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DAQ Device Shows up as USB Flash Firmware Loader in Device Manager

Updated Jul 30, 2023

Reported In


  • USB-6501
  • cDAQ-9178
  • USB-6212


  • NI-DAQmx

Issue Details

When I connect my USB DAQ or CompactDAQ (cDAQ) device to my computer, Windows recognizes that new hardware was found. When I look in the Windows Device Manager, the device has a yellow exclamation point and says USB Flash Firmware Loader. My chassis, device or module isn't showing up or recognized in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). I've already installed NI-DAQmx, why isn't my driver found? How do I get Windows to recognize my device correctly?


If the NI Device Loader service is not running, Windows is unable to load the information from the firmware. To see what services are currently running on your computer, select Start»Control Panel»Administration Tools»Services
If NI Device Loader is not started, right-click NI Device Loader and select Start. The Startup type for the service should be set to Automatic. If it is not listed as Automatic, right-click NI Device Loader and select Properties. Set the Startup type as Automatic.

If the Device Loader service can be successfully stopped and started again, the issue may be related to the driver you have installed. You may try resetting your NI MAX Configuration Data to resolve this issue. If possible, use another USB DAQ device in the affected system, or the same USB DAQ device in a known working system to determine where the problem is. 

If you have recently tried to connect your USB DAQ device to NI MAX running on a virtual machine, there is a chance your host machine may have entered into a damaged state, resulting in the USB DAQ device appearing as USB Firmware Updater within NI MAX. In general, NI hardware is not supported on virtual machines.

If the above-mentioned steps do not solve the issue, contact NI support. It is possible that your device might need to be repaired/replaced.

Additional Information

If hardware is not recognized correctly, often restarting the USB Firmware Loader service will help identify your USB hardware.  The USB Firmware Loader service cannot be explicitly set to run as startup, but it is part of the NI Device Loader service, so the steps outlined above should resolve the issue permanently.