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

Updated Jul 9, 2024

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.


To resolve this issue, work through the troubleshooting steps below:
  1. Check that the controller's power supply is working as expected.
    • In a cRIO, for example, the POWER LED should be solid green.
  2. Reboot the device.
    • Disconnect the device from power and from the computer.
    • Restart the computer, then connect the device's power cable.
    • Connect the device to the PC directly via USB cable (if applicable).
    • The device can be moved to it's final network location (i.e. connection via an Ethernet switch) after it's Network Settings are successfully configured.
  3. Ensure that the required software versions are installed on the host PC. Use the latest software versions available if possible.
  4. If the 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. Work through the Troubleshooting Utility in NI MAX.
    • Note: 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 to specific device and configuration.
    • In NI MAX, right-click on Remote Systems and select Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery.
    • See the section titled Automated Remote System Discovery Troubleshooting under Additional Information for further instructions.
  6. Refresh the available systems in NI MAX.
    • Delete the device from Remote Systems in NI MAX and click on the Refresh button on the top toolbar or press the F5 key.
    • Then, wait for the system to show up again under Remote Systems.
  7. This issue could result from a non-working cable. Try plugging in the device with a new Ethernet or USB cable.
  8. Try removing any adapters. For instance, Ethernet to USB adapters
  9. If the device is connected via a USB cable, check the status of the USBLAN adapter in Device Manager.
    • Open Device Manager, and expand Network Interfaces.
    • If the USBLAN adapter has an exclamation point on it, update driver. Right click the USBLAN adapter and select Update Driver

If the device is still undetectable after following these steps, continue troubleshooting use the steps in Setting Up Your CompactRIO System

Additional Information

Automated Remote System Discovery Troubleshooting

NI System Configuration 15.0 introduces a troubleshooting utility to assist with device discovery issues. If using this tool with previous versions of NI MAX and LabVIEW, follow the steps below:

  1. Install the latest version of NI System Configuration .
  2. Restart the host computer.
  3. Launch NI 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 the system's 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 effective troubleshooting procedures that can help with device discovery issues.

  • Consult the specifications in the device's 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 the host computer has multiple network adapters, disable everything but the primary adapter and disable the computer's WiFi connection.
  • If the network has a DHCP server, contact the network administrator and ensure that there are free DHCP addresses that can be issued on the subnet.
  • Contact the network administrator and ensure that a network switch is not disabling any ports or blocking traffic to the device.
  • Contact the network administrator if adding a device to a DHCP network must be done manually.
  • Ensure that the 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 the host 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 the 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 can resolve issues with the the device's software.
  • 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
    • If this is applicable, use any network point or device that provides DHCP server so that the cRIO receives a valid IP address.
  • Force reinstall the NI-RIO driver by following these steps: Force Reinstall Non-Working or Corrupt NI Software.
  • If the cRIO connects to other computers without issue and the most recent drivers are installed, try reimaging the host PC. 
  • In cases where you are directly connected via Ethernet Cable between Host PC and RT Target, verify network connection properties for your Ethernet Port. 
    • Open Ethernet Properties from Control Panel » Network and Internet » Network Connection
    • Click on Sharing Tab and enable the Internet Connection Sharing Options listed below. 
      • Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection.
      • Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection.
  • If you can establish an SSH connection using either the IP address or hostname of the device. Run the command iptables -F to clear all IP tables rules.