MXI Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide

Publish Date: Feb 07, 2019 | 16 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


The purpose of this guide is to help assist with issues related to connecting a PXI(e) system to a host computer via National Instruments MXI and MXIe hardware. If you are just getting started with a new PXI(e) system, please see the Getting Started with a PXI System tutorial to ensure the basics of your system are properly configured. Please identify the situation below that best fits the behavior that you are experiencing and follow the corresponding troubleshooting steps.

Table of Contents

  1. Situation 1: My computer will not boot when my MXI system is connected
  2. Situation 2: I cannot see my chassis or devices properly in NI MAX
  3. Situation 3: Miscellaneous Troubleshooting Steps
  4. Related Links:

1. Situation 1: My computer will not boot when my MXI system is connected

  1. Try moving your PCI(e) MXI or MXIe device to each of your PCI(e) slots.
  2. Ensure that your system is running the latest BIOS version.
    1. 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.
  3. This behavior is most likely due to a BIOS Compatibility problem. You may be able to run the MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Software. Please see the readme for supported devices and details on installation.
    1. This software uses patented technology to take away control from the BIOS in enumerating PXI(e) systems and handle enumeration on its own. This allows users to compensate for BIOS's that cannot handle enumerating large complex PCI(e) architectures such as those introduced by PXI(e) systems.
    2. This software requires flipping a physical switch or running the utility for some devices, so be sure to look at the readme and see Image 1 for guidance.
    3. MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Readme
    4. MXI-Express BIOS Compatibility Download


Image 1: PCI(e) board DIP Switch Configuration


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2. Situation 2: I cannot see my chassis or devices properly in NI MAX

  1. Verify that the MXI connection is identified in Windows Device Manager as a National Instruments SMBus Controller and that the PCI-to-PCI bridges show up without error, as seen in Images 2 and 3.


Image 2: MXI device in Windows Device Manager



Image 3: PCI-to-PCI bridges from a PXI(e) chassis


    1. If you do not experience this behavior, ensure that NI PXI Resource Manager is set to Started and Automatic in Services as seen in Image 6.
    2. Try moving your PCI(e) MXI device to each of your PCI(e) slots.
    3. Check to make sure that DIP Switch 1 on your PCI(e) MXI device is configured in the OFF position if moving from a different computer that was previously using MXI BIOS Compatibility Software.
    4. If you are using a MXI Controller with a MXI Express x1 cable, try flipping the connections 180 degrees on each end so that the mechanical "D" connection fits appropriately as seen in Image 4. Some versions of the cable were manufactured such that moderate force would allow the connection to be made upside down, so check to verify the ends are connected correctly.
    5. Verify that the Power LED located on your chassis is not red. If the LED is red, then your chassis power is out of specification. Please refer to the User Manual for your chassis for more information.
    6. Verify that the LINK or PWR/LINK LED on the PXI(e) MXI card is solid green. If the LED is anything other than solid green, refer to the User Manual for your MXI products as this may be indicative of a hardware problem with your MXI module.
    7. If the device is still not listed in Device Manager, try it in a different computer to verify that it is functional.
      1. If the device is listed in Device Manager when using a different computer, then you likely have a BIOS compatibility issue on the original computer. See Situation 1 if this is the behavior you are experiencing.
      2. If the device is not listed in Device Manager when using a different computer, contact NI support.



Image 4: MXI-Express Connection

    2. If your device is identified in Device Manager, as seen  in Images 2 and 3, then identify the situation below most closely related to your issue and follow the steps listed.


The LINK or PWR/LINK LED on my PXI(e) card is green but I still cannot see my chassis in NI MAX

  1. Verify that the PCI(e) card is identified outside of the chassis in NI MAX under Devices and Interfaces as seen in Image 5.


Image 5: MXI Device in NI MAX

    1. If the PCI(e) MXI device is not identified in NI MAX, but identifies in Device Manager as seen in Situation 2 Step 1, then un-install and reinstall PXI Platform Services.

   2. This may be a problem with the MXI BIOS Compatibility, see Situation 1 Step 3 to run the MXI BIOS Compatibility Software.


I can see my chassis and controller in NI MAX, but none of my peripheral devices

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of PXI Platform Services and that NI PXI Resource Manager is set to Started and Automatic in Services as seen in Image 6.
  2. Verify that you have the correct driver software installed for your modules. For more information on the correct driver, see your devices' User Manuals.
  3. Navigate to C:\Windows to verify that you have pxisys.ini and pxiesys.ini. Delete these ini files and restart your computer.
  4. Reset your MAX Configuration Database.
  5. Un-install and reinstall relevant driver software.

Image 6: PXI Platform Configuration in Services

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3. Situation 3: Miscellaneous Troubleshooting Steps

  1. If receiving error code 10 in Device Manager, see Error 10 in Windows Device Manager for MXI Connection
  2. If receiving error code 12 in Device Manager after trying all of the above steps, you may be experiencing the situation described in Error 12 with MXI-Express (MXIe).
  3. If using Fiber-Optic Connectivity with the PXIe-8383mc, PXIe-8384, or PXIe- 8381, be sure to follow the configuration described in the MXI-Express Fiber Cable Getting Started Guide. For additional information please see Can't See PXIe Chassis in MAX when Using a MXI-Express Card With a Fiber Cable.
  4. You may need to update your chassis and/or MXI firmware. Search for any updates.
  5. Try disabling onboard motherboard resources in your computer's BIOS. You can also contact your motherboard manufacturer to see if they have any workarounds available.



If you have gone through this guide to discover that you are experiencing a BIOS Compatibility issue and the compatibility software did not change the behavior, please contact National Instruments support. MXI devices are heavily dependent upon the individual motherboard manufacturers and will sometimes run into connectivity issues. Complex MXI configurations may pose a challenge for the BIOS of some systems to correctly enumerate all of the resources necessary, which may cause the system to freeze during the boot process.

An alternative option is to use a PXI embedded controller. National Instruments 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.

Please contact National Instruments support at if you have any questions on these troubleshooting steps or products. If you’d like to learn more about MXI-Express enumeration and compatibility, see the related links section.



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4. Related Links:




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