Troubleshooting Hardware Installation Problems

Updated Apr 12, 2024



  • PXI Chassis
  • CompactDAQ Chassis
  • CompactRIO Chassis
  • CompactDAQ Controller
  • GPIB Switch

What are the top troubleshooting solutions for common hardware installation problems? (example: DAQ, GPIB, MXI, IMAQ, Motion, etc.)

If you experience problems with installing DAQ, GPIB, IMAQ or other NI hardware devices, there are three typical problems:
  • Software compatibility
  • Hardware compatibility
  • Damaged hardware

Note: You must log in as an administrator or have administrator privileges in Windows to install any NI software and hardware.

Software Compatibility
  1. Driver Installation
    • Compatible Driver and Operating System Versions — Verify that the device is compatible with the driver version. Also, verify that the driver version in question is compatible with the operating system. For more information refer to the device manual or the links listed below.
    • Installation Order — The driver software should be installed first and the device second. If the device was installed first, complete the uninstall/reinstall steps.
    • Conflicting Drivers — Make sure you do not have multiple versions of the driver software installed on your computer. If you have multiple versions installed, remove all versions and reinstall the latest version of the driver software by completing the uninstall/reinstall steps.
    • Installation Wizard — If the driver was not installed from the Installation Wizard it is possible that the wrong installer file was chosen. Often, there are multiple installer files for the driver which are chosen for the specific operating system. Using the installation wizard will ensure that the driver for the correct operating system is chosen.
  1. Windows Device Manager — NI software will not recognize hardware that is not recognized by the operating system. Make sure that the device shows up in the Windows Device Manager. To access this, go to Start » Control Panel » System » Hardware » Device Manager.
    • Cannot find the driver — If you find your device under Other Devices with a yellow question mark on it, and the properties show error: Code 1: Device not configured correctly. Cannot find the driver. There was a problem with the driver installation. Refer to the sections above on Installation Order and Installation Wizard.
    • Windows does not have a driver associated with your device - If you see this message, refer to the section below about ensuring the device is seated properly.
  1. Refresh Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) — Older versions of MAX do not refresh automatically when a new device is installed. To refresh MAX, press <F5> or select View » Refresh. The device should now appear under Devices and Interfaces. MAX 3.0 and later refreshes every time you launch MAX.
  1. Uninstall and Reinstall Driver Software - Sometimes, an installation is not completely successful, or an operating system update causes unexpected software changes. The driver becomes corrupted. By uninstalling and doing a clean install of the driver software, this corruption can be removed.

Hardware Compatibility
  1. Device Seated Properly — Verify the device is seated properly into the slot/port. Power down your system and make sure that the device is pushed into the slot all the way. Restart both the device and the remote controller, if applicable.
  1. Power Requirements — Verify the device has the 5 V power supplied from the motherboard. If the power supply delivers an insufficient voltage (i.e., it is too low), then the PCI board will not function. This may happen if you have a custom-built system with a separate power supply. Also, some devices require a 3.3 V source as well. Check the device power requirements and verify that all required power is supplied.
  1. Try a Different Slot/Port — Shut down your computer and install the device in a different slot/port. This checks that the slot is not damaged. If you do not have another slot/port available, swap your device with another device that is working in the same type of slot/port.
    • More than One PCI Bridge — Some PCs have more than 4 PCI slots, which means that they probably have more than one PCI bridge on the PCI bus. The first PCI bridge connects the CPU to the PCI bus. Additional PCI bridges connect one part of the PCI bus to the next. 
             Your PCI device may need to be installed in a PCI slot under the first PCI bridge. Try moving your
             device to a PCI slot that is closer to the CPU. Try several different PCI slots, if necessary.
  1. Confirm Device Works in Another Computer — Install the device in another computer (if available) and verify that it installs properly.
  1. Confirm a Duplicate Device Works in Computer — If you have a second device that works, test it on the computer in question.
  1. BIOS Related Issues — The following solutions involve changing a BIOS setting or upgrading the BIOS in your computer. Refer to your computer manufacturer for information on your BIOS and on upgrades.
    • PCI Bus Mastering — Most PCs have a BIOS setting called PCI Bus Mastering that enables or disables the ability of a PCI device to become the master of the PCI bus during data transfers. Some PCs have this setting disabled by default, but it should be enabled for your PCI-GPIB device to work properly; otherwise, you may experience timeout errors (EABO) during writes and reads. 
             To solve this, go to the BIOS/Setup menu and enable the PCI Bus Mastering. Note: Some PCs do not list
             this as an option in the BIOS/Setup menu. If this option is not available, update the BIOS on your
  • Resource Conflicts with Other Hardware — PCI resources are assigned in the BIOS. You may need to enter your BIOS/Setup to correct the problem, but before you do that, try removing other devices from your system to see if this corrects the problem. 
      If that does not help, check the BIOS/Setup for any settings that control the assignment of PCI
      resources. Note: Some PCs do not list this as an option in the BIOS/Setup menu. If this option is not
      available, update the BIOS on your computer. 
  • (Older Windows Versions - NT 4.0 and 95) PNP BIOS Switch Problem — PCs usually have a setting in the BIOS that allows you to indicate whether you have a plug and play operating system on your machine. Because Windows NT is not a plug and play OS, this setting should be set to No

      Check your BIOS for an option called PCI PNP Settings (or similar), which may be under an Advanced
 (or similar) category.

Hardware Damage
  • If the preceding steps did not result in the card being recognized or function properly, it is likely that the card is damaged. You may contact NI to discuss the options for sending in the card for repairs.

Uninstall/Reinstall Steps

Note: Special considerations may apply when uninstalling NI-DAQ. Refer to Uninstalling NI-DAQ (also linked below).

  1. Uninstall all versions of the driver software.
  2. Shut down your computer and remove your device.
  3. Reboot your computer and install the driver software.
  4. Shut down your computer and install the device.
  5. Turn your computer back on.
  6. Open MAX. Press <F5> or select View » Refresh.
  7. Expand Devices and Interfaces in MAX and verify your device appears.
  8. If the problem continues, contact NI through the Request Support page (linked below).

Additional Information

In case you are working with PXI(e), CompactDAQ or CompactRIO chassis, check if there are any bent pins in the chassis connectors. You may contact NI to discuss the options if there are.