NI Software Fails When Physical Address Extension is Enabled

Updated Mar 15, 2023

Issue Details

Some NI software products do not load on Windows operating systems with Physical Address Extension (PAE) enabled.

The symptoms of this problem include the following issues:
  • A blue screen appears when the operating system loads.
  • Warnings from the source nipalu appear in the application log located in the Windows Event Viewer.
  • The error message "PAE detected. NI-PALK will refuse to load." appears from the source nipalk in the system log located in the Windows Event Viewer.
  • Timeout errors occur when accessing items in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).
  • Error messages similar to the following message and image appear when the operating system loads:
The application failed to initialize properly (0x0000142) 

  • Windows does not start the NI Device Loader on the local computer. The error messages
Error: 4294967295 or Error: 0xFFFFFFFF appear when this error occurs.
  • The device status for a DAQ device states, "Windows cannot initialize the device driver for this hardware (Code 37)."


PAE is a feature of x86 processors that enables more than 4 GB of physical memory to be used in Windows 32-bit operating systems. However, NI software does not support PAE on Windows 32-bit operating systems. PAE may be enabled by default depending on the operating system. Refer to the following sections for more information about when Windows XP/2003 and Windows 7 enable PAE.

Windows XP/2003
Windows 2003 Server enables PAE by default if more than 4 GB of memory is installed. To identify if PAE is enabled on Windows XP/2003, complete the following steps:
  1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the General tab in the System Properties dialog box.
  3. If PAE is enabled, the text Physical Address Extension appears under the computer section, as shown in the following example.

Windows 7
Windows 7 enables PAE if certain hardware enable it by default. To identify if PAE is enabled on Windows 7, complete the following steps:
  1. Select Control Panel in the Start menu.
  2. Select Administrative Tools.
  3. Double-click Event Viewer.
  4. In the left pane of the Event Viewer window, navigate to Event Viewer (Local) >> Windows Logs >> System.
  5. Select Action >> Find from the menu bar.
  6. Enter pae and select Find Next in the Find dialog box.
  7. If PAE is enabled, an event indicating "PAE detected" is found.

The following screenshot shows an event indicating "PAE detected" being found.

To fix the problem, perform either of following methods: