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

Updated Sep 21, 2018

Reported In


  • CompactRIO Chassis
  • PXI Controller
  • CompactDAQ Controller
  • Controller for Compact FieldPoint
  • roboRIO
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • WSN-9791


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module


  • NI R Series Multifunction RIO

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I have an NI 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, WSN Gateway, or PXI Real-Time Controller 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, and am getting the following error: Failed to connect to real-time target.
  • I am trying to get my CompactRIO back online, but I can't seem to find the appropriate IP address.
  • I cannot see my target in Remote Devices after I create it.


  1. 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 Additional Information for more information on this tool.
  2. Ensure you have a valid software configuration on your host PC.
    • Check the following online table or your device driver 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. For LabVIEW and device driver version compatibility information, refer to the related links section of this document.
  3. Disconnect your device from power and from the computer. Then connect the power cable (if applicable) and connect the device to PC directly via Ethernet cable or USB cable. You can move it later to its final network location (e.g. connected via Ethernet switch) after you have successfully configured the network settings.
  4. Launch NI MAX to see if device has been detected automatically.
    • Ping the device.
      • If you know the device's IP address or hostname, ping it from the command prompt on your host PC. To ping an address open the Windows Command Prompt (you can search for it by typing cmd in the start menu search bar), and write ping <ip address>, where <ip address> is the device's IP address without the symbols < and >.If your device is connected by USB, it will be
      • If the device responds to a ping, try manually adding the device in MAX by right-clicking Remote Systems >> Create New and entering the IP address.
        • If you are able to see your device, and it does not show in the Remote Devices section of NI MAX, make sure your driver is the correct version to work with your computer's software stack. Try uninstalling the RIO (CompactRIO, R series, PXI Platform Services, etc) and reinstalling the version that is compatible with your installed NI software. Review the NI-RIO and LabVIEW Version Compatibility.
    • Temporarily disable or update settings for network firewalls.
      • Both the Windows firewall and third-party firewalls must be configured to allow the device discovery network traffic.
      • You can apply firewall exceptions for a software application or for specific network ports. See the Network Ports Used for Device Discovery.
      • See Additional Information on how to access firewall settings on Windows computers.
      • Make sure there is no anti-virus enables in the computer that is preventing NI MAX to search for devices, either by blocking the software or the communication ports. To configure it correctly, NI recommends enabling the following ports: Configuring Software and Hardware Firewalls to Support National Instruments Products
    • Connect a display to the system and look for an IP address.
      • Some devices have a display port and print network information on the display.
      • Display ports on embedded targets will only be functional if they have previously been enabled through MAX or the Web Interface (WIF).
      • Connect a display using Mini DisplayPort adapter and then restart the device
    • Ensure you are using the primary Ethernet port on the device.
      • Some devices only support discovery protocols on the primary (lowest numbered) Ethernet port.
      • Connect the Ethernet cable to the primary port and then restart the device.
    • Boot the device into safe-mode. Running safe-mode ensures the software on the device is stable and also disables the startup application.
      • For Embedded Devices With DIP Switches
        • Move the SAFE-MODE switch to the ON position.
        • Press the RESET button to restart the device.
      • For Embedded Devices Without DIP Switches
        • Hold the RESET button for 5 seconds, then release it. 
        • The Status LED will begin a 3-blink pattern to indicate safe-mode.
      • For Non Embedded Devices
        • Find your device's user manual.
        • Follow the directions for accessing the device's BIOS.
        • Follow the directions for setting the BIOS to boot RT Safe Mode.
        • Save BIOS changes and restart the device for changes to take effect.
    • Read the Console Out of the device.
      • Most devices have an RS-232 serial port which you can enable to print system information during boot.
      • Console Out can only be used if the device is it was previously enabled, either through MAX, the WIF, or by switching on the Console Out DIP switch (if available on your device).
      • Ensure you have a null modem serial cable and a serial client software like PuTTY, and then complete the procedure documented in the following KnowledgeBase document: Console Out on cRIO, sbRIO and cFP Controllers.
    • Reset the IP address of the device. Older targets default to a static address. Newer targets attempt to obtain a DHCP or link-local address.
      • For Embedded Devices With DIP Switches
        • Move the IP-RESET switch to the ON position.
        • Press the RESET button to restart the device.
      • For Embedded Devices Without DIP Switches​
        • Hold the RESET button for 5 seconds, then release it. 
        • The Status LED will begin a 3-blink pattern to indicate safe-mode.
        • Press and hold the RESET button again for 5 seconds, then release it.
      • For Non Embedded Devices
        • Find your device's user manual.
        • Follow the directions for resetting the device's IP address.
    • Ensure your device is on the same subnet as your host PC, using the knowledge base Using a Crossover Cable to Connect to a LabVIEW Real-Time Target​ as reference.
      1. If your device is on another subnet and you know its IP address, you can manually add the target in MAX by right-clicking Remote Systems»Create New... and entering the IP address of your device.
      2. Devices with a IP address cannot be configured from a remote subnet. In this situation you will need to manually add your host computer to the same subnet as the device, configure it and then return your host computer to its original subnet.
    • Ensure NI MAX is correctly installed on your system by re-installing/updating NI System Configuration. You can find the latest version of the software here.

    Additional Information

    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: Wikiversity: Computer Networks/Ping/Sweep
    • 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.
    • 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
    • Reformat the RT controller
    • 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 reseting IP assigns Then you can use any network point or device that provides DHCP server so that cRIO gets a valid IP address.

    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.

    LabVIEW 2014 or Earlier

    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.

    Firewall Settings

    For Windows XP

    1. Go to Start»Settings»Network Connections to view all local networks.
    2. Right-click any connection and select Properties.
    3. Select the Advanced tab and click Settings.
    4. Select the Exceptions tab and click Add Program...
    5. Select Measurement & Automation in the list and click OK.
    6. Click OK on both remaining windows.

    For Windows 7

    1. Go to
      Start»Control Panel»System and Security»Windows Firewall»Allow a program through Windows Firewall
    2. Click Allow another program...
    3. Select Measurement & Automation in the list and click Add.
    4. Click OK to close the control panel.


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