Adding a New DAQ Device or Module to your Windows System

Updated May 9, 2024



  • NI-DAQmx

If you have recently acquired a new, upgrade, or replacement DAQ device or module, follow the steps in this guide to find and use your DAQ devices using Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX) and the DAQmx API in LabVIEW. This process will help ensure that you can find your DAQ device using NI-DAQmx and MAX and interact with the device in your DAQmx applications.

Note: If you are installing and setting up your DAQ device or module for the first time use Getting Started With NI Products to configure your system, and then review Getting Started with NI-DAQmx for more information on taking measurements with NI-DAQmx. The Getting Started with NI-DAQmx series discusses frequently asked questions, installation instructions, and some LabVIEW programming and documentation tips for new DAQmx users.

Ensuring Compatibility of your DAQ Device with Other Hardware and Software

One of the most common causes of problems when trying to find your new DAQ device or module using NI-DAQmx is an incompatibility between the NI-DAQmx version and the hardware devices and modules being used.

If you have worked with the same DAQ device or module on this system in the past, and you have not made any changes to the software or the PC itself, your existing setup is likely already compatible. You can skip this section and move on to Troubleshooting Missing NI DAQ Devices using MAX and DAQmx Software.

However, if you have not used this DAQ device or module with this system before, you should confirm software and hardware compatibility by following the steps below:

  1. If you do not already know what versions of NI software you are using, determine what version of  NI-DAQmx is installed on your current system.  

    1. Example: I have a Windows 10 machine with LabVIEW 2017 and DAQmx 17.1.1

    2. Note: NI-DAQmx Base and Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy) are not the same as NI-DAQmx and may not support your device or operating system.

  2. If you need to change versions of NI-DAQmx from what you are currently using, verify your device or module compatibility with the new version of NI-DAQmx by checking the readme for that version of NI-DAQmx. You can also check compatibility with PXI Platform Services, NI-DAQmx, and NI hardware with NI Hardware and Software Operating System Compatibility.

    1. Example: I checked the readme for DAQmx 17.1.1 and found that my DAQ hardware is listed as supported.

    2. Note: Once added to the DAQmx driver, support for DAQ hardware is typically maintained through the next several versions of DAQmx driver software.

    3. Devices with the same model number but different connectivity options (e.g., BNC vs. Screw Terminal connector variants) are not necessarily supported by the same versions of NI-DAQmx.  Make sure that you check for your connector type when looking for device compatibility with NI-DAQmx.

  3. Check compatibility of NI-DAQmx with the version of Windows you are using.

    1. Example: DAQmx 9.5.5 is not compatible with Windows 10, so I would need to move up to DAQmx 15.5 or newer.

  4. Check the compatibility with your new versions of DAQmx and LabVIEW with each other.  You can also verify other application development environments (ADE) compatibility, such as LabWindows/CVI or Visual Studio, through the NI-DAQmx Readme as discussed in Step 2 above.

    1. Example: I chose to upgrade to LabVIEW 2017, which is compatible with DAQmx 17.0 and higher, so I will continue to use DAQmx 17.1.1

  5. If you upgraded to a newer DAQ device or module and are planning to use a previously acquired cable or accessory with it, check the compatibility of your new DAQ hardware with any existing cables or terminal blocks that you would like to reuse with the new hardware before using them.

    1. Review the DAQ Multifunction I/O Cable and Accessory Compatibility Guide to determine whether the cables and accessories you have work with your new DAQ device.  Note that while some connectors may be the same for multiple cables, not all pinouts are identical, and some older cables may not be drop-in replacements for newer cables despite similar connecting interfaces.

    2. Your pinouts or signal mappings to your terminal block breakout accessory may also be different on your new device or module. You should always verify with NI documentation.

Troubleshooting New DAQ Devices using MAX and NI-DAQmx Software

Once you have confirmed that your software and hardware are compatible by following the steps above, try the additional troubleshooting steps below to find your DAQ device.

  1. Ensure that the device is operating correctly by checking the status LED(s). Refer to the device manual and documentation to interpret the LED color and/or pattern.

  2. Make sure that all Networked DAQ devices have been added to Devices and Interfaces.

  3. Ensure that the device is detected and associated properly in Windows Device Manager. If your NI-DAQmx device shows up under “Other Devices” in Windows Device Manager, follow these steps for a USB/PCI/PCIe/PXI/PXIe device or module.

    1. If your PXI/PXIe DAQ device connected through MXI or MXI Express is not showing up correctly, check the MXI Compatibility and Connectivity Guide to troubleshoot the MXI portion of the DAQ system.

  4. If you are unable to see your device in Windows Device Manager, or the LEDs are not showing the expected color and/or pattern, try removing the DAQ device from the PC (as well as any associated cables) and examine the connector (USB, PCI, PCIe, etc.) to confirm that there are no bent or broken pins. Note:  Do not remove a PCI/PCIe device from a machine until the machine has been fully shut off. After examination, carefully replace the device to ensure that the device is properly connected.  Repeat steps 1-4.

  5. Verify that you have installed NI-DAQmx:

    1. NI-DAQmx Base offers a subset of NI-DAQmx functionality with limited hardware support.

    2. Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy) also known as Traditional DAQ (T-DAQ) was replaced by NI-DAQmx in 2003.  It does not support newer devices and modules or newer operating systems.

  6. If you upgraded or downgraded your NI-DAQmx driver as the result of this guide, please review Upgrading or Downgrading NI-DAQmx Driver When Using LabVIEW.

  7. If your NI-DAQmx palette is missing in LabVIEW, this could be because you did not install NI-DAQmx after installing LabVIEW. Review Upgrading or Downgrading LabVIEW with NI-DAQmx.

  8. If you are encountering errors in your DAQmx applications with your new DAQ device that you were not encountering with an older device, check for hardcoded device names/aliases, IP Addresses, or hardware-specific information in your DAQmx application and compare this information to the configuration data stored in MAX.

    1. A common error is -200220: Device identifier is invalid, which is caused by a mismatch in device aliases.  If you are seeing this error, you may need to manually reconfigure your tasks and device names.

  9. If you added a USB device, module or chassis, some USB Devices may not wake up after your computer has gone into hibernation.

  10. If your device is compatible with the version of NI-DAQmx installed but isn’t showing up correctly in NI-MAX, resetting the NI-MAX Database may help.

  11. If you are working with Windows 8, 8.1, or 10, the Fast Startup option can cause problems with NI hardware detection.