Select Source Dialog Prompt When Building an Installer

Updated Aug 16, 2023

Reported In


  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Application Builder Module
  • LabWindows/CVI
  • Measurement Studio


  • Instrument Drivers

Issue Details

  • When trying to build an installer in LabVIEW I get the following error message:

Some installers you selected for this build are not available on this computer. The preselected media below contain the required installers.If you have the preselected media, click OK. If not, deselect the media you do not have and select media you do have. When the selected media contain all the required installers, click OK. During the build you will be prompted for required media.

  • I am trying to create an installer using LabWindows/CVI and during the build it shows the following error message:

Distribution Not Found

The path no longer exists.
Cannot find distribution "NI MetaUninstaller".

If you would like to specify a different path where the distribution can be found, enter it below.



Why am I getting this dialog prompt, and how do I include these additional installers in my build?


This "Select Source" dialog box is appearing because there are software installer dependencies missing for the build. In order to build a new installer that contains a particular product, files from the original installer media of the selected product are required. For example, if NI-DAQmx is being included installer, the Application Builder could prompt for Device Driver CD that contains NI-DAQmx. 

Note: Before fixing the dependency issue for the installer the program is complaining about, please check if the installers being included in the distribution file are necessary for running your application. In some cases, you might be including additional software that is not being used in your application and might include a dependency that is not installed in your computer.

The solution to these dependency errors depends on how the software included in the installer was originally downloaded: 
  • If the additional installer has been downloaded from and the source has been deleted, it will be necessary to download the same version and unzip it again before the build, and point the installer source location field to this new folder.
    • Point the Select Source dialog to the directory in which setup.exe was extracted. For IVI drivers and self-extracting executables (.exe), the WinZip Self-Extractor extracts files to C:\National Instruments Downloads\. If the download came as a .zip file, extract the files, then point it to where the extracted setup.exe is located.
  • If the additional installer has been installed from a CD or USB, it will be necessary to put CD or USB into the drive before building the installer. If you no longer have the media from where it was installed, it is recommended that you uninstall the component and reinstall it using an installer from the NI website.
  • If it has been installed from a network location, make sure access to the files on the network drive or one of the two above options is still possible.
  • If the software on the PC was installed from a LabVIEW-built installer, the "Select Source" dialog may reference that LabVIEW-built installer. It will be necessary to point to that installer to get this dialog box to not come up anymore. 
    • If that doesn't work, repair or force reinstall the same software stack as the computer that built the original installer to have fresh installs of the software with the setup files. 
    • It is also possible to upgrade to a newer version of the software by downloading it from the NI website. 
  • If there are any pending updates shown in the NI Package Manager related to the software component the error message is complaining about, please update the component and after the process is finished try rebuilding the installer.

If none of the above steps solve the issue and you recently build an installer and then deleted it, this issue may be occurring because there is a reference to a previously built installer in the Operating System Registry that LabVIEW is trying to use when building a new installer. Therefore, to solve that problem you have to delete the key registry that is associated with that installer. To complete this task, you have to follow the steps listed below.

Note: Proceed with extreme caution with the following steps, as they require you to manipulate System Registries. Make sure that you are located in the correct path before deleting any key registry as removing the incorrect one could cause damage to your system.
1. Type Regedit in the Windows search bar and run the Registry Editor Application as administrator.
2. Once in the Registry Editor Window, navigate to the next path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\National Instruments\Common\Installer\Distributions

3. Once you are on the Distributions folder, look for the key registry that is associated with that installer and delete it by right-clicking on it. To know exactly which key corresponds to your installer, select the key and look at the right side of the window for more information. Here you will find the Title, as well as the Distribution Root (DistRoot).
When it comes to building an installer in LabVIEW, make sure the following settings are selected to avoid this dialog box in the future:

LabVIEW 2013 or Newer

Selecting the Copy all future installers to this computer when you run them checkbox will cause all future installers to run on the system to automatically copy their products into the local cache during the install. This will prevent future prompts for the location of those installers from within the Installer Builder utility.

LabVIEW 2010 - 2012

This dialogue can be avoided by selecting the Copy selected installers to this computer before building option in the Additional Installers window in the Installer Build Specifications.


LabVIEW 8.6 or Older

In order to avoid the notifications in a version of LabVIEW 8.6 or older, it will be necessary to manually copy the entire contents of a source installer to the hard drive. In the case of NI-DAQmx, that means copying the entire contents of the Device Driver CDs to the hard drive. Then next time an installer is built, change the Installer Source Location in the Advanced Installers dialog box to the location where the contents of the Device Driver CD have been copied to.


Additional Information


In LabVIEW versions 8.6 and later, the Installer Source Location field is not editable as described in the LabVIEW 8.6 Upgrade Notes. If the source is not found at this location, there will be a prompt for a correct location during the build process.

LabVIEW requires the additional installer’s source MSI and .id files that were used for installation on the development machine to be able to install the additional installer on other machines. These source files are not usually left on the development machine after installation. The Installer source location field tells LabVIEW where to find these needed source files. LabVIEW will, by default, set this field to the last location used to install the additional installer on the development machine. This should be the root directory of the location from where product has been installed, usually on a CD or network drive. 

Note: On Windows 10 PCs, the default Installer Source Location is C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF\ProductCache. If the installer source file is located here but the Installer Build Specifications are not recognising it's presence, repair the Additional Installer package as described in Repair Software In NI Package Manager (NIPM) .

Some of these shared installer dependencies may have had a new version installed by another NI product and that product will be required in order to build the installer.
For example, say NI-DAQmx 8.0 is installed, which also installs NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) 4.0. As a result, NI MAX 4.0 will be installed on the computer.
Later Measurement Studio 8.0 is installed, which installs an newer version of NI MAX (4.1) and overwrites the previous version of NI MAX (4.0) (note: the version numbers of MAX are just an example and don't reflect real revisions shipped with various products). Now, NI-DAQmx 8.0 depends on Measurement Studio, and when an installer that includes NI-DAQmx 8.0 is built, it will need to copy the Measurement Studio installer from the distribution that installed it. So while Measurement Studio is not directly being included, a shared dependency that it updated is being included, and the Application Builder needs to copy the installer of that dependency.


To stop the notification in new versions of LabWindows/CVI, navigate the Distribution window to the desired files. For older ones, simply select the option that appears in the notification. These will copy, respectively, the source location to and source of the additional components to the hard drive. With that, the prompts will no longer appear.