Archived: Restoring EEPROM Configuration Settings on VXI/VME Embedded and Remote Controllers

Publish Date: Nov 17, 2016 | 4 Ratings | 3.75 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. NI-VXI 3.x and Windows Operating Systems (95, 98, NT, 2000, XP)
  3. NI-VXI 2.x and Windows Operating Systems (95, 98, NT, 2000, XP)
  4. Other Operating Systems

This document has been archived and is no longer updated by National Instruments.

1. Introduction

National Instruments MITE based VXI/VME Embedded and Remote Controllers have an EEPROM where all Configuration Settings are saved. The table below lists the NI-VXI Embedded and Remote Controllers that have EEPROMs.

Figure 1. National Instruments VXI Embedded and Remote Controllers

VXI Embedded Controllers are embedded PCs that fit in your VXI chassis and allow you to control your VXI instruments directly.

VXI Remote Controllers allow you to communicate with your VXI instruments and control the VXI chassis from your PC. Therefore, remote controllers consist of a PCI (or PXI) and a VXI/VME board connected together. The only non-VXI/VME boards from the remote controllers that have an EEPROM are the PCI-MXI-2, the PCI-MXI-2 Universal, and the PXI-8320 boards. The PXI-8320 (PXI-MXI-2) board allows you to control your VXI/VME chassis from your PXI system.

Each EEPROM is divided in two halves: the Factory Configuration half and the User Configuration half. Initially both halves contain the same information. By default, the user boots from the User Configuration half of the EEPROM and can change the configuration of the controller according to their needs, therefore, altering the information saved in the User Configuration half.

If settings are changed to an inconsistent state or the system loses power unexpectedly, it is possible for the User Configuration half of the EEPROM to become corrupted to the point were the controller behaves improperly or does not let your system boot up correctly. Under these circumstances, the EEPROM needs to be reset to the Factory Configuration defaults.

If your system is behaving improperly, but still boots and the Resource Manager software (RESMAN) runs fine, you can restore the Factory Configuration defaults from the Default Configuration files for your controller. These files are installed with the NI-VXI driver in your computer. Their saved location depends on the Operating System you use.

For Windows based computers, the configuration files are saved in the folder C:\Program Files\National Instruments\VXI\tbl\Common Configurations.

The NI-VXI driver ships with common configuration for every type of controller, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. NI-VXI Driver Common Configuration

Other Operating Systems save these files in the /nivxi/tbl directory.

Note: If the Default Configuration files in the VXI\tbl\Common Configurations folder become corrupted, the best solution is to overwrite the configuration files by reinstalling the NI-VXI driver.

If your system does not boot up properly, or if the Resource Manager cannot run, you will need to follow the next steps to restore the User Configuration half of the EEPROM in any NI controller to the Factory Configuration defaults:
1. Power off the VXI system.
Note: Use the appropriate Operating Systems procedure to shut down your PC or PXI system if you are removing the PCI/PXI-MXI-2 board.
2. Set the controller to boot from the Factory Configuration half of the EEPROM. To do this you need to set a switch or jumper in your controller. This switch/jumper is documented in the User Manual of each controller, all of which are listed at the end of this article.
The name for the switch/jumper differs, depending on the controller you are using. Figure 3 gives the name used for the switch/jumper to set, which manual to use and the associated chapters.

Figure 3. National Instruments VXI Controller Factory Configuration Switch Location

3. Re-install all your hardware and power on your VXI system.
4. Launch the Configuration Software and run the Resource Manager.
5. Overwrite the User Configuration half of the EEPROM with the data on the Default Configuration file.
6. Power off your VXI system.
7. Set the switch mentioned in Step 2 back to its default position, so your controller can boot from the User Configuration half of the EEPROM.
8. Power on your VXI system.

You are ready to go.

The configuration software you will use depends on the Operating System and the version of the NI-VXI driver that you are currently using.

This document describes how to restore the factory EEPROM configuration settings for NI VXI/VME controllers for different combinations of Operating System and NI-VXI versions of the driver.

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2. NI-VXI 3.x and Windows Operating Systems (95, 98, NT, 2000, XP)

The configuration software that installs with version 3.x of the NI-VXI driver is Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). In the case of MXI-2 remote controllers, both the PCI and VXI/VME parts have EEPROMs that could become corrupted. In the case of other embedded and remote controllers, only the VXI portion would need to be reset to the Factory Configuration Defaults. The following procedure is a detailed description of how to restore the Factory Configuration settings of a PCI-MXI-2 and a VXI-MXI-2 pair of remote controllers. Other controllers follow very similar procedures.

