Detect Your CompactRIO System using Measurement & Automation Explorer

Publish Date: Dec 18, 2017 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


A CompactRIO System consists of three main components:

  • CompactRIO Controller (Real-Time Processor)
  • CompactRIO Chassis (FPGA)
  • C Series Modules (Inputs and Output)

After connecting your CompactRIO system to a PC , you must detect the CompactRIO system in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).

This page is part of a walkthrough on Setting Up Your CompactRIO System.

Table of Contents

  1. Detect your CompactRIO System
  2. Automated Remote System Discovery Troubleshooting
  3. Manual Troubleshooting Procedures
  4. Additional Resources

1. Detect your CompactRIO System

  1. 1. Open Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) from the desktop or start menu.

    2. Expand Remote Systems.


Figure 1. Remote Systems category expanded in Measurement & Automation Explorer.


  1. 3. Find your CompactRIO controller by matching the model and serial number to that of your device:

    • The default name for a cRIO controller is NI-cRIO-MMMM-SSSSSS where M is the model number and S is the serial number.
    • See Where Do I Find the Serial Number of My National Instruments Product? for information on finding your serial number.
    • If the device was previously used and is not in a shipping state, or it does not have a default name, then refer to the device Model and Serial Number as listed on the System Settings tab.


Figure 2. System Settings tap showing CompactRIO Model and Serial Number.

Once you find your device, install NI software on your CompactRIO controller. If you cannot find your device, complete the following troubleshooting steps.


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    2. Automated Remote System Discovery Troubleshooting

    NI System Configuration 15.0 introduced a troubleshooting utility called Troubleshooting Remote System Discovery Wizard to assist with device discovery issues. This utility automates some of the troubleshooting process and generates a set of additional procedures tailored for your device and configuration. Complete the following steps to launch the utility.

    LabVIEW 2015 or Later

    1. Launch MAX.
    2. Right-click Remote Systems and select Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery.
    • Figure 3. Selecting Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery in Measurement & Automation Explorer.
    • 3. Carefully follow the instructions in the utility.

    LabVIEW 2014 or Earlier

      1. Download and Install NI System Configuration on your PC.
      2. Restart your computer.
      3. Launch MAX.
      4. Right-click Remote Systems and select Troubleshoot Remote System Discovery.
      5. Carefully follow the instructions in the utility.

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    3. Manual Troubleshooting Procedures

    If you are not able to install the latest version of NI System Configuration or the utility is not able to discover your device, complete the following troubleshooting procedures:

    • 1. Ping the device.

      • If you know the device's IP address or hostname, ping it from the command prompt on your host PC.
      • Figure 4. Using Windows command prompt to ping the CompactRIO System.


      • If the device responds to a ping, try manually adding the device in MAX by right-clicking Remote Systems and selecting Create New and entering the IP address.

    • Figure 5. Enter IP address or name of your cRIO Controller.
    • 2. Ensure you have a valid software configuration on your host PC.

      • Your device driver must explicitly support the hardware you are trying to configure in MAX, and the device driver must be compatible with your installed LabVIEW version.  For more information on determining software compatibility refer to this document.
      • All software must be installed in the correct order as outlined this document. For a CompactRIO target the following software should be installed in the following order:
        • LabVIEW 
        • LabVIEW Real-Time 
        • LabVIEW FPGA (if programming with FPGA Interface)
        • CompactRIO driver
      • To confirm what versions of software you are using refer to this document.
    • 3. Temporarily disable or update settings for network firewalls.

      • If a firewall is blocking communication, temporarily disabling it should allow you to successfully connect to the RIO through MAX.
      • If the connection is successful, both the Windows firewall and third-party firewalls must be configured to allow the device discovery network traffic.
      • You can apply firewall exceptions for a software application or for specific network ports (Refer to the attachment Network Ports Used for Device Discovery).
      • To configure the Windows firewall, perform the following steps:


      For Windows XP

      1. Go to Start»Settings»Network Connections to view all local networks.
      2. Right-click any connection and select Properties.
      3. Select the Advanced tab and click Settings.
      4. Select the Exceptions tab and click Add Program...
      5. Select Measurement & Automation in the list and click OK.
      6. Click OK on both remaining windows.

