Thank you for using NI-Serial for Windows, Version 17.5.
This file contains important information about NI-Serial for Windows, including installation instructions, new features, a partial list of bugs fixed for NI-Serial for Windows, and known issues.
Parts of this document are only relevant to a full installation and do not apply to a runtime-only installation.
Tip For optimal performance, update your operating system to the latest service pack and apply all security patches.
To download previous versions of NI-Serial drivers, refer to ni.com/updates and search for NI-Serial.
NI-Serial 3.5.1 included new firmware for USB and ExpressCard serial interfaces. If you are upgrading from a version older than NI-Serial 3.5.1, disconnect and reconnect your USB and ExpressCard devices to update to the latest firmware after finishing the NI-Serial installation process. In the case of the USB-485/4 hardware, also disconnect and reconnect the power cable.
Serial ports on Windows 7 and later may not enumerate in numerical order. For more information, go to ni.com/kb and search for KnowledgeBase 51RBTPG2.
Microsoft often supports upgrading to newer versions of Windows, without a complete system reinstall. This can cause an improper version of NI-Serial to be installed on the system, which does not properly support the upgraded operating system. NI recommends uninstalling NI-Serial prior to upgrading Windows, then downloading and installing the appropriate version of NI-Serial for your new version of Windows.
If you have already upgraded Windows without first uninstalling NI-Serial, it may be necessary to repair your NI-Serial installation. If the installed version does not support your operating system, you must uninstall it and install a supported version.
If you swap one PCI-based (PCI, PCIe, PXI, and PXIe) serial card for another of the same model, the serial number shown in Measurement & Automation Explorer and the Device Manager may not change. This happens because Windows cannot distinguish the old hardware from the new. To fix this problem, uninstall the interface through Device Manager, then scan for new hardware or restart your computer. This forces Windows to reinstall your hardware and the correct serial number will be displayed.
The CreateFile function from the Microsoft Win32 API fails for port names COM10 and greater. To use these ports, and for the function to succeed, append the string "\\\\.\\" before the port name. For example, to open COM10, use the string "\\\\.\\COM10" for the port name. This is because the port's full name is actually \\.\COM10, and all "\" characters must be doubled per the C language syntax.
NI-Serial versions are now aligned with the versions of major NI application software products. This alignment gives you information about the year the driver was released and the most recent software version the driver was designed to work with. Driver versions now start with a two-digit year indicator: NI-Serial 14.0. For example, NI-Serial 14.0 is the version released with LabVIEW 2014. The last version released under the old numbering scheme is NI-Serial 4.1. The first version released under the new numbering scheme is NI-Serial 14.0.
You can automate the installation of most NI products using command-line arguments to suppress some or all of the installer user interface and dialog boxes.
If the NI product you are installing uses Microsoft .NET 4.0, the .NET installer may run before any NI software installs and may require a reboot before the installation of NI software begins. To avoid a .NET reboot, install .NET 4.0 separately before you install NI software.
For more information about automating the installation of NI products, refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:
NI-Serial 17.5 adds support for LabVIEW NXG 2.0. It also adds support for the Recover Ports utility, Basic Serial Port Settings view and configuration, and Advanced Serial Port Settings view in System Designer. In addition, it adds Self-Test support in MAX and System Designer.
NI-Serial 17.0 removes support for the PCI-232, PCI-232I, PCI-485, PCI-485I, PXI-8420, PXI-8421, PXI-8422, and PXI-8423 interfaces.
NI-Serial 15.0 adds support for the serial port on the CVS-1458 controller.
Starting with version 14.0, NI-Serial is available as a runtime installer. NI-Serial Runtime is a minimal installer which does not include utilities, documentation, or Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). When building an installer using National Instruments application development environments (ADEs) such as LabVIEW, have the option of including this subset of NI-Serial in your distribution.
NI-Serial 14.0 removes support for all NI Serial ENET Interfaces (ENET-232/2, ENET-232/4, ENET-485/2 and ENET-485/4).
NI-Serial 4.1 adds new hardware support and fixes for LabVIEW Real-Time. Refer to the NI-Serial for LabVIEW Real-Time Readme for more information.
NI-Serial 4.0 adds the discovery of USB and ENET hardware through the NI System Configuration API.
The NI System Configuration expert for NI-Serial has been renamed from "ni-serial" to "serial". This change allows for system configuration and MAX import/export operations to be accessed in a consistent manner. Existing applications using the old name must be updated.
