Creating a Desktop Real-Time Computer Running Phar Lap ETS

Updated Aug 1, 2023



  • PXI Controller

Operating System

  • PharLap

I have a desktop computer that I would like to convert to a Real-Time target. How do I convert it to run the Phar Lap ETS – Real-time Operating System.

First, ensure your PC has hardware support necessary to be a LabVIEW Real-Time target by following the Requirements for Desktop PCs as Phar Lap ETS Real-Time Targets document. You will also need a Windows system with the Real-Time Module and a USB flash drive. 

Part 1: Setting up the Utility USB Drive:
  1. Open NI-MAXand from the menu, select Tools » Create Desktop PC Utility USB Drive.  Note that if your version of NI-MAX is older than 5.0, the path will be Tools » Real-Time Disk Utilities » Create Desktop PC Utility USB Drive.

  1. Click Yes on the dialog, indicating that the USB drive will be reformatted.
  1. Select the Version of the Real-Time Operating system you want to install onto your computer. Make sure that the version of the LabVIEW Real-Time Module you are using matches the version you are loading onto your computer.

  1. Select the USB drive you wish to format to create the Utility USB Drive. Please ensure the selected drive is already formatted with the FAT file system, as the utility simply zeroes out the partition table of the drive.

  1. Click Yes on the dialog that asks you to confirm the creation of the utility and warns that all files on the USB drive will be erased. Please back up the data on your USB drive before it is reformatted.

  1. You should get a message that indicates that the Utility USB Drive was successfully formatted. Click OK to finish. 
Note: If you selected a drive formatted with NTFS or another unsupported file system, you will still see the              success message, but no changes will have been made to the drive. 
Part 2: Preparing the desktop system to boot from the USB Drive:
Change BIOS settings on the Desktop system to boot from the USB Drive. If you do not see this option, you may need to contact your Computer or motherboard manufacturer, as BIOS vary and there is no standard layout.

Part 3: Reformatting the desktop system:
  1. Once you've saved the changes to the BIOS and the system restarts, it will boot off the Utility USB Drive. You will be presented with a menu. Navigate to and select "6. Format hard disk".

  1. You will be presented with a set of options on how to proceed with the format. You can choose to format only the RT partition, erase all partitions and create a single new partition, or cancel the format.

  1. Next, you will be prompted to select what file system to format as. It's recommended that you choose "2. Reliance". 
  1. You will then need to type "yes" to confirm the reformat.

  1. The desktop system will then go through the reformat, and will provide the following message to indicate that the controller has been successfully formatted: 

  1. Press any key, and the computer will begin to reboot. As the computer is restarting, you can remove the Utility USB Drive from the desktop system.
  2. The computer will reboot, and will be running the Phar Lap ETS – Real-time Operating System now. You should be able to access the Real-Time PC through NI-MAX and add necessary software. You can view the IP address of the newly formatted computer on the console output.

Additional Information

After this process, you may see that your system is unable to find a boot program as below.
This is because the internal disk is not selected/checked in the boot sequence in BIOS mode. Make sure that you configure your system to boot from the internal hard disk that you have formatted.
Note: Starting from LabVIEW Real-Time 2022, the Phar Lap ETS – Real-time Operating System is                         discontinued. The latest version of LabVIEW in which the Phar Lap ETS is supported is LabVIEW                 2021 SP1.

After completing the steps above, the hardware will reboot and start with Phar Lap ETS.