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PicoScope doesn't start, gives unhelpful error message

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PicoScope doesn't start, gives unhelpful error message

Postby rwp728 » Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:50 am

Several tries at installing / reinstalling PicoScope 3206 (on IBM ThinkPad R50 running Win XP Pro) produced the following uninformative problem-statement message on starting PicoScope software:

"PicoScope could not open the following product (PicoScope 32xx)."
followed by a button saying "OK" (This was not OK!)

Cleaning the registry and temp files, checking for 3206 updates, disconnecting/reconnecting the 3206, reinstalling, restarting, etc. made no difference in the behavior. On some tries the red light on the box lit, on others it didn't.

Some time searching found no workable solution for this message in the help files or the discussion forum.

If we can quickly get an explanation from Pico as to why this product behaves like this and how to get it working reliably, we will hopefully avoid having to return it. Our time is limited and not available for trial and error.

Ron Purcell

Postby Sarah » Tue Dec 07, 2004 3:28 pm


Thank you for your post, I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing problems.

Are you using the latest software? There is a new one that was put on our website today - version R5.11.07. Install this, disconnect the PS3000 completely, including from the power supply if you're using it.

Then plug it into the computer with just the USB lead. What messages does it give you? What does it register it as in the device manager?

Try opening the software again, what happens?

Hope this helps

Best Regards

Got PS3206 started, now some new issues

Postby rwp728 » Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:41 pm

Hello Sarah,

Thanks for your advice on trying the new R5.11.07 software version. I installed it after uninstalling the previous R5.11.06 version, but with the same results - the error message on startup saying it couldn't start Pico. What I eventually found was that after installing PicoScope it was necessary to do a full power-off shutdown and restart of the computer. I normally just hibernate the computer when not in use.

Now that works, and I am on to the next problems. One is HF noise that shows up on a Pico waveform but not on a regular scope connected in parallel. The noise was the same on either channel, and whether the PicoScope was AC Line or USB powered. The noise displays a wide spectrum with a broad peak between 4-18 MHz at -40dB.

Trying to see this on a spectrum window, I also found another problem - the spectrum display will not show Channel 2 (red) unless Channel 1 (blue) is on also. If Channel 1 is Off, Channel 2 spectrum display shows the Channel 1 (blue) input only. Is this intentional? If so, that's very disconcerting and confusing.

With the noise, the Pico Meter AC Volts function shows greatly fluctuating voltage and frequency readouts, not surprisingly. It would be nice to have switchable LP Filtering on the meter like there is on the scope, to get useful accuracy on the signal I need to measure.

Disconnecting all inputs made the noise go away. Connecting a cable to Channel A or B input, with anything connected at the other end or not, (even shorted) brought back the noise. It appears, therefore, that the noise is induced by EMI pickup through the cable shield, and quieting the PicoScope in our lab bench environment will not be not a trivial task. I have not been able to display a clean signal, even after trying the support comments regarding grounding.

On one occasion I stopped and restarted the trigger with a scope and a spectrum window running. The scope trace resumed, but the spectrum window remained blank until I shut down the program, clearied temporary files and restarted it. Today both windows stop and restart normally, so that is not a consistent failure.

Can you at least solve the noise and spectrum channel display issues? Thanks for your help on these.

Ron Purcell
RelQual Associates

Postby Sarah » Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:35 am


Thank you for your post.

Firstly, I have investigated the problem you mention about the spectrum range and have found this to be true. It is a bug in the software and I have reported it to the software department who will investigate it to find a solution.

With regards the problems you are seeing with noise, I have consulted the development department and it appears that the unit you have is faulty. We will repair this for free, if you email us at tech@picotech.com then we can supply you with a returns number so that you can send it to us.

Hope this helps

Best Regards

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