In regards to the error code that you receive when you performed your simple test, here is an explanation of what typically causes it to occur:
32828: The timeout period has expired at FP Read.vi
This means that the network module did not respond to the read request from the PC. This could be the result of one of the following situations:
-The complete read request did not get sent by the PC.
-Enough of the read request from the PC was garbled or corrupted that the network module did not recognize it as a read request.
-The network module did get the request, but the response was garbled or not received.
The possible root causes: A noisy serial connection or an inability of the serial driver software to keep up with the serial board.
If this explanation of the error code does not apply to your situaion (let's say you're not communicating serially) then this definitely sounds like a fautly hardware issue. If this is the case, your best option is to call into NI's customer support line and explain to the Customer Support Representative that you believe you may need to troubleshoot for a repair or return of merchandise. This will allow you to speak direcly with an Applications Engineer who can assist you in identifying the culprit to this problem over the phone.
I hope this discussion is helpful to your situation. Good luck.