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What is nipalk.sys and why does it give me the Blue Screen of Death?

Recently I purchased a 6211 USB data acquistion unit.  Everything worked fine until one day Windows Explorer crashed (we all know how rare that kind of event is...).  When I re-booted, I got the Blue Screen of Death, with a message about nipalk.sys being the culprit.  I booted in Safe Mode and re-named this file, and then was able to boot normally and re-install the driver software for the 6211, and everything was fine...for about a week, when Windows Explorer did it again (Oops!). 

Does anyone know:
    1.  Which exact part of the install supplies nipalk.sys?  It is a huge install with multiple parts accross 2 CDs.  I could save a lot of time if I could restrict the install to just repairing the damage.

    2.  Can I just make a copy of nipalk.sys and tuck it away in some corner of my hard drive to use as a replacement when this happens?

    3.  I'm guessing that nipalk.sys is used by the little system tray icon that watches out for DAQ devices to be plugged into my USB.  Is this guess correct?  Can I turn this feature off for the 99% of the time I'm not using my laptop for data acquisition?  Will that protect me against the gorking of nipalk.sys when Explorer goes down?

    4.  What is this driver doing that its file disk becomes corrupted during a Windows Explorer crash