      For Windows 7

      1. Go to Start»Control Panel»System and Security»Windows Firewall»Allow a program through Windows Firewall.
      2. Click Allow another program...
      3. Select Measurement & Automation in the list and click Add.
      4. Click OK to close the control panel.


      For Windows 10

      1. Go to Start»Control Panel»System and Security»Windows Firewall»Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.
      2. Click Change settings.
      3. Check the box next to Measurement & Automation in the list.
      4. Click OK to close the Control Panel.


      4. Connect the device using a USB cable.

      • Many newer devices are equipped with a USB port you can use to configure the device with Ethernet (link-local) over USB.
      • If your device came with a USB cable, use it to directly connect to your host PC.
      • If MAX now recognizes the device, you can configure the network settings.

      5. Connect a monitor to the system and look for an IP address.

      • Some devices have a display port and print network information on the display.
      • Display ports on embedded targets will only be functional if they have previously been enabled through MAX or the Web Interface (WIF).
      • Connect a display using Mini DisplayPort adapter and then restart the device. Refer to Blank Monitor Display When Connected to a cRIO Controller for more information on supported display cable options.

      6. Ensure you are using the primary Ethernet port on the device.

      • Some devices only support discovery protocols on the primary (lowest numbered) Ethernet port.
      • Check the device's User Manual for more information about which Ethernet port is primary.
      • Connect the Ethernet cable to the primary port and then restart the device.

      7. Boot the device into safe-mode.

      • Running safe-mode ensures the software on the device is stable and also disables the startup application.
      • For Devices With DIP Switches
        1. Move the SAFE-MODE switch to the ON position.
        2. Press the RESET button to restart the device.
      • For Devices Without DIP Switches
        1. Hold the RESET button for 5 seconds, then release it. 
        2. The Status LED will begin a 3-blink pattern to indicate safe-mode.
      • For Non Embedded Devices
        1. Find your device's user manual.
        2. Follow the directions for accessing the device's BIOS.
        3. Follow the directions for setting the BIOS to boot RT Safe Mode.
        4. Save BIOS changes and restart the device for changes to take effect.

      8. Read the Console Out of the device.

      • Most devices have an RS-232 serial port, which you can enable to print system information during boot.
      • Console Out can only be used if the device was previously enabled, either through MAX, the WIF, or by switching on the Console Out DIP switch (if available on your device).
      • Ensure you have a null modem serial cable and a serial client software like PuTTY and then complete the procedure in the following document: How Do I Enable the Console Out on CompactRIO, Single-Board RIO, CompactFieldPoint Controllers?

      9. Reset the IP address of the device.

      • Resetting the IP address can help resolve IP address conflicts and allows the system to obtain a new IP address.
      • Older targets default to a static address. Newer targets attempt to obtain a DHCP / Link-Local address.
      • For Devices With DIP Switches
        1. Move the IP-RESET switch to the ON position.
        2. Press the RESET button to restart the device.
      • For Devices Without DIP Switches
      1. Hold the RESET button for 5 seconds, then release it. The status LED will begin a 3-blink pattern to indicate safe mode.
      2. Press and hold the RESET button again for 5 seconds, then release it.

      10. Ensure your device is on the same subnet as your host PC.

      • For automatic discovery, both the host PC and the RIO should have the following settings:
        • IP Addresses should be on the same subnet.
        • Subnet Masks should be identical.
      • Contact your IT Department to determine what subnets are in use on your network and for assistance adjusting your network settings.
      • If your device is on another subnet and you know its IP address, you can manually add the target in MAX by right-clicking Remote Systems»Create New... and entering the IP address of your device.
      • Devices with a IP address cannot be configured from a remote subnet. In this situation you will need to manually add your host computer to the same subnet as the device, configure it and then return your host computer to its original subnet.
      • See Subnetting for more information.

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    4. Additional Resources


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