How to Reset a PLC without Removable Media

There are times when you want to completely factory reset a PLC back to the state it came in from B&R. This can be useful for testing deployment procedures or recovering in the worst-case scenario. The following procedure will walk you through removing and resetting the PLC to as close to from B&R factory state as possible.

This procedure applies to any of the following targets (list is not exhaustive or updated regularly): X20CP04xx, X20EMxxx, X20CP13xx, X90CPxxx, 4PPC30, 4PPC70.

1. Place the PLC into BOOT mode.

This is done by performing a short-press (< 2 seconds) followed by a long-press (> 2 seconds) on the Reset button on the PLC while the PLC is powered up. The location of the Reset button on the 4PPC70 and X20CP13xx is shown below. Refer to the User’s Manual for the location of the reset button on other hardware.

2. Connect to the PLC via Automation Studio
Make sure the browse window is open by pressing the “Browse” icon:

The IP address of your PLC will be This needs to be changed in order to connect to it.
Right click on the PLC on the right side of the Online Settings Browse window and select “Set IP Parameters”.

In the resulting pop-up, set the IP address of your PLC as needed. This needs to be on the same subnet as your laptop. You can utilize the “Copy from project” button in the top left to copy the IP address from your Ethernet configuration.

Click OK.
Then on the right side of the Online Settings Browse window, right click on the PLC and select “Connect”.

The bottom right of Automation Studio should now indicate that you are connected and the PLC is in Boot mode:

Note: You must have a project open (even if it doesn’t match the PLC) to connect to a target PLC via Automation Studio.

3. Delete the partitions using the HDD / CF Utility
Go to Online → Services → HDD / CF Utility.

Click the Edit partitions… button. In the Edit Partitions window, the number of partitions should be 1, of size 100%. Click OK. Click Yes when prompted about data loss on HD0.

(The partitions shown in the HDD/CF Utility may vary, as it reflects what is currently on the PLC.)
Provide a new partition label. It doesn’t really matter what you put here, I just use ‘sys’ because it will be identifiable later. Click OK.

The HDD/CF Utility will go into waiting for reconnection. Click Cancel.
Explanation: If you used the browse > set IP parameters method to connect, those settings are volatile (lost on power cycle). When the PLC reboots following the storage medium format those IP parameters are lost. AS will still try to connect to the previously set address, which the PLC won’t assume natively. We don’t need to wait for reconnection which wouldn’t happen without setting the IP parameters with another tool (AS is holding).

Close the HDD / CF Utility.

4. Cycle power on the PLC
Make sure to remove 24V and then reapply 24V. Pressing the Reset button is not sufficient – it must be a full power cycle.

If you just want to reset the PLC, you can stop here. However, I assume you don’t just want to leave the PLC in this state long-term.

5. Connect to the PLC
Use the browse > set IP parameters method in step 2 to establish a connection to the PLC.

6. Transfer new project to the PLC
Use your preferred transfer method to download the project to the PLC. Please allow extra time to retransfer the AR and perform an initial installation.

Anticipated questions:
Does this 100% restore to factory delivery?
No. There is no way to reset the firmware version on the device(s) to the version from factory without knowing that version and transferring a project with those firmware versions. If the PLC firmware was upgraded during a project install, then that version will remain even after this procedure.

What if I have removable storage? (ex. X20CP15xx, APC/PPC, etc.)
If you have a removable storage medium on your PLC, you can plug that storage medium into a PC running another OS and format it manually. Deleting the partitions will restore the disk to factory blank, and performing an offline install will perform a fresh project installation. Note that if you are running a GPOS on the APC/PPC target (Hypervisor), you will need to use the Recovery Solution (B&R Website) to recover your GPOS to the storage medium.