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NI GPIB "Scan for Instruments" Missing in NI-MAX

Updated Sep 20, 2021

Reported In


  • PXI GPIB Instrument Control Module
  • GPIB Instrument Control Device
  • GPIB Device Simulator
  • ExpressCard-GPIB
  • PXI-8212
  • PXI-8232
  • PCMCIA-488
  • PCI-8212
  • PCI-8232


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)


  • NI-488.2

Issue Details

When I try to find instruments by selecting my GPIB-USB device in Measurement and Automation Explorer (NI-MAX):
  • there is no option to scan for instruments,
  • the "Scan for Instruments" button is missing/unavailable.



Follow the steps below to resolve this issue.
  • Make sure the full NI-488.2 driver is installed and not only the NI-488.2 Runtime version by expanding My System >> Software >> NI 488.2 in NI-MAX. 
Note: The Scan for Instruments feature in NI-MAX is only available with the full-featured NI-488.2 driver.
Also make sure the NI-488.2 version installed is compatible with your system by referring to Downloading the Correct Driver for The GPIB-USB-HS(+).
  • If you have built an application installer that includes the NI-488.2 driver, make sure NI-488.2 Configuration Support is included in your application installer. 
To display this option:
  1. Navigate to your installer properties and select the Additional Installer tab.
  2. Uncheck Automatically select recommended installers and uncheck Only display runtime installers. Check NI-488.2 Configuration Support
  • If you have confirmed the full, compatible version of NI-488.2 is installed, force reinstall it to fix any potential driver corruption on your computer.
  • Make sure NI GPIB Enumeration Services is set to Running in Windows Services. 
  1. Open Services from the Start menu.
  2. Search for NI GPIB Enumeration Service and check if it is running.

  • If the service is stopped, restart it by right-clicking on it and clicking Start.
  •  If the service is not able to start and you get the following error message:
Windows could not start the service on Local Computer.
Error 1069
The service didn’t start due to a logon failure.

Proceed with the following steps: 
  1. Right-click on the service and open Properties.
  2. Select the Log On tab.
  3. Select Local System account.
  4. Click Ok
  • If the service doesn't exist:
Proceed with the following steps: 
  1. Open "Command Prompt" as Administrator.
  2. Copy/Paste the following command:
 SC create "NIGPIBHardwareEnumerationService" start= auto binpath= "C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\NI-488.2\Bin\gpibenumsvc.exe"

This will create the NI GPIB Enumeration Services.

This should result in the "Scan for Instruments" option appear in NI-MAX after restarting it.