1. Configure the controller to boot from the Factory Configuration half of the EEPROM

Power off the PC and the VXI chassis system. If you are removing the PCI/PXI-MXI-2 board, be sure to use the appropriate procedure for your operating system to shut down your PC or PXI system.

Remove the PCI/PXI-MXI-2 board from the PC/PXI chassis and the VXI-MXI-2 from the VXI chassis.

For the PCI-MXI-2 board, locate the U17 switches. See page 3-2 of the PCI-MXI-2 User Manual . A link to this manual is provided at the end of this article. Set the switches according to Figure 4.


Figure 4. Restoring the Factory Configuration


For the VXI-MXI-2 board, locate the U35 switches . See page 3-2 of the VXI-MXI-2 User Manual . A link to this manual is provided at the end of this article. Set the switches according to Figure 5.


Figure 5. Boot from Factory Configuration (Factory Configuration Protected)


2. Overwrite the User Configuration half of the EEPROM with the data in the Default Configuration file.

Install the PCI-MXI-2 board in the PC and the VXI-MXI-2 board in the VXI chassis. Connect them, and power on the PC and the chassis. It does not matter which one is turned on first.

Launch MAX and expand Devices and Interfaces. You should see that the VXI System appears with a yellow exclamation mark in front. Right click and choose Run the Resource Manager (RESMAN). Your VXI board should appear under the VXI System. Go to the View menu in MAX, and choose Refresh.

Right click on the PCI-MXI-2 board and choose Hardware Configuration.

A warning should appear telling you that the Factory Configuration switch was set and that you are loading the Factory Configuration settings. Click OK. You should see the window shown in Figure 6.


Figure 6. Overwriting User Configuration


From the pull down arrow menu choose Default Configuration. The NI-VXI driver will go into the appropriate folder and save the data from the Default Configuration file for your type of controller in the User Configuration half of the EEPROM.

A warning message as shown in Figure 7 should appear telling you that you are going to overwrite the User Configuration settings.


Figure 7. Warning Message, Overwriting User Configuration


Click Yes. You will be prompted to restart the computer in order for the changes to take effect. Do not restart your computer yet.

Follow this same procedure with the VXI-MXI-2 board.


3. Set the switches to the default state

Power off the computer and the VXI chassis. Remove the PCI-MXI-2 board from the computer and the VXI-MXI-2 form the VXI chassis.
For the PCI-MXI-2 board, set the U17 switches as shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8. EEPROM Operation (PCI-MXI-2)


For the VXI-MXI-2 board, set the U35 switches as shown in Figure 9.


Figure 9. EEPROM Operation (VXI-MXI-2)


Power on your computer and VXI chassis.

4. (Optional) Back-up the current configuration of your PCI-MXI-2 and VXI-MXI-2 boards.

Now that you have a valid configuration in your EEPROM, you can save it to a file. This way, if your controller has a corrupted EEPROM but still boots, you can reload the factory configuration from the data in the file.

To do this, launch MAX, right click on the PCI-MXI-2 board and select Hardware Configuration. You should see a window similar to the one shown in Figure 10.


Figure 10. Saving Configuration Settings


Click Record to File... circled in red in Figure 10.

WARNING: Do not overwrite the Default Configuration files. If you want to save the current configuration to a file, choose a name that WILL NOT replace an existing file. If the Default Configuration files in the VXI\tbl\Common Configurations folder get corrupted, the best solution is to reinstall the NI-VXI driver.

You will be able to load this configuration again by going to this same window and clicking Load from File....

Follow the same procedure with your VXI-MXI-2 board.

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3. NI-VXI 2.x and Windows Operating Systems (95, 98, NT, 2000, XP)


The configuration software that installs with version 2.x of the NI-VXI driver is Test & Measurement Explorer (T&M Explorer).

