Cannot See PXIe Chassis When Using Thunderbolt

Updated Jan 19, 2022

Reported In


  • PXIe-8301

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 the computer.

  3. Check that Thunderbolt port is enabled

    • Check in the PC BIOS that Thunderbolt Security is set to Off, if applicable. Consult PC manufacturer's website for instructions on how to do it.

  4. Ensure that your computer has a port compatible with Thunderbolt

    • If you do not have a compatible port, you may need to purchase a Thunderbolt interface card.

  5. Check Connection

    • Make sure you are connected directly to the Thunderbolt port and not a 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.

  6. Check PC drivers

    • Some PC's 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' 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 NIMAX database

  8. Install 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 approve your Thunderbolt device (i.e. via Intel's Thunderbolt Control Center)

 * If the issue persists after executing these troubleshooting steps, the problem is likely related to the use of a PCIe Thunderbolt Add-on. These are not officially supported and 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 MXI-Express Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide for further troubleshooting guidance.