Unable to Use NI Serial Ports in NI MAX Utilities

Updated Jun 21, 2018

Reported In


  • Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX)


  • NI-Serial

Issue Details

  • While in the process of verifying my NI Serial ports using MAX utilities, I noticed that none of my NI-Serial Ports show up in the Devices and Interfaces»Serial and Parallel section in MAX. Furthermore, when I try to use the NI Serial ports, MAX seems to crash at random points. What can I do to fix this problem?

  • The COMM port that my device is connected to is not showing up in MAX. What can I do to fix this problem?


Try the troubleshooting steps below to fix this problem.

  1. Check to see that the device isn't displayed elsewhere within the Devices and Interfaces Section. Depending on the versions of drivers you have installed, the naming convention can change.

  2. If the Serial device is a USB or other non-ethernet type, ensure that you have the correct drivers installed for your device. Particularly ensure you have NI-Serial installed and also NI-VISA if required.

  3. Ensure that you have the correct versions of the drivers installed. See the Related Links section for more information on driver compatibility.

  4. If only a specific COM port is not showing up, connect your device to another port. 

  5. ​If the device has ethernet connectivity then also consider the below:

    1. MAX can enter this state when it can no longer communicate with an NI Serial Ethernet device on the network. The ethernet device will appear in the Devices and Interfaces section of MAX, but it will not be accessible or responsive to tests. This state will end when the ethernet device has been deleted from MAX or when communication is restored between MAX and the ethernet device. 

    2. If the serial ethernet device has been purposefully removed from the network, it is possible to delete the ethernet device appearing in Devices and Interfaces in MAX. Right click on the serial ethernet device and select Delete from the shortcut menu. This will delete the ethernet device from MAX and allow MAX to communicate with other NI Serial hardware after a reboot.

    3. If the ethernet device is plugged into the same network as your computer, ensure that the ethernet device is turned on before proceeding. Make sure that the ethernet device has a valid IP address and that you are able to ping it. Once communication has been re-established between MAX and the missing ethernet device, you will be able to test all of your NI Serial ports.


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