The steps to restore the EEPROM to the factory configuration defaults are very similar to the steps explained above. The only thing that changes is the configuration software user interface. Following are the main steps you need to follow when using T&M Explorer:

1. Power off the VXI system.
Note: Use the appropriate Operating Systems procedure to shut down your PC or PXI system if you are removing the PCI/PXI-MXI-2 board.
2. Set the controller to boot from the Factory Configuration half of the EEPROM. Consult the User Manual for your controller linked below to determine the location of the switch/jumper on your controller.
3. Re-install all your hardware and power on your VXI system.
4. Launch the T&M Explorer and select the System View (default). Run the Resource Manager, RESMAN.



5. Right-click on the entry for the controller and select Hardware Configuration from the pop-up menu. Figure 11 illustrates an example of the system view that appears on a system with a VXIpc-850.
Note: Windows NT users must be logged onto the computer with Administrator privileges in order to see the Hardware Configuration option. Non administrators will not see this option.


Figure 11. VXIpc-850 System View


6. You may see a warning that indicates that the Factory Override switch is set as shown in Figure 12. Click OK if you see this warning.


Figure 12. Factory Override Warning


7. Select the Default Configuration entry from the list of Common Configurations under the General tab in the hardware configuration settings dialog, as shown in Figure 13.
Note: You can also use Test and Measurement Explorer to Save or Load configuration settings to/from a file. You do not need to set the FOV switch in order to load/save a configuration file.


Figure 13. Selecting Default Configuration

8. Select OK to continue with the restoration process. You may see a pop-up dialog asking you to confirm the changes. If so, select yes.
9. Power off your VXI system.
10. Set the switch mentioned in Step 2 back to its default position, so your controller can boot from the User Configuration half of the EEPROM.
11. Power on your VXI system. You are ready to go.

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4. Other Operating Systems


The visual configuration systems, T&M Explorer and MAX shown above, are available only for MITE-based controllers on Win 32 operating systems. VXIedit or VXItedit are used for configuration on other operating systems.

VXIedit
The steps to restore the EEPROM to Factory Configuration defaults are very similar to the steps explained above for Windows-based VXI systems. The only difference is in the configuration software user interface. The following steps are for using VXIedit:

1. Power off the VXI system.
Note: Use the appropriate Operating Systems procedure to shut down your PC or PXI system if you are removing the PCI/PXI-MXI-2 board.
2. Set the controller to boot from the Factory Configuration half of the EEPROM. Consult the User Manual for your controller linked below to determine the location of the switch/jumper on your controller.
3. Re-install all your hardware and power on your VXI system.
4. Run the Resource Manager, RESMAN. Launch the VXIedit. You should see a screen similar to the one shown Figure 14:


Figure 14. VXIedit Launch Screen


These options appear when a MXI-2 Remote Controller is used. If a VXI embedded controller were installed in the system, the second entry in the list would be VXIpc Configuration Editor.

4. Select the option for your VXI controller Configuration Editor. For this example we have selected the PCI-MXI-2 Configuration Editor. A screen similar to the one shown in Figure 15 appears.


Figure 15. PCI-MXI-2 Configuration Editor Example


Select the option Load Configuration from File as shown in Figure 15. Load the appropriate default configuration file for your controller from the /nivxi/tbl directory. Go back to the Configuration Editor window.
Note: You can also load or save custom configuration settings.

5. Select the option Update Current Configuration as shown in Figure 16. This will write the configuration settings from the Default Configuration file to the controller's EEPROM. Notice that some of the configuration settings cannot take effect until you reset the machine, either by using the reset button or by turning the power off and back on again.


Figure 16. Updating with PCI-MXI-2 Configuration Editor


6. Power off your VXI system.
7. Set the switch mentioned in Step 2 back to its default position, so your controller can boot from the User Configuration half of the EEPROM.
8. Power on your VXI system. You are ready to go.

VXItedit
Follow the same steps used for VXIedit. The only difference is that VXItedit does not have a graphical user interface.
Related Links:
Search NI Manuals
VXIpc 770/870B User Manual
VXIpc 870 Series User Manual
VXI/VMEpc 600 Series User Manual
PCI-MXI-2 User Manual
PXI-8320 User Manual
VXI-MXI-2 User Manual
VME-MXI-2 User Manual
VXI-8340 Series User Manual
Getting Started with Your VXI-1394 Interface for Windows NT/98
NI-VXI Graphical Utilities Reference Manual
NI-VXI Text Utilities Reference Manual
MXI-2 Configuration Reference Manual

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