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Data Acquisition (DAQ) NI Software

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NI software is awful, and I'm working hard to get away from it for this reason.  It can frequently take half a day to troubleshoot.

 

Driver

The NI driver is free for anyone to download from the NI website. Find NI-DAQmx driver.  The exact version should not matter.  It's a massive download that takes many hours.  Maybe save a copy on your network somewhere in case you want to install it on another computer without suffering through another download.  If it won't unzip, just click on the exe inside it anyway.  Standard installation.

 

Updates

Updates are a real pain.  They are big and time consuming, and they don't add any features that we need. Even worse is that the updates can fail, and it can literally take an entire day to uninstall and reinstall NI to fix the problem.  In general, once the NI software is installed and functional, it's safest to just never update it. The trick is to disable the update notifications so that you won't feel obligated to do updates and so that staff won't accidentally click on the update popups. Go into the NI Update Service software, preferences, and turn off periodic checking.

 

NI MAX

There should be a shortcut to NI MAX on your desktop to facilitate this troubleshooting step.  If you don't have a shortcut, then make one.  It's located at

C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\MAX\NIMax.exe

If NI MAX won't start properly, gives an error message, or locks up, then move to a different troubleshooting step.

 

Module Names

This is the most important troubleshooting step.  It's common, and it's easy. 

In NI MAX, click My System, Devices and Interfaces.  The names of the modules in this window must exactly match the names used in the Perfusion Monitor Config File, and which show in the Perfusion Monitor Startup window.  They can frequently get renamed by NI when hardware is unplugged and reattached.  This requires manual renaming from within NI MAX.

 

Example of misnamed module:

Chassis name showing in NI MAX: cDAQ1 (correct)

Module name showing in NI MAX: cDAQ2-MOD1 (wrong)

This is NOT the same as a name in the OC file of cDAQ1,MOD1.  Name of module must be edited in NI MAX separately from the chassis so that it matches the name in the OC config file.  The separate chassis name is not available to OC.  After fixing the names, launch the Perfusion Monitor again to see if the modules show as present.

 

If modules do not seem to be working, an additional test which can be performed is to open a test panel for one of the modules such as temperature or pressure.  Set up the test panel by guessing at reasonable settings, then run it to see if it can respond to input.  If it does, then the NI hardware is correctly installed.

 

Make Sure Services are Running

Do this if NI MAX hardware can't be tested or if you get an error message like this:

Internal Software Error occurred in ...

-PC right click, Manage, Services and Applications, Services.

-Scroll down to NI Configuration Manager and NI Device Loader

-Ensure that both services are started/running, and make sure they are both set to start automatically.

 

Repair

This might be an alternative to updates or reinstallation (although this has never worked for me).

Only do this if the services are missing or won't start, or if NI MAX is actually crashing.

In NI MAX, software, at the top, click Change/Remove software.  Highlight one or more of the items and click Repair.

 

Solution to error message involving the "data dictionary" or "NI database":

This is a fairly common problem.

-Delete C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\MAX\Data 

-If C:\ProgramData was not visible, Cortana, Control Panel, File Explorer Options, View tab, Hidden Files and Folders, Show.

-If it won't let you because file is in use, PC right click, Manage, Services and Applications, Services, NI Configuration Manager, Stop.

-Reboot

 

Uninstall/Reinstall

As a very last step, try uninstalling NI software completely, then reinstalling a different version.  It will take many hours, so don't make this decision lightly.