cortex-M write buffering, it will give you a precise fault, so you know exactly which instruction caused the fault.

And if you weren't using an off-the-shelf board I would also recommend checking power supply and decoupling. I had issues with some chips in QFN sockets (QFN sockets have long leads, so decoupling is not that good).

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My problem was clearly in the hardware. I used different part number.

When I tried to trace the problem looking at the registers I saw that there errors in reading the registers. So, I noticed that the part number was soldered in the board was different from the part number in the schematic! The part number in the board is: STM32F405RG and schematic mentions STM32F412RG.

I didn't see any warning or error for this. I came from Atmel microcontrollers and I've been using Atmel Studio almost every day that doesn't start if the signature of device differs from the expected one.

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