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How do I Create a Desktop Real-Time System?

Primary Software:
Primary Software Version: 2009 SP1
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A

I have a desktop computer that I would like to convert to a Real-Time target. How do I go about converting it to run the Real-Time OS?

To converting your computer to a Real-Time (RT) target you will need a system with the Real-Time Module and a USB flash drive.

Part 1: Setting up the Utility USB Drive:

With the release of Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) 5.0, the first step of part 1 can look two different ways. Since Windows Vista and Windows 7 don't support the RT Floppy Disk utilities these options have been removed. Follow step 1A if your version of MAX is 4.9 or lower, otherwise follow step 1B.

1A. Open Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) and from the menu, select Tools » Real-Time Disk Utilities » Create Desktop PC Utility USB Drive.

1B. Open MAX and from the menu, select Tools » Create Desktop PC Utility USB Drive.

2. Click Yes on the dialog indicating that the USB drive will be reformatted.

3. Select the Version of the Real-Time Operating system you want to install onto your computer. Make sure that the version of the LabVIEW Real-Time Module you are using matches the version you are loading onto your computer

4. Select the USB drive you wish to format to create the Utility USB Drive. Please ensure the selected drive is already formatted with the FAT file system, as the utility simply zeroes out the partition table of the drive.

5. Click Yes on the dialog which asks you to confirm the creation of the utility, and warns that all files on the USB drive will be erased. Please backup the data on your USB drive before it is reformatted.

6. You should get a message which indicates that the Utility USB Drive was successfully formatted. Click OK to finish.

Note: If you selected a drive formatted with NTFS or another unsupported file system, you will still see the success message but no changes will have been made to the drive.

Part 2: Preparing  the desktop system to boot from the USB Drive
Change BIOS settings on the Desktop system to boot from the USB Drive
. If you do not see this option you may need to contact your Computer or motherboard manufacturer as BIOS vary and there is no standard layout.

Part 3: Reformatting the desktop system

1. Once you've saved the changes to the BIOS and the system restarts, it will boot off the Utility USB Drive. You will be presented with a menu. Navigate to and select 6. Format hard disk.

2. You will be presented with a set of options on how to proceed with the format. You can choose to format ONLY the RT partition, erase all partitions and create a single new partition, or cancel the format.

NOTE: If you choose to erase all partitions, and happen to be dual-booting the desktop system with a Windows partition, you will lose the Windows partition.

3. Next, you will be prompted to select what file system to format as. It's recommended that you choose 2 (Reliance).

4. You will then need to type yes to confirm the reformat

5. The desktop system will then go through the reformat, and will provide the following message to indicate that the controller has been successfully formatted:

6. Press any key, and the computer will begin to reboot. As the computer is restarting, you can remove the Utility USB Drive from the desktop system.

Note: You may see that your system is unable to find a boot program which is expected behavior. This is because you haven't deployed any software or RT executable for the system to boot from yet.

7. The computer will reboot, and will be running the LabVIEW Real-Time Operating System now. You should be able to access the Real-Time PC through MAX, and add necessary software. You can view the IP address of the newly formatted computer on the console output.

Related Links:
KnowledgeBase 4LEHIQ4N: How Can I Test My PC for Compatibility with LabVIEW Real-Time or LabWindows/CVI Real-Time for Desktop ETS?
KnowledgeBase 4Y0BDSQN: Will the Format Disk Option in MAX Format All Partitions on My Dual Boot PXI Controller?
Developer Zone Tutorial: Requirements for Desktop PCs as LabVIEW Real-Time Targets
Developer Zone Tutorial: Converting a Desktop PC to a LabVIEW Real-Time Target


Report Date: 09/13/2011
Last Updated: 08/12/2016
Document ID: 5PC9OPQ4

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