MXI-Express Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide

Updated Aug 11, 2020

Environment

Hardware

  • PXI Remote Control Module
  • MXI Cable

The purpose of this guide is to troubleshoot issues related to connecting a PXI or PXI Express system to a host computer via NI MXI-Express hardware.


Before You Begin

Before you begin, make sure you have properly followed the installation instructions for your hardware.


Scope of This Guide

Because MXI-Express connectivity issues can surface through many different symptoms, only the most common symptoms reported are covered in this guide. If you encounter an issue that is not covered by any of the existing information, please reach out to NI Support.

This guide is not meant for troubleshooting intermittent MXI-Express issues, remote control systems using PXIe-8301, or PXI systems with embedded controllers.


How to Use This Guide

This guide is organized by common MXI-Express related symptoms. Identify which situation best fits the behavior you are experiencing and follow the corresponding troubleshooting steps in the order that they are provided. It is important that you follow every step completely and carefully. If you experience more than one behavior covered in this guide, follow the guide in the order that it is presented.

Check the Hardware Model Specific Information section for further troubleshooting steps and considerations for your specific device model.

Symptom 1: Computer does not boot or hangs when PXI(e) chassis is connected to PCI(e) MXI card

Computer gets consistent Blue Screens of Death (BSoD)

  1. Make sure the computer works correctly without MXI-Express hardware.
    1. Power down the system.
    2. Remove the PCI(e) MXI-Express card from the computer.
    3. Reboot your computer and verify it boots as expected.

If your computer encounters boot issues without MXI-Express hardware, contact the computer manufacturer to get it back into a bootable state, or replace with a functional computer.

  1. Make sure all hardware connections are secure.
    1. Power off the computer, then chassis.
    2. Remove all PXI(e) peripheral modules from the chassis.
    3. Make sure the PXI(e) MXI-Express module is placed into the System Controller slot and securely seated.
    4. Make sure the ends of the cables are fully inserted and properly oriented into the connectors on the MXI-Express boards. If you are using a MXI-Express x1 cable, make sure the mechanical "D" connection fits appropriately, as shown in the figure below. Some versions of the cable were manufactured such that moderate force would allow the connection to be made upside-down.
  1. Make sure the PCI(e) MXI card is securely seated in the computer.
  2. Run the MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software. Only install this software if the Readme states your device and OS is supported.
    1. Download MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility.
    2. Refer to the Readme for installation instructions, as this software requires flipping a physical switch or running a software utility for some devices.

Note: The MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software uses patented technology to take control from the BIOS in enumerating PXI(e) systems and handle enumeration on its own. This compensates for BIOS’s that cannot handle enumerating large complex PCI(e) architectures such as those introduced by PXI(e) systems.  

  1. Test in a different PCI(e) slot.
    1. Remove all other PCI(e) cards, including the graphics card if possible, from the computer and try to boot with only the PCI(e) MXI card installed.
    2. Move your PCI(e) MXI card to each PCI(e) slot in your computer and try to reboot.
  1. Ensure your computer is running the latest BIOS version.
    1. To determine the BIOS version, open System Information and note the BIOS Version/Date.

  1. Check your computer manufacturer’s website for the latest BIOS version.
  2. Update the BIOS if there is an updated version available.

Note: Motherboard manufacturers will fix bugs in BIOS versions that cause PCI(e) enumeration to fail and crash. By ensuring that you are running the latest BIOS version, you reduce the probability that the behavior is caused by a bug in the BIOS.

  1. Disable Active State Power Management (ASPM) in your BIOS Settings by consulting your motherboard's manual. If your BIOS does not allow you to disable ASPM, configure it through your Windows Settings.
    1. Open your Advanced Power Plan Settings.
    2. Expand PCI Express and Link State Power Management.
    3. For On Battery and Plugged In, open the drop down menu and turn off the Link State Power Management setting.

