NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2

© 2007 National Instruments Corporation. All rights reserved.

Thank you for using NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2.

This file contains release notes, patent information, and last-minute information for the NI-488.2 for Windows software. Some information in this file may be too recent to be included in the official documentation set.

This readme contains the following main sections:

Release Notes

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2, is the latest driver offering from National Instruments. Every attempt has been made to maintain backward compatibility with the installed base of existing NI-488.2 applications.

Windows 2000 Installation

When installing on a Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 system without critical updates, you may encounter an error message, "\SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\gpibprtk.sys device driver could not be loaded. Error Status was 0xc0000034," during installation. You can ignore this message, as installation will continue normally. To prevent this message from appearing, do either of the following before running the NI-488.2 installation:

More information may be available at our website,, when you search for KnowledgeBase 45O8JNHR.

Win16 and DOS Support

Win16 and DOS support are not available on Windows Vista and later operating systems.


This driver allows upgrades starting from NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, on Windows 2000 and XP. To install over software lower than Version 2.0 on Windows 2000 or XP, you must uninstall the lower version first. Because NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2, is the first version to support Windows Vista, if you have installed a lower version of NI-488.2 on Windows Vista, you must uninstall it before installing version 2.5.2.

64-Bit Language Interface

At this time, there is no 64-bit language interface to create 64-bit applications. Use the 32-bit language interfaces and examples to create 32-bit applications to run on Windows Vista x64 (64 bit).

Please review the Supported Interfaces and Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 2.5.2 sections.

Supported Interfaces

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2, supports the following hardware.

GPIB Interface 2000sp4/XPsp2 Vista x86 (32 bit) Vista x64 (64 bit)
GPIB-ENET/100 Yes Yes Yes
GPIB-USB-B Yes Yes Yes
NI ExpressCard-GPIB Yes Yes Yes
NI PCIe-GPIB Yes Yes Yes
PCI-GPIB Yes Yes Yes
PCI-GPIB+ Yes Yes Yes*
PCI-8212 Yes Yes Yes
PCI-8232 Yes Yes Yes
PMC-GPIB Yes Yes Yes
PXI-GPIB Yes Yes Yes
PXI-8212 Yes Yes Yes
PXI-8232 Yes Yes Yes

* Analyzer functionality is not supported.

Compatible Software

This driver version has been tested with the following software at the time of release.

This driver should work with versions earlier than those listed above, but the earlier versions have not been tested.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 2.5.2

Windows Vista

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.5.2, adds support for Windows Vista x86 (32 bit) and Windows Vista x64 (64 bit). Refer to the Supported Interfaces table for the list of hardware supported on Windows Vista.


This driver includes several usability improvements, including the following:

For more details about these utilities and tools, refer to the NI-488.2 Help.

Power Management

NI-488.2 for Windows, Versions 2.2 through 2.4.x, attempt to prevent the system from going to standby or hibernate if there is an application with an open NI-488.2 handle. To satisfy Windows Vista requirements, this has changed to no longer prevent the system from going to standby or hibernate. After the system returns from standby or hibernate, take the handle offline and open a new handle, because any subsequent calls from the previously opened handle will return the EPWR error code, except for ibonl 0.

.NET Support

This driver adds .NET 2005 language support and .NET 2003 language support fixes via the native .NET API. They are options in the Feature tree during installation.

Note that prior versions of NI-488.2 for Windows offered two options for .NET support to make it easier to update existing applications. The NI-488.2 wrapper interface, which previously was available on the CD in the Microsoft .NET Language Interface directory, has been removed from the current distribution. The NI-488.2 wrapper interface is still available at our Web site,

Language Interface and Examples

The Language Interface and Example files have moved from the Program Files\National Instruments\NI-488.2\Languages directory to the Users\Public\Documents\National Instruments\NI-488.2\Languages directory on Windows Vista and the Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\National Instruments\NI-488.2\Languages directory on Windows 2000 or XP. This change satisfies Windows Vista requirements, when allowing users to save changes or add files to the directory. Note that the NI-488.2 Help incorrectly describes the location for .NET examples.

Analyzer NMI Parity Error

On certain machines, a bluescreen describing an NMI Parity Error appeared on installing a PCI-GPIB+ interface. This has been fixed.


GPIB-USB-HS performance has improved and is optimized for whether it is connected to a full-speed or high-speed port.


If an event handler was installed to handle service request (SRQ) events, the events could fail to trigger if the session was currently locked exclusively. This has been fixed.

Enhancements and Bugfixes in Version 2.4

New Hardware Support

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.4 adds support for GPIB-USB-HS, NI ExpressCard-GPIB, and a revised version of the PCI-GPIB+ Controller/Analyzer board.