NI-Serial 4.0 improves the way serial hardware is displayed in MAX. PXI and PXIe hardware are now displayed under their respective chassis in the tree, and ENET interfaces are now found under Network Devices. The port items which were previously shown in MAX have been removed, and VISA ASRL resources are now placed directly beneath the serial interface.
NI-Serial Communicator has been obsoleted, and is no longer installed. Similar functionality can be found using NI-VISA Interactive Control, which can be opened by selecting a VISA ASRL resource in MAX, and clicking the Open VISA Test Panel button in the toolbar.
When installing on Windows 8, NI-Serial no longer pins shortcuts to the Start screen. Shortcuts which are available from the start menu on earlier versions of Windows may be accessed through the NI Launcher utility, or by searching from the Start screen.
NI-Serial 3.9.1 resolves an issue where a system crash could occur after renaming an ENET-232 or ENET-485 serial port to COM256. This crash could occur either when opening the port, or immediately upon booting Windows.
NI-Serial 3.9 adds support for Windows 8. Known issues exist regarding the accessibility of items which were previously accessible via the Windows Start Menu. This will be addressed in a future release of NI-Serial.
NI-Serial 3.9 supports the discovery of PCI-based (PCI, PCIe, PXI, and PXIe) hardware through the NI System Configuration API.
NI-Serial 3.9 resolves an issue where a system could crash after removing PCI-based hardware from a hibernated system. Depending on the system configuration, the crash could occur immediately upon resume, or at a later time.
NI-Serial 3.9 resolves an issue which limited the usable baud rate from the .NET Serial Port interface to 131072 baud. This error occurred because NI-Serial improperly reported the maximum baud rate as BAUD_128K (The maximum constant supported by the API) when the port actually supported higher baud rates. This has been changed to report BAUD_USER, indicating that custom baud rates are supported. Other applications querying the maximum baud rate may have been impacted as well.
NI-Serial 3.8.1 has resolved issues which occasionally resulted in DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL system crashes when using ENET-232 or ENET-485 ports.
NI-Serial 3.8.1 has resolved an issue which could result in a IRQL_GT_ZERO_AT_SYSTEM_SERVICE system crash when closing an ENET-232 or ENET-485 port.
NI-Serial 3.8 adds support for the RS-485 port of the cRIO-908x controllers running Windows.
NI-Spy has been replaced by NI I/O Trace. All functionality previously found in NI-Spy is now found in NI I/O Trace.
Several enhancements have been made to improve performance and decrease CPU overhead when performing small writes on all interfaces, and small reads on 843x series hardware.
When using multiple forms of flow control simultaneously on a single port, it was possible for flow control to fail to disengage, preventing data transmission. This has been fixed.
Several bytes of valid data could be discarded immediately prior to the reception of a serial error, such as a parity or overrun error. This valid data is now properly received prior to handling the error condition.
The special case where the Timeout Byte Interval and Timeout Multiplier are both -1 was handled incorrectly, resulting in serial calls failing to time out. This was most easily seen when using NI-Serial from .NET applications. This issue has been fixed.
NI-Serial 3.7 adds new hardware support for LabVIEW Real-Time. Refer to the NI-Serial for LabVIEW Real-Time Readme for more information.
NI-Serial 3.6 adds support for Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that only the R2 versions are supported. Refer to Supported Interfaces for a list of supported hardware.
NI-Serial 3.6 adds support for National Instruments PXI Express serial interfaces. Refer to Supported Interfaces for detailed model information.
For some applications, it may be possible to use a PXIe-8431 interface for communicating at up to 10 MBaud. For more information go to ni.com/kb and search for 58KEI82F.
Changing the RS-485 wire mode for PCI, PXI, and PCIe devices in Measurement& Automation Explorer and Device Manager had no effect. This has been fixed.
Support for Windows 2000 is discontinued in this release.
NI-Serial 3.5.1 adds support for Windows 7. Refer to Supported Interfaces for a list of supported hardware.
NI-Serial 3.5.1 adds support for National Instruments PCI Express serial interfaces. Refer to Supported Interfaces for detailed model information.
Support for PCMCIA-232 and PCMCIA-485 interfaces is discontinued in this release.
On some systems, every read attempt from an ENET Serial port would result ina timeout. This has been fixed.
Changing the RS-485 wire mode for PCI, PXI, and PCIe devices in Measurement& Automation Explorer and the Device Manager had no effect on the port until the system was rebooted. This has been fixed.
