VISA Interactive Control and LabVIEW Intermittently Cannot Search for Connected Instruments or Hangs When Searching

Updated May 31, 2023

Reported In




  • LabVIEW


  • NI-488.2
  • NI-VXI

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

When launching the VISA interactive control by searching for the visaic.exe from the Windows Start menu or by launching it from NI MAX via Software > VISA > visaic.exe, it continually runs and appears to hang when searching for instruments. The Devices text box of the dialog in this application just shows "Searching for Instruments...." and I have to kill it. I let it run for 10 minutes and it was still searching. Sometimes, it will successfully list our GPIB instruments and the VXI system, but the behavior has been often random, not reliably reproduced in a particular pattern of actions from what we've seen thus far. I can always see the devices with NI-MAX. What could be the reason that the NI VISA Interactive program does not work? 


Troubleshooting Steps
  • Confirm that NI MAX consistently shows all connected instruments
  • Check whether you can communicate with instruments in another software environment such as LabWindows/CVI, PuTTY etc.
  • Check if this occurs with other PCI slots or GPIB ports available on board
  • Try simplifying the system to a chassis, remote controller and a single instrument
  • Try physically disconnecting all of the hardware from the system
  • After connecting all of the hardware again, test a similar step in software for which you'll work with the VISA passports in NI MAX. For this step, 
    a. Go to NI MAX > Tools > NI-VISA > VISA Options
    b. Select Passports
    c. Try disabling all the passports and see if that fixes the observed behavior. Should this fix it, please try to re-introduce the behavior by re-enabling each passport, one device at a time. That may tell us if it's related to one specifically. 
  • Try force reinstalling  or uninstalling and reinstalling NI VISA
  • Try rebooting the system
  • Recommended testing behavior with GPIB instruments only then VXI instruments only (pending response on results)
  • Gather a MAX technical report to gather configuration information and logs of any potential failures with driver installation 
  • Gather an IO Trace to check whether there are any errors thrown by NI VISA in the background. In particular, run the trace in the following scenarios:
    • During opening VISA Interactive Control with only Tulip passport enabled 
    • During opening VISA Interactive Control with only remote passport enabled
    • During opening Visa Interactive Control with only the VXI passport enabled
  • Make sure the Hardware being used is supported. (GPIB-USB-B/A are no longer supported and may cause VISA to malfunction)