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

Updated Nov 7, 2019

Reported In

Software

  • Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX)
  • LabVIEW

Driver

  • NI-VISA

Issue Details

  • I can't see my 3rd Party USB Instrument listed in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), but it is present as a USB Instrument in Windows Device Manager.  Why am I seeing this behavior and how can I fix it so I can communicate with my instrument?
  • I can't see my 3rd Party USB devices in 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?

Solution

If the device shows up in Windows Device Manager, it means that the Windows Machine recognizes the USB device and has associated a specific driver to communicate with the device. One possible reason this instrument doesn't show up in MAX is that Windows isn't associating the correct driver with the device.
  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 to see if MAX can see your device. If MAX still cannot see your device, 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
    • Be aware that depending on your processor architecture, the folder i386 may be named differently. 
  1. Select Next and Finish to complete the driver update
  2. Go to MAX and refresh the window to look for the USB device.
  3. If the above steps don't work, another thing to consider is 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.  
  4. If this still doesn't work, the problem is likely still the non association of driver type (USB test and measurements device (IVI)) to our 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 
  5. In case the previous steps do not work, try going to Windows Device Manager, then Right click on the USB device and select Uninstall Device. Restart the computer and reassociate the USB device following the steps above.

Additional Information

Some vendors include a specific device driver for their instrument, so when Windows sees that particular instrument it associates that vendor specific driver with the instrument. NI-MAX, however, uses the ausbtmc.sys driver to communicate with USB devices. 

If the device does not show up in Device Mananger, try re-install the NI driver associated with your device. (Ex, re-install NI-serial for a USB-485 device).

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