PXI(e) Controller Will Not Boot from USB Drive

Updated Apr 13, 2023

Reported In


  • PXI Controller
  • PXIe-8840
  • PXIe-8133

Issue Details

I would like to re-image my PXI or PXIe controller using software such as Acronis, Symantec Ghost, or Clonezilla. I have my imaging software on a bootable USB drive, but do not see the option to boot to this drive in the BIOS.


General Steps

  • If your controller has both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, try each type of port with your USB drive.
  • If using a utility USB drive, try using an external power source as the USB ports may not supply enough power.
  • In the boot menu, use arrow keys to identify any nameless entries, as your USB drive may appear in the menu without a name (see below).


Configuration for Real-Time Controllers

For Real-Time Controllers, BIOS settings need to be changed for the controller to boot from a USB drive. The steps to do this are outlined below:

  1. Turn off the PXI(e) RT controller.
  2.  Press <Delete> as the controller starts up to bring up the BIOSIf you follow this step and you see a blank screen, press <F10>.
  3. In the BIOS, use the keyboard to navigate to the LabVIEW RT menu.
  4. Select Boot Configuration and set it to Windows/Other OS.
  1. Navigate to the Boot menu and set the utility USB drive to the highest boot priority order. This will make the controller boot from the utility USB drive upon a restart. If the utility USB drive does not appear in the BIOS, ensure it is formatted as FAT32 and enable Legacy USB Support under the Advanced tab.
Note: If you are using a PXI-8108, PXIe-8108, or 8110, do the following configuration changes from this tutorial :
  • Navigate to Advanced»SATA Configuration»SATA Mode Selection and select IDE
  • Navigate to Advanced»USB Configuration and enable Legacy USB Support
  • Navigate to Advanced»USB Configuration»Mass Storage Devices and select Auto
  • Navigate to Boot»Hard Drive BBS Priorities»Boot Option #1 and select USB
  1. Navigate to the Exit menu and select Exit Saving Changes. Select Yes in the confirmation dialog box. The controller will reboot immediately after saving the new BIOS settings.

Additional Information

  • If the Boot Configuration section of the BIOS in the LabVIEW RT tab was previously set to LabVIEW RT or Safe Mode (which is possible for a previous RT System) you will have to reboot the system after selecting the Windows/Other OS option by navigating to the Exit menu and selecting Exit Saving Changes, to then reenter the BIOS to change the boot order. This is due to LabVIEW RT and Safe Mode being unable to recognize any bootable USB devices.
  • Some controllers, PXIe-8135 for instance, will not show the USB Device in the BIOS. Instead you should press the <F10> key during boot and select the device in the boot device selection menu.
  • Some newer controllers will have additional boot entry with a prefix of UEFI:. Try to select the option without the prefix. If the non-UEFI option does not appear under Boot Settings Configuration submenu, try to select it from the Boot Override under Save & Exit menu. In case the non-UEFI option still doesn't show up, the BIOS may be booting from the built-in drive that could be associated with a Real-Time Operating System (RT OS). In this case, you will need to boot from the built-in drive without any association with an RT OS, so the controller can detect the required USB flash drive.