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USB Device Missing In NI MAX but Is Present In Windows Device Manager

Updated Jul 31, 2023

Reported In


  • Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX)
  • LabVIEW



Operating System

  • Windows


  • Windows Device Manager

Issue Details

  • I can't see my 3rd Party USB Instrument listed in NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), but it is present as a USB Instrument in Windows Device Manager.  Why am I seeing this behaviour and how can I fix it so I can communicate with my instrument?
  • My USB device is behaving as expected in Windows Device Manager. However, I see a yellow triangle in NI MAX and the following warning:
 There was a problem updating the settings for this device. The operation timed out.
  • I can't see my 3rd Party USB devices in NI MAX, but I can communicate with them through the command line so I know they are connected.  What do I need to do to be able to see my devices in MAX?


If the device shows up in Windows Device Manager, it means that the Windows Machine recognises the USB device and has associated a specific driver to communicate with the device. However, it is possible that the association has not been made to the correct driver, which can cause the device to not show up in NI MAX.
  1. Right-click on the USB device and select Properties.
  2. On the Driver Tab, select the Update Driver option.
  1. Select Search automatically for updated driver software and then check if the device appears NI MAX. In case the device still does not appear in NI MAX, repeat steps 1-3 and then proceed to step 5.
  1. Select Browse my computer for driver software and navigate to C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\ausbtmc.sys or C:\Program Files\IVI Foundation\VISA\IVI USB Staging\i386\ausbtmc.sys or C:\Program Files\IVI Foundation\VISA\IVI USB Staging\b841aa80\Windows\i386\ausbtmc.sys. (Note: In 64-bit machines, the folder i386 is named amd64).
  1. Select Next and then Finish to complete the driver update.
  2. Go to NI MAX and refresh the window to look for the USB device.
  • Some vendors include a specific device driver for their instrument. With that, when Windows sees that particular instrument, it associates that vendor specific driver with the instrument. MAX, however, uses the ausbtmc.sys driver to communicate with USB devices. If the above steps don't work, it is worth considering that ausbtmc.sys is part of the IVI VISA Shared Components, which is maintained by the IVI Foundation. You can download the IVI VISA Shared Components directly from the External Link: IVI Foundations Page.  
  • It is also possible that the problem is likely still the non-association of driver type (USB test and measurements device (IVI)) to the device, so:
  1. On the Update Driver Software window shown in step 4, choose Browse my computer for driver software. Then select: Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
  2. Click on USB test and measurements device (IVI)
  3. Go to the directory C:\Program Files\IVI Foundation\VISA\IVI USB Staging\b841aa80\Windows
  4. Select the file ausbtmc.inf 
  • In case the previous steps do not work going to Windows Device Manager, then right-click on the USB device and select Uninstall Device. Restart the computer and re-associate the USB device following the steps above.
  • The device may be able to be used even if, after following the steps above, the USB instrument does not appear in NI MAX. For that, make sure it is possible to communicate with the device in VISA Test Panels or LabVIEW. The USB Instrument Control Article provides steps on how to test communication and run example programs.