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NI CompactRIO or Network Device Doesn't Show Up or is Missing in MAX

Updated Aug 13, 2021

Reported In


  • CompactRIO Chassis
  • roboRIO
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • Industrial Controller
  • CompactRIO Single-Board Controller
  • PXI Chassis
  • PXI Controller


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module
  • LabVIEW FPGA Module


  • NI CompactRIO

Operating System

  • Windows
  • PharLap
  • VxWorks
  • NI Linux Real-Time

Issue Details

I have a device that connects to my host computer over the network. One of the following is occurring:
  • I am attempting to configure the device in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). The device does not show up under Remote Systems.
  • My CompactRIO (cRIO), sbRIO, myRIO, roboRIO Controller, or Industrial Controller (IC) is not detected in NI MAX.
  • I can see my RIO device in MAX but it says Status: Disconnected and has a little red circle next to it under remote systems.

  • In my LabVIEW Real-Time project, I am getting the following error: Failed to connect to real-time target.
  • I can only discover my cRIO device in NI MAX when I specify it's IP address. It does not appear under Remote Systems automatically.
  • I have a PXI chassis with an Embedded Controller that is connected to my host computer via an Ethernet cable. The chassis and modules show in in NI MAX under Remote Systems but they are listed as Disconnected.


  1. Doublecheck the power supply of the controller. In a cRIO, for example, you should have a solid green in the POWER LED
  2. Reboot your device.
  3. Ensure you have a required software version installed on your host PC and that you have the latest versions available for your system.
    • Check the following online guide for your device readme to ensure you have at least the minimum supported LabVIEW and driver versions for your device.
    • Your device driver must also be compatible with your installed LabVIEW version if you plan to program the device using LabVIEW from the Host PC. See NI-RIO and LabVIEW Version Compatibility as well as LabVIEW Compatibility With the Real-Time and LabVIEW FPGA Module for more information. 
    • If you are using cRIO - you must use 32-bit version of LabVIEW FPGA Module as these devices are not supported in 64-bit version of LabVIEW FPGA Module.
    • Try re-installing a compatible version of the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, and make sure that LabVIEW is installed first.
  4. If your device is running a Real-Time Operating System or is an expansion chassis, it will appear under Remote Systems in NI-MAX. If the device uses Windows, it will not be detected as a remote system by NI-MAX.
  5. Disconnect your device from power and from the computer. Restart the computer, then connect the power cable and connect the device to PC directly via USB cable (if applicable). You can move it to its final network location (e.g. connected via Ethernet switch) after you have successfully configured the network settings.
  6. NI MAX 15.0 introduces a troubleshooting utility to assist with device discovery issues. This utility automates some of the troubleshooting process and generates a set of additional procedures tailored for your device and configuration. In NI MAX, right-click on Remote Systems and select Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery. See the Additional Information section below for more information on this tool.
  7. Delete your device from under the Remote Systems in NI MAX and click on the refresh button on top or press the F5 key. Then, wait for the RIO to show up again under Remote Systems.
  8. This issue could result from a non-working cable. Try plugging in your device with a new Ethernet or USB cable.
  9. If you are connected via USB cable, check the status of your USBLAN adapter in Device Manager. Open Device Manager, and expand Network Interfaces. If the USBLAN adapter has an exclamation point on it, you can try to update driver. Right click the USBLAN adapter and select Update Driver

If you are still unable to detect the device, follow the steps in the guide Setting Up Your CompactRIO System and see the Manual Troubleshooting Procedures section in Detect Your CompactRIO System using Measurement & Automation Explorer.

Additional Information

Automated Remote System Discovery Troubleshooting

NI System Configuration 15.0 introduces a troubleshooting utility to assist with device discovery issues. This utility automates some of the troubleshooting process and generates a set of additional procedures tailored for your device and configuration. If you wish to use the tool with previous versions of NI MAX and LabVIEW, follow the steps below:

  1. Install the latest version of NI System Configuration.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Launch MAX.
  4. Right-click Remote Systems»Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery.
  5. Carefully follow the instructions in the utility wizard.

Note: For NI System Configuration 15.0, the troubleshooting utility is not localized. It displays text only in English and detects only English versions of LabVIEW software regardless of your systems locale. Refer to the System Configuration 15.0 Known Issues list for more information. This is resolved in NI System Configuration 16.0.

Additional Troubleshooting Procedures

The following list contains less-common but sometimes effective troubleshooting procedures that can help with device discovery issues.

  • Consult the specifications in the device user manual and ensure the device is receiving adequate power.
  • Check the status and activity lights on the Ethernet port to see if they are lit/flashing. If the lights are not lit or flashing, try swapping in a new Ethernet cable.
  • If your host computer has multiple network adapters, disable everything but the primary adapter and disable your computer's WiFi connection. See How do I Connect to Ethernet Targets with Multiple Network Cards in the Host? and Best Practices for Using Multiple Network Interfaces (NICs) with NI Products for more details.
  • If your network has a DHCP server, contact your network administrator and ensure there are free DHCP addresses that can be issued on your subnet.
  • Contact your network administrator and ensure that your network switch is not disabling any ports or blocking traffic to the device.
  • Contact your network administrator if adding a device to your DHCP network must be done manually.
  • Ensure your NI-RIO server settings are configured to allow all remote systems access to RIO devices. Open NI MAX and select Tools»NI-RIO Settings, then add a "*" to Remote Device Access.
  • Use a ping sweep to see if the device responds when it is on the same network as the host computer:
    • Connect the device to your computer to set its link-local IP address (in the form of 169.254.x.x).
    • Set your computer's IP address to match the format of 169.254.x.x so the device and the computer are on the same subnet.
    • Perform a ping sweep as detailed by this article: (external link) Wikiversity: Computer Networks/Ping/Sweep.
  • If your device shows up in MAX but with Status: Disconnected, follow these instructions to reset the MAX database: How to Fix or Reset the NI MAX Database File.
  • Reformating the RT controller may resolve issues with the cRIO software.
  • If you are connecting to your cRIO with a laptop, try disabling your Wi-Fi.
  • If you are connected via a Ethernet cable, try connecting via a Ethernet Router. This can resolve IP addressing issues. 
  • Some IT Software block IPs considered  invalid (Ex: cRIO-9014 when resetting IP assigns Then you can use any network point or device that provides DHCP server so that cRIO gets a valid IP address.
  • Force reinstall the NI-RIO driver by following these steps: Force Reinstall Non-Working or Corrupt NI Software.
  • If your RIO connects to other computers without issue and you have the most recent drivers installed, a reimage of the computer may be helpful.
  • Try using NI Network Browser to detect your device. If it shows up here, use the IP address to add it manually on NI MAX (right-click Remote Systems»Create New...»Remote Device (Not on the local subnet)).