Dual-Boot Windows 10 and Real Time Operating Systems on NI PXIe Controllers

Updated Dec 23, 2023

Reported In


  • PXI Controller

Issue Details

  • I want to use both Windows 10 and PharLapRT (Real-Time) OS on my PXIe Controller. 
  • I have a Windows 10 installed, and would like to try dual booting, I divided the partition as FAT 32 for PharLap RT OS, but RT wasn't recognized.


Note: NI will remove support for Phar Lap for cRIO in the NI 2020 Software Release and for PXI in the NI 2022 Software Release. For more information, please see the Phar Lap RT OS EOL Road Map. Also, NI does not plan to support Dual-Boot for NI Linux Real-Time controllers at this time.


  • Due to differences in frameworks of Windows 10 and RT operating systems, PXIe controllers can not be dual booted with both Windows 10 and a RT OS. 
  • NI's policy for PXIe Controllers that ship with Windows 10 is that they are configured to boot in Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) mode with a GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioned hard drive. Windows 10 systems which are installed in UEFI mode with a GPT partitioned hard drive do not support dual booting PharLap RT, and there is no plan to add this capability. Hence, dual booting with Windows 10 is not supported with NI PXIe controllers. PharLap RT requires legacy booting and a Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioned hard drive.
  • Configuring a dual boot Windows 10 PXIe Controller using MBR partitioned hard drive is not recommended by NI. NI is not responsible for any malfunctions of the PXIe controller.
  • If you would still like to change between systems, it is recommended that you change out the physical hard drive of the controller with the operating system of choice loaded on the new drive.  If your chassis originally had Pharlap RT installed, you may need to update the BIOS using a bootable USB  to support the UEFI mode required with Windows 10.
    • This statement does not apply to the PXIe-8861 with the M.2 drive. We do not recommend users replace the hard drive on this controller. This is our standard shipping PXIe-8861.
      • We have designed a special PXIe-8861 for applications that require removeable hard drives. This PXIe-8861 uses a U.2 drive. The part number for this controller is 786986-01.

Additional Information

In case of Windows 7, you can do dual booting by following Dual-Boot Windows 7 and LabVIEW Real Time on a PXI Controller .

As far as dual boot support for Linux RT is concerned, it is not currently on the list of features NI is targeting for Linux RT.