PICkit™ 3 - Connection Failure Error

When using a PICkit™ 3 in-circuit debugger for programming or debugging, the device being programmed needs to be powered. This can be done through the PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger or through the circuitry containing the device to be programmed. Typically, without power, an error will appear: target device not found. This can be caused by:

  1. A bad connection between the PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger.
  2. Incorrect orientation of the programming connector.
  3. The PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger has the wrong operating system installed.

All of these can be reported as a Connection Failure Error. It's best to double-check all connections per the directions shown here.

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PICkit 3 In-Circuit Debugger Operating System Error

When using PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger with MPLAB® X IDE, the IDE will automatically install the proper device driver when first connecting to the target device. If the IDE cannot detect the device and the connections are verified to be correct, then the PICkit 3 Ii-circuit debugger may have incompatible operating system firmware already loaded in by the PICkit 3 Programmer. This software tool has been replaced by the MPLAB Integrated Production Environment (IPE) application which is included with the MPLAB X IDE installation package. The PICkit 3 Programmer is shown here:

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The PICkit 3 Programmer l requires a unique operating system that is not compatible with MPLAB IDE. If the PICkit 3 Programmer was used to control the PICkit 3 previously, then the tool may have been left in this state. Therefore, in order for MPLAB IDE to communicate again with the PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger, you must select "Revert to MPLAB mode" within the PICkit 3 Programmer to reset it back to the MPLAB IDE compatible firmware. This can be found under the Tools > Revert to MPLAB mode within the PICkit 3 Programmer.

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Downloads

PICkit 3 Programmer
MPLAB IDE and IPE

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