Device Shows Up as a PCI/PCIe Simple Communications Controller

Updated Jun 13, 2024

Reported In


  • PCI-8432/4


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)


  • NI-DAQmx
  • NI-488.2
  • NI-Serial

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

When I try to find my device in Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) or Device Manager, it appears as a PCI Simple Communications Controller with a yellow bang or question mark.


I would like to know if the PCI Simple Communication Controller corresponds to NI hardware and what steps I should take to configure and use the hardware.


This error occurs when Windows recognizes a system device as a PCI(e) board (or component), but the drivers for the device are not installed or were incorrectly installed. Follow the steps below to understand the issue and begin to resolve it.
  1. Identify which device corresponds to the PCI Simple Communications Controller by determining its Vendor ID and Device ID.
    1. In Windows Device Manager, right-click on the PCI Simple Communications Controller and select Properties
    2. In the Details tab, when selecting the "Device instance path" or "Hardware Ids" Property, there should be an entry similar to PCI\VEN_XXXX&DEV_XXXX&… The numbers after VEN and DEV indicate the Vendor and Device ID, respectively. For example, PCI\VEN_1093&DEV_70B8 means the Vendor ID is 1093 and the Device ID is 70B8. 
  1. Look up your device on to identify the vendor and the device description. For example, the above VEN and DEV values give the following result. 
  1. With the vendor and device information identified, if the hardware is from NI, then follow the steps in Windows Does Not Have a Driver Associated with Your Device Error in MAX to identify and install the driver for your device on this table. If the hardware is associated with a different vendor, please look to that vendor for the most appropriate installation steps.


Additional Information

PCI stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect and is an industry standard bus for attaching peripheral devices to a computer. The PCI Simple Communications Controller is a generic label that Windows gives to installed PCI boards in Device Manager when the drivers for the device are not installed. Many pieces of NI hardware use PCI (or PCIe) communication for connection and communication protocols, and consequently, they may appear in this manner when appropriate drivers are not used on the system.

Please note that the PCILookup tool is an external reference tool used here, and other tools may be available for looking up Vendor and Device IDs in a similar manner