Support for the obsolete GPIB-USB-A interface is discontinued in this release.

ibcmd and Serial Poll Performance

Driver version 2.3 performance during ibcmd and serial poll calls was lower than version 2.2. This has been fixed and improved over version 2.2.


Documentation has been updated for various features.

Enhancements and Bugfixes in Version 2.3

New Language Support

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.3, adds language support for Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), and Korean. This is in addition to English and Japanese languages supported by the previous versions of NI-488.2 for Windows. All Components of this release have been localized with the exception of:

This release also includes new Getting Started documentation in all languages supported, available through the 'View Documentation' utility on the NI-488.2 for Windows CD.

Windows 98/Me

Windows 98/Me support is discontinued in this release.

Microsoft Sysprep Utility

The Sysprep utility would cause a crash in some cases of deployment. This has been fixed.

ibcmda and ibstop

An ibstop call was unable to stop asynchronous ibcmda calls. This has been fixed.


Some cosmetic issues with GPIB utilities have been fixed.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 2.2


NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.2, adds support for the AT-GPIB/TNT (PnP) interface.

PCI-Express™ Interface for GPIB

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.2, adds support for the NI PCIe-GPIB, a PCI-Express™ Interface for GPIB.

Power Management

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.2, adds the EPWR error code. This error indicates that the interface lost power. This may occur when the system goes to standby or hibernate mode. The NI-488.2 driver attempts to prevent the system from going to standby or hibernate if there is an application with an open NI-488.2 handle.

.NET Support

National Instruments provides two interfaces for developing GPIB-based applications in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 or later:

  1. the native .NET API
  2. the NI-488.2 wrapper interface

We recommend the native .NET API as the preferred method of developing GPIB .NET applications because of its superior integration into the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET IDE. The native .NET API can be installed from the NI-488.2 CD by selecting it from the custom installation section. It is installed in the National Instruments\Measurement Studio subdirectory. Full integrated help for this API is available inside the Visual Studio .NET environment. The NI-488.2 wrapper interface can be found on the CD in the Microsoft .NET Language Interface directory.

New ibask option

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.2, adds the IbaSerialNumber option to ibask. This allows customers to query the serial number of the board that they are using. The ibask call will return a 32-bit serial number for supported interfaces. The driver will return with ERR bit set in ibsta, and iberr set to ECAP for unsupported interfaces. This feature is not supported with the Visual Basic language interface. The VB language interface for ibask does not handle unsigned 32-bit numbers.


Older National Instruments PCMCIA-GPIB devices would not enumerate properly with the 2.1 driver. This has been fixed.


The driver sometimes would not call the ibnotify callback, or call the ibnotify callback improperly when waiting for RQS. This has been fixed.


The driver would hang if a device-level ibconfig was called with IbcSPollTime, IbcPAD, or IbcSAD when an ibnotify call on the same device descriptor was in progress. This has been fixed.

Memory leak

The driver had a small memory leak when being used by VISA. This has been fixed.


The GPIB Analyzer application would crash when launched with some video cards. This has been fixed.


Enabling DOS support worked improperly when logging in as a different user that it was enabled as. This has been fixed.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 2.1


NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.1, adds support for the PCMCIA-GPIB interface. Following the precedent of Version 2.0 of the driver, which unified the driver for the PCI, ENET, and USB interfaces, this version ensures that those interfaces along with the PCMCIA-GPIB can function simultaneously with the same driver.


NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.1, supports the GPIB analyzer portion of the PCI-GPIB+ and PCMCIA-GPIB+ on the Windows 2000 and XP operating systems. This support was previously only available on Windows NT, 98, and 95.

Enhancements and Bug Fixes in Version 2.0


NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, improves the installation experience for the user.

Windows 2000/XP

In the past, there were separate drivers for plug-in interface boards (PCI-GPIB, etc.), the GPIB-ENET family, and the GPIB-USB-A. Only one of these three could be installed and used at any one time. NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, removes this restriction. All supported interfaces function simultaneously with the same driver.

Windows 2000/XP

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, resolves the issue that prevents users running the software in USER mode (as opposed to ADMINISTRATOR mode).

Internationalized Software Support

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, offers an improved localized solution in Japanese.

Win16 and DOS Support

NI-488.2 for Windows, Version 2.0, does not support Win16 applications for Windows Me/9x platforms. Win16 support is available under Windows 2000 and Windows XP. To use these applications under Windows 9x/Me, you must use a previous version of NI-488.2 for Windows. DOS support is available on all operating systems supported by this driver.

Contacting National Instruments

Thank you for your interest in NI-488.2 for Windows. We appreciate communicating with the people who use our products. We are also very interested in hearing about the applications you develop using our products. Our Web site,, provides advanced support and services and contact information.

Patent Information

For patents covering National Instruments products, refer to the appropriate location: Help»Patents in your software, the patents.txt file on your CD, or