Switch Between Booting LabVIEW RT or Windows on PXI

Updated Apr 13, 2020

Reported In


  • PXI Controller


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Issue Details

  • My PXI controller is capable of booting LabVIEW RT or Windows/Other OS (also known as dual-boot). How can I choose which OS to boot?
  • I need the determinism and processing benefits from Real-Time on my Windows PXI Controller. Can I convert from Windows to Real-Time?
  • My PXI controller is running Windows and I am interested in having LabVIEW Real-Time in it.


Note: NI does not plan to support Dual-Boot for NI Linux Real-Time controllers at this time.


  1. For a controller to be able to boot in a different Operating System, it must be bought and configured with a dual-boot option.
    1. If your controller does not have this option, the following steps will not show up in your system.
    2. National Instruments recommends having controllers with just one Operating System loaded to ensure reliability.
  2. There are two different ways you can choose which OS to boot into: 
    1. Setting the RT Boot Options in the BIOS through the LabVIEW RT Setup Menu
      • You can enter the BIOS by pressing the Delete <DEL> button upon boot up.
      • If your controller's Boot Configuration is set to Use Switch Setting, then the position of the configuration switch will determine the boot mode of the controller.
      • Setting the Boot Configuration to LabVIEW RT will cause the controller to boot into safe mode regardless of the switch's position
    2. Using the LabVIEW RT Configuration Switches located on the PXI Controller
      • This will only work if your controller's Boot Configuration is set to Use Switch Setting.

If you are using the PXI-817x or older controller, please refer to "How Can I Switch Between RT and Windows on Older PXI Controllers (817x and Prior)?". This document describes the process of creating a boot floppy to boot LabVIEW RT safe mode. 

    Additional Information

    The following controllers have the RT safe mode image built into the BIOS and do not require a separate boot disk for setup and configuration:
    • PXI-8101
    • PXI-8102
    • PXI-8108
    • PXI-8109
    • PXI-8110
    • PXI-8115
    • PXI-8119
    • PXI-8184
    • PXI-8185
    • PXI-8186
    • PXI-8187
    • PXI-8195
    • PXI-8196
    • PXI-8820
    • PXI-8840
    • PXIe-8100
    • PXIe-8101
    • PXIe-8102
    • PXIe-8108
    • PXIe-8115
    • PXIe-8135
    • PXIe-8820
    • PXIe-8840
    Note: In order to install LabVIEW Real-Time onto a PXI Controller preloaded with Microsoft Windows, you need to purchase the LabVIEW Real-Time Deployment License for NI PXI Controllers.