My PXI Controller Won't Boot

Updated Apr 27, 2023

Reported In


  • PXI Controller
  • PXI Chassis

Issue Details

  • My PXI controller recently went offline during a power surge and now it will not boot past the BIOS.  What can I try to get it working again? 
  • My PXI controller has started booting straight to the BIOS instead of to the Operating System (OS). What can I do to recover the OS? 
  • My RT PXI controller does not boot to the Operation System after a restart. I only see a black screen at the console & I am unable to connect to the controller through my Host PC.
  • My windows PXI controller boots momentarily and then it turns back off.
  • My PXI chassis is making a loud noise and my controller won't boot. How can I fix this?
  • My PXI resets (trips) twice during booting then finally boots up.
  • My Linux PXI controller always hangs or freezes during the first boot up of the day. If I restart it, it works fine. What is causing this?


If the controller is not able to boot properly, It could be a hardware or a software issue with the controller. Try the following steps to isolate whether it is a software or a hardware issue: 
  1. Inspect the controller for bent pins in the backplane, burn marks or other physical damage.
    • If any of these are present, the controller may have had a hardware failure and will have to be repaired.
  2. Check if there are any USB devices plugged into the controller.
    • If there are, then remove these and try booting again without them.
  3. For RT controllers, ensure that the network settings of the controller have not changed. 
  4. Remove the peripheral modules and cables from your chassis and attempt to boot again. 
    • If the boot works, there could be one of the two reasons for this behaviour:
      • The modules in your chassis are drawing too much power which the chassis power supply is not able to handle. So the power supply may need to be repaired.
      • One of the modules in the chassis has malfunctioned. You can identify it by inserting each module one by one back into the chassis & trying to boot the controller.
  5. Remove all the devices including controller and cables.
    • Check for dust. Dust can be removed using brush or low pressure air spray.
    • Also check for any loose connections on the card before inserting it back.
  6. Try reinstalling the operating system using a bootable USB drive. 
  7. Replace the CMOS battery. For detailed instructions on how to do this, consult the manual for your controller.
  8. Replace the hard drive for your controller to test for hard drive failure. 
    • Note: Using a different hard drive than the one that NI provides with the controller is not a supported scenario. Also, if a PXI controller with a removable hard drive option is used, take into account that only the hard drives that NI sells on the website are supported and tested by NI. Other hard drives may work, but as they have not been tested, they may lead to unexpected situations. 
    • If using a PXIe-8135, PXIe-8820 or PXIe-8840, use the Hard Drive Diagnostic Utility to test the hard drive's health.
  9. Replace the RAM in the controller with a spare or additional RAM.
  10. Refer to the 'Troubleshooting' section in the controller's user manual for additional steps to resolve this issue.
  11. If the PXI controller boots momentarily, this could be caused by the chassis' fan vent getting blocked due to dust.
    • Clear the vent & try booting the controller again.
    • If it still doesn't boot then the fan could be faulty and needs repair. This can also be verified by trying the controller boot from another chassis.
  12. Check whether there is a malfunctioning fuse between the AC Power and the chassis.
    • It could cause the mains power to trip as the controller is booted.
  13. Try changing the mains power cord to the chassis. It could have become faulty.
If none of these steps resolve the issue or there is visible damage on the controller, it may need to be sent in for repair. If that is the case, contact our Technical Support Team.