 
Symptom 2: MAX cannot detect, recognize, or connect to my PXI or MXI hardware

  • PXI(e) chassis
  • PCI(e) MXI-Express card
  • PXI(e) peripheral modules
  • Daisychained PXI(e) system

 

  1. If you are working with a large system, first reduce your system to the smallest reproducible case (e.g. one chassis and MXI-Express card).
  2. Check the status of the PWR, LINK, or PWR/LINK LED on the PXI(e) MXI-Express card. If the LED is red, refer to PXI/PXIe MXI-Express Card LED Red or Amber to resolve it first.
  3. Check if you’re able to detect the PXI hardware in Device Manager.
    1. Open Device Manager.
    2. Verify that the MXI-Express connection is identified as a National Instruments SMBus Controller.

  1. Under System Devices, verify that the PCI-to-PCI bridges show up without error.

If you do not experience this behavior, refer to Symptom 3: Computer/Device Manager cannot detect, recognize, or connect to my PCI/PCIe MXI card.

  1. Reset the MAX configuration database.
  2. Make sure you have a compatible version of the PXI Platform Services driver installed.
    1. Identify compatible driver versions by cross-referencing the hardware model and computer operating system compatibility.
    1. Use MAX to identify the version of PXI Platform Services installed.

If the PXI Platform Services version is not compatible, 

  1. Power down the system and remove the PCI(e) MXI-Express card from the computer.
  2. Power on the computer and install the compatible version of PXI Platform Services.
 
  1. Run the MXI BIOS Compatibility Software. Only install this software if the Readme states your device and OS is supported.
  2. Make sure the BIOS compatibility switch is set properly for your device by referring to the MXI BIOS Compatibility Software Readme.

Hardware Switch

  • If your computer is running MXI BIOS Compatibility Software, DIP Switch 1 should be in the ON position.
  • If your computer is not running MXI BIOS Compatibility Software, DIP Switch 1 should be in the OFF position.

Software Switch

  • If your computer is running MXI BIOS Compatibility Software, Mode 1 should be enabled.
  • If your computer is not running MXI BIOS Compatibility Software, Mode 1 should be disabled.
  1. If you are using a MXI-Express Fiber Cable and PCI(e)/PXI(e)-838x, refer to additional considerations and troubleshooting steps in the Hardware Model Specific Information section.
  2. Ensure your computer is running the latest BIOS version. Refer to Step 5 in Symptom 1: Computer does not boot or hangs when PXI(e) chassis is connected to PCI(e) MXI card for detailed steps. 
  3. Test in a different PCI(e) slot. Make sure to follow the proper reboot sequence.
    1. Remove all other PCI(e) cards, including the graphics card if possible, from the computer and try to boot with only the PCI(e) MXI card installed.
    2. Move your PCI(e) MXI card to each PCI(e) slot in your computer and try to reboot.
  4. Regenerate the ini files.
    1. Navigate to C:\\Windows and verify that you have pxisys.ini and pxiesys.ini.
    2. Delete these ini files and restart your computer. The files will be automatically regenerated.
  1. Test with a different cable between the PXI(e) and PCI(e) MXI boards. Make sure to follow the proper reboot sequence.
  2. Test with different PCI(e) and PXI(e) MXI boards. Make sure to follow the proper reboot sequence.
  3. In MAX, make sure the PXI Active Resource Manager under PXI System Settings is set to National Instruments.
  4. If you still cannot see the peripheral modules, refer to Cannot Detect PXI(e) Peripheral Modules in MAX.

Proper Reboot Sequence

  1. Power down the computer, then the chassis.
  2. Make any changes to the system (ex: connect the PXI(e) and PCI(e) cards together with the supplied cable, add or remove modules, etc).
  3. Power on the chassis, then the computer.


