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Cannot See PXIe Chassis When Using Thunderbolt

Updated Jul 21, 2021

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 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. Check that Thunderbolt is enabled in the PC BIOS and 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 interace card.
  5. Make sure you are connected directly to the Thunderbolt port and not a extender or a docking station. 
  6. 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. Try resetting the MAX database, as detailed in the article How to Fix or Reset the NI MAX Database File.
  8. Install attached reg file (Microsoft_FPB_Disable). *

 * If that doesn't solve the issue, then it's probably related to the fact that you're using a PCIe Thunderbolt Add-on and there isn't much we can do. We don't officially support the use of PCIe Thunderbolt Add-on cards. We've seen issues with them in the past and only officially support the 8301 connected to thunderbolt ports that have native connections to the motherboard (basically laptops).

Additional Information

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