Can't See PXI(e) Chassis When Using Thunderbolt

Updated Sep 7, 2020

Reported In


  • PXIe-8301

Issue Details

  • I am using the PXIe-8301 to connect my PXI chassis to my laptop via Thunderbolt, but I can't get the chassis to show in 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.
  • Previous versions do not support the PXIe-8301.

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. Make sure you are connected directly to the Thunderbolt port and not a extender or a docking station.

4. 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 the website for your computer manufacturer 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.
  • Enable the Thunderbolt port in your BIOS.
    •  This process is different between manufacturers. Consult your manufacturer for instructions on this process.
5. Try resetting the MAX database, as detailed in the article How to Fix or Reset the NI MAX Database File.

Additional Information

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