Performing a Good NI I/O Trace Capture for Debugging/Troubleshooting

Updated May 3, 2024

I have been asked by National Instruments Support Staff to provide them with an NI I/O Trace. What do I need to do?

NI I/O Trace is a utility that allows you to see what VISA driver calls are being made, the parameters passed to the VISA driver calls, and the results. This information can aid you and the National Instruments Support Staff in debugging and troubleshooting. In order to provide the best information to your support engineer, follow these steps:
  1. Start NI I/O Trace from the Start Menu under All Programs » National Instruments » NI I/O Trace.
  2. From within NI I/O Trace, click Tools » Options.... Set the options on the General tab to match the picture below. An important property is the Call history depth. The capture should include the driver calls made to configure your device and the driver call where the error occurred. Make sure the number of maximum lines can allow this.
  1. On the Logging tab, select to Log to File.  The location of the file that you are logging the capture to is important; this resulting .nitrace file is the one that you will need to send to National Instruments.
  1. On the View Selection tab, make sure that everything under Installed API Choices on the left side is checked. You may have different options than those listed below
  1. Click the Start button to start the NI I/O Trace capture.  
  1. Attempt to communicate with your device. If applicable, perform a communication that is giving an error or not working properly. All communication should show up in the NI I/O Trace capture window.
  2. Stop the NI I/O Trace capture.
You can also use the GPIB Analyzer to troubleshoot complex GPIB issues. Please see the Related Links section for more on the GPIB Analyzer.