Symptom 3: Computer/Device Manager cannot detect, recognize, or connect to PCI(e) MXI card

  1. Ensure that NI PXI Resource Manager is Running and Automatic in Services.

  1. Test in a different PCI(e) slot.
    1. Remove all other PCI(e) cards, including the graphics card if possible, from the computer and try to boot with only the PCI(e) MXI card installed.
    2. Move your PCI(e) MXI card to each PCI(e) slot in your computer and try to reboot.
  2. Test with a different model of computer.
  3. If the device is still not listed in Device Manager, contact NI Support.


Symptom 4: I receive errors in Device Manager

Error 10

Refer to Error 10 in Windows Device Manager for MXI Connection.

Error 12

Refer to Error 12 with MXI-Express (MXIe).

Error 31

Refer to Code 31 in Windows Device Manager While Using a MXI Connection.

Other Errors

Other errors that occur in Device Manager are not MXI-Express hardware specific. If you experience an error that is not one of the above, try searching for it in the support knowledgebase.


Symptom 5: LEDs on MXI(e) card are red or amber

Refer to PXI/PXIe MXI-Express Card LED Red or Amber.


Hardware Model Specific Information

This table contains important troubleshooting information and considerations when using certain MXI-Express hardware. Please review this section for further troubleshooting steps for your specific model.

MXI-Express Hardware ModelTroubleshooting Information and Considerations
PCIe-8361 – Gen1, x1
PXIe-8360 – Gen1, x1
Make sure the ends of the cables are fully inserted and properly oriented into the connectors on the MXI-Express boards.
PCIe-8262 – Gen1, x1

There are different variations of the PCIe-8361. The PCIe-8361 (195315x-01L) does not have dip switches. This means that the MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software is not supported for this module.

Both PCI-Express and PXI-Express devices will show up in MAX.

PXIe-8370 – Gen1, x4
PCIe-8371 – Gen1, x4
PCIe-8372 – Gen1, x4
No special considerations.
PCIe-8381 – Gen2, x8
PXIe-8381 – Gen2, x8
PXIe-8384 – Gen2, x8

If you are using a x8 MXI-Express fiber cable, there is a switch on the PCIe-8381 that needs to be set. If you are using copper cables, this is set by default.

Fiber cables have a Host and Target orientation. Make sure each cable end is plugged into the correct piece of hardware.

Both PCI-Express and PXI-Express devices will show up in MAX.

PXIe-8388 – Gen2, x16
PCIe-8389 – Gen2, x16
The PXIe-8388 and PCIe-8389 are designed to only be used with RMC-83XX controllers. These require a high stability clock, which means that they will not work with most motherboards.
PCIe-8398 – Gen3, x16
PXIe-8398 – Gen3, x16
PXIe-8399 – Gen3, x16

If you are running the MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software, you must also run the NI MXI Configuration utility that installs with it. This utility flips the software switch instead of flipping a hardware DIP switch.


The software switch is persistent, so you only need to run the utility once.

If you move the PCIe-8398, PXIe-8398, or PXIe-8399 to a different computer, the new computer will need to run the MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software, or you will have to rerun the NI MXI Configuration utility to disable the software switch.

If the software switch is enabled, and the computer does not have MXI Compatibility installed, the MXI-Express hardware will appear incorrectly as a “NI Boot Time PCI Resource” in MAX.

Make sure the ends of the cables are fully inserted and properly oriented into the connectors on the MXI-Express boards.

Both PCI-Express and PXI-Express devices will show up in MAX.


Other Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Use a different computer.
  2. Use a PXI embedded controller. NI PXI embedded controllers have a BIOS that is written to handle the most complex chassis expansion configurations allowed by the PCI and PCI Express specification.
  3. Update chassis and/or MXI-Express firmware if available.
  4. Contact NI Support.


Notes from NI

MXI-Express devices are heavily dependent upon the individual motherboard manufacturers and will sometimes run into connectivity issues. Complex MXI-Express configurations may pose a challenge for the BIOS of some systems to correctly enumerate all the resources necessary, which may cause the system to freeze during the boot process.

Please contact NI Support if you have any questions on these troubleshooting steps or MXI-Express products.