Force Reinstall Non-Working or Corrupt NI Software

Updated Nov 7, 2018

Reported In

Driver

  • NI-DAQmx
  • NI-VISA

Issue Details

  • Some of my NI software, toolkits or drivers are corrupt, broken, or not working as expected, and I want to try reinstalling to fix it. I might be seeing crashes or hangs in my software, or some driver VIs may show up with question marks. I may have already tried to uninstall or delete the software, and it still didn't resolve the problem. Is there a way to force the NI installer to run fresh, and force a replacement of all components and files?
  • In Device Manager my devices show up as unknown devices, or Windows doesn't recognize the device drivers, but I know I installed the driver. How can I make sure the driver installed properly?
  • I clicked on a toolbar item, such as the Edit Icon button, and LabVIEW froze. I had to go to the Task Manager to exit LabVIEW. 

Solution

You can force all of the files in an installation to reinstall by running the setup.exe file from the Command Prompt and using the /reinstall switch. You will need your original installation disc or installation files to do this. If you are missing installation files, you can search for them on our website. Complete the following steps to force reinstall your NI software:
  1. Navigate to the directory where your setup.exe file is located by one of the following methods.
    • You can easily navigate to a directory in the Command Prompt by using Windows Explorer to navigate to a folder location, holding <Shift> and right-clicking empty space in that folder, and choosing Open command window here. This works in Windows 7, 8, and 10.
    • If the file is on the C: drive, you can access it by typing cd <path to software install directory> and pressing <Enter>. An example command is as follows: cd "C:\National Instruments Downloads\NI-VISA\".
    • If the file is on a different drive, simply type the name of the new drive and press <Enter>. For example, if you are force reinstalling from a disk, and the disk is recognized as drive D:, you would type d: and press <Enter>.  You can then use the cd command to navigate to the proper folder.
Note: Since you can't use ctrl+V to paste in command prompt, you can right click anywhere on in the window and select Paste to insert a long directory. 
 
  1. If you have entered a valid directory, you should see the directory change in the command prompt. In this example specifically, the user wishes to force reinstall NI-VISA driver whose installation files are located in C:\National Instruments Downloads\NI-VISA.
  2. Run the installer by typing setup.exe /reinstall and pressing <Enter>. The image below shows how your command should look before you press <Enter>. This will reinstall all of the files instead of only ones that appear to be damaged or missing.
 
Note: The directory C:\National Instruments Downloads\ is the default location used by the standard self-extracting executable to decompress software downloads. In addition to your installation discs, you will likely find most of your installation files in this directory, unless you deleted them or explicitly pointed the self-extracting executable to another location.
 
If you are using a suite installer, you will need to find the directory for the piece of software you are trying to reinstall. Each piece of software will have its own folder within the distributions folder. This command will not function if used to call a suite installer.
 

Additional Information

If you're using the installation media (USB/DVD/Download) of a complete software suite, it's possible you will see the following message:

This software suite installer invokes multiple software installers.
 

 

If this is the case, locate the software/driver you need to force reinstall (usually located in <Your DVD or media>\Distributions\<Software acronym>\setup.exe), use the cd command under step 2 (above) with this new path, and follow the steps. For example, LabVIEW will be located in: <Your DVD or media>\Distributions\LV\setup.exe


Note: It is only possible to force-reinstall software that was installed through the individual product installers or suite installers. It is not possible to force-reinstall software that was installed through NI Package Manager. For more information on how to uninstall and reinstall software through NI Package Manager, please see Uninstall National Instruments Software or Drivers Using NI Package Manager.

Note: If you have to force reinstall the LabVIEW development Environment, you will subsequently need to reinstall all modules,toolkits, application software, and drivers associated with your installation. 

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