Cannot See PXIe Chassis When Using Thunderbolt

Updated Jan 3, 2024

Reported In


  • PXIe-8301


  • PXI Platform Services 17.0

Issue Details

  • I am using the PXIe-8301 to connect my PXIe chassis to my laptop via Thunderbolt, but I can't get the chassis to show in NI MAX. How do I find my chassis?
  • My Thunderbolt chassis shows up as a raw device in NI MAX (usually with a dash and followed by a lot of random numbers).


There are several possible causes for this issue. The steps below cover some troubleshooting steps for the most common causes.

  1. Confirm that you have PXI Platform Services 17.0 or later installed.
  2. Make sure you are following the correct order to turn on your system.
    • The PXI chassis should be turned on first, and then on the computer.
  3. Check that the Thunderbolt port is enabled
    • Check in the PC BIOS that Thunderbolt Security is set to Off, if applicable. Consult the PC manufacturer's website for instructions on how to do it.
  4. Check Connection
    • Make sure you are connected directly to the Thunderbolt port and not an extender or a docking station. 
    • Confirm that the Thunderbolt cable is working properly by testing it with another Thunderbolt device or try using another Thunderbolt cable that is known to be working properly.
    • Make sure you are using a Thunderbolt cable and not a USB-C cable since NI MAX won't recognize properly the controller or the modules with a USB-C cable.
  5. Check that the Antivirus is not blocking the communication through the Thunderbolt port. 
    • Some Antivirus include a feature that controls the traffic through the Thunderbolt that can reduce the port's functionality and hence reduce or block the communication with the PXIe chassis. 
  6. Check PC drivers
    • Some PCs do not ship with all the proper drivers installed to fully utilize USB Thunderbolt or may not have the Thunderbolt ports enabled by default in the BIOS. Check to see if another device is able to use the Thunderbolt port properly. If not, follow these steps to download the driver and enable the Thunderbolt ports:
      1. Verify that you have the newest version of Windows 10.
      2. Consult your computer manufacturer's website to find the latest version of the Thunderbolt driver.
        • The manufacturer's website should have a function to search for drivers. Search for "Thunderbolt" and install the newest driver that is listed.
        • The manufacturer can be found on the "System" page of your control panel.
        • Install the latest version of your BIOS. This process is the same as the driver update above.
  7. Reset NI-MAX database
  8. Install the attached reg file (Microsoft_FPB_Disable). *
  9. Check that PXIe-8301 is approved as a Thunderbolt device
    • Sometimes Thunderbolt devices are not automatically approved by your computer, and you need to manually approve and connect to the device
      • Check the manufacturer's website for instructions on how to approve your Thunderbolt device (i.e. via Intel's Thunderbolt Control Center)
  10. If the above steps do not resolve the issue, you will need to reinstall all NI software, including the package manager. And then install them back in the following order:
    1. Package Manager
    2. LabVIEW or other NI software (TestStand, VeriStand, etc.)
    3. Drivers
    4. Toolkits

*If the issue persists after executing these troubleshooting steps, the problem is likely related to using a PCIe Thunderbolt Add-on. These are not officially supported; therefore, NI cannot guarantee their functionality. Only PXIe-8301 controllers that have a native connection to the Thunderbolt port on the motherboard are supported.

Additional Information

If the problem persists after following these steps, refer to the MXI-Express Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide for further troubleshooting guidance.