It was not possible to set a PCIe serial port to a non-standard baud rate in Measurement & Automation Explorer and the Device Manager when using NI-Serial 3.5.0. This has been fixed.
Renumbered COM ports could not be used until after a reboot on systems with Microsoft User Account Control (UAC) enabled. This has been fixed. Renumbering ports on an ENET interface still requires a reboot.
NI-Serial 3.5 adds support for National Instrument PCI Express serial interfaces. Refer to Supported Interfaces for detailed model information.
NI-Serial 3.5 adds support for on-chip flow control. Previous driver versions implemented flow control in the driver, which in some circumstances could allow data loss. All PCI, PXI, and PCI Express interfaces now utilize on-chip RTS/CTS and XON/XOFF flow control. 8430-series hardware also supports on-chip DTR/DSR flow control.
Previous versions of NI-Serial could cause a system hang when initiating a Windows Direct Cable Connection. This issue has been resolved for PCI, PXI, and PCI Express interfaces. Issues may still exist when using Windows Direct Cable Connection with other interface types.
NI-Serial for Windows no longer provides support for Microsoft Windows Management Instrumentation.
NI-Serial 3.4 introduces improved functionality and performance for USB-232, USB-485, and NI ExpressCard-842x interfaces. This release also introduces support for all USB and ExpressCard interfaces on 64-bit Windows Vista.
Support for Windows 64-bit XP and Windows 64-bit Server 2003 is discontinued in this release.
NI-Serial 3.3 adds new hardware support for LabVIEW Real-Time. Refer to the NI-Serial for LabVIEW Real-Time Readme for more information.
NI-Serial 3.2 adds support for Windows Vista. Refer to Supported Interfaces for a list of supported hardware.
Support for the obsolete ISA-232 and ISA-485 interfaces is discontinued in this release.
NI-Serial 3.1 adds new hardware support for LabVIEW Real-Time. Refer to the NI-Serial for LabVIEW Real-Time Readme for more information.
NI-Serial 3.0 adds new hardware support for LabVIEW Real-Time. Refer to the NI-Serial for LabVIEW Real-Time Readme for more information.
NI-Serial 1.8 adds support for Microsoft Windows XP x64 and Windows Server 2003 x64 for all PCI, PXI, and PCMCIA interfaces.
NI-Serial 1.8 adds support for custom baud rates up to 3 Mbaud on PCI/PXI-8431/8433 hardware. The two-wire auto control mode for RS-485 transceiver control has a maximum baud rate of 2 Mbaud.
NI-Serial 1.8 includes a new serial communication utility. You can use the Serial Communicator to test serial hardware configuration and communication. The Serial Communicator is available in Measurement & Automation Explorer.
|PCI Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|PCI Express Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|PXI Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|PXI Express Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|NI PXIe-8431/8||RS-485/RS-422||8||No||3000.01, 2|
|NI PXIe-8431/16||RS-485/RS-422||16||No||3000.01, 2|
|USB Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|ExpressCard Interfaces||Standard||# Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|Controllers||# RS-485/422 Ports||Isolated||Max Baud (kbaud)|
|NI-Serial software is required to use any RS-485/422 ports on the following controllers. Any RS-232 ports are supported by Microsoft's serial driver and do not require NI-Serial to be installed.|
2. For possible use with higher baud rates, refer to ni.com/kb and search for KnowledgeBase 58KEI82F.
The following sections detail considerations for using LabVIEW NXG 2.0 with NI-Serial.
Software support for LabVIEW NXG differs in the following ways:
Refer to the Supported Interfaces section for a list of hardware supported in LabVIEW NXG.
View context help in LabVIEW by pressing <Ctrl-H> and hovering over an object.
Search for items using the search bar in the upper right corner of the LabVIEW window. You can also view context help for the search results.
Additional documentation is available online at ni.com/manuals.
Launch LabVIEW and click the Learning tab.
LabVIEW lessons are located in the Lessons tab, and LabVIEW Examples are located in the Examples tab. Follow the instructions in the lessons and examples.
Microsoft Windows 10 is the latest version of the Windows operating system and features significant changes compared to previous versions. Windows 10 introduces several new capabilities and also combines features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. For more information about NI support for Windows 10, visit ni.com/windows10.
When you install NI software on Microsoft Windows 8.1, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), and NI Launcher. For more information about NI support for Windows 8.1, visit ni.com/windows8.
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