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Unable to Boot Past BIOS When Using MXI Express



Hardware: PXI/CompactPCI

Problem:
After installing my MXI Express hardware onto my desktop/laptop, I am unable to get past the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). Is this a compatibility issue?

Solution:
During the boot up sequence of a desktop/laptop, the system loads the BIOS. An issue can arise at different areas of this sequence that may or may not pertain to a compatibility issue. During boot up you may notice one of the following 

What if I Receive an Error Message at the BIOS Screen That Says "Alert. Error initializing PCI Express slot x. NIC failure."?

Note: In some situations you may see a more detailed error or no error, but it is possible that the following steps will still resolve this behavior. 

If you run into this error message at the BIOS, the simple work-around for this problem is to be sure that a powered-up PXI chassis is connected to the MXI controller before powering on the computer.

This is a known issue with some computer BIOSes when using the low-profile version of the NI PCIe-8361 MXI controller with the part number 195315C-01L. The error message is caused by a timeout in the BIOS code due to this repeater based device. 

Revision C of the PCIe-8361 is the only revision that displays this behavior. Previous and newer revisions of NI PCIe-8361 (non-low-profile) had a switch that replied when queried indicating that a device was present whether or not a chassis was connected. The switch architecture receives the POST message and responds, but, during regular communication, the controller card actually gathers communication and sends sets or packets to the chassis instead of sending messages directly through. Revision C of the NI PCIe-8361 Low-Profile, however, uses a repeater instead of a switch and cannot respond to the query appropriately unless there is a powered-up chassis connected to it.

The part number of the board that leverages the switch architecture while still maintaining a low-profile shape is 199042X-01L, where "X" is the letter revision of the board.
Most x1 MXI Express kits now feature this version of the controller. To confirm which revision of the board your kit includes, contact NI support representative with your MXI Express kit part number.

If you do not receive and error but your computer hangs during POST or does not boot into Windows the issue is usually related to the host PC's inability to properly allocate or enumerate PCI resources.  Here are some items that you can try to help with the situation.  
  • Confirm that you are using the latest BIOS revision for your PC or Laptop. The manufacturer may have implemented fixes available in new BIOS releases. 
  • Contact your PC or Laptop's manufacturer to inquire about  possible BIOS workarounds or BIOS revisions. NI support is available to help explain the situation.
  • Try different PCI or PCI Express slots in the host PC for you MXI interface. The algorithm some BIOSes use have better behavior in some slots than others.
  • Try disabling onboard motherboard resources in your computer's BIOS. Freeing up these resources can increase the available resources for PCI expansion.
  • Try to minimize the PCI bridge depth. If you are daisy-chaining PXI chassis, put the host PXI board in the first segment of your chassis. 
  • Try using a single-segment chassis instead of a multi-segment chassis to minimize the additional PCI-PCI bridges. Chassis with more than eight slots have more than one bus segments.
If you are using MXI Express and none of the preceding seem to help, please see the MXI Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide for more troubleshooting steps.


Related Links:
Tutorial: MXI Compatibility and Connectivity Troubleshooting Guide
KnowledgeBase 3UQD1HD8: What is a PCI Bus and How Does it Relate to PXI?
KnowledgeBase 4W9CHL3Q: Windows Hangs When Using MXI Express
KnowledgeBase 6E22SHYW: Why Can't I See My MXI Controlled PXI Chassis in MAX?

Attachments:





Report Date: 02/08/2006
Last Updated: 07/13/2017
Document ID: 3U7CI4D8

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