LabWindows CVI Badly Formed Pathname When Opening Project

Updated May 3, 2018

Reported In


  • LabWindows/CVI


Microsoft Windows SDK 8.1

Issue Details

I installed LabWindows CVI 2015, but when I try to open my project, I get the error:

Error writing project file "c:\CVI\PROJ_NAME\PROJ.prj" (badly formed pathname)



First, ensure that your LabWindows CVI version is compatible with your Windows OS version. You can check this on the Supported Operating Systems for LabWindows CVI page. If you do not have a compatible version installed, uninstall CVI and reinstall a compatible version. If you have a compatible version, this error can be caused by the Windows 8.1 SDK not being installed when you installed LabWindows CVI. 

  • If you have an internet connection, you can rerun the CVI installer, and ensure you do not cancel the Windows SDK installation dialog box. 
  • If you installed LabWindows CVI from the National Instruments website, you can run the executable located at the following location: C:\National Instruments Downloads\CVI\2015\Products\MSDTRedistributables_WindowsSDK_81\sdk\sdksetup.exe
  • If you do not have internet connection but have a disk, you can run the executable at the following location when the disk is inserted: D:\Distributions\CVI\Products\MSDTRedistributables​_WindowsSDK_81\sdk\sdksetup.exe
  • If none of the above options work, you can download the Windows 8.1 SDK installer from Microsoft's website on another computer, and transfer and install it on your offline machine. 

Additional Information

You can test to see if you have the Windows 8.1 SDK installed by building a LabWindows CVI Example. When you build an example, you may get the following error if you do not have the Windows 8.1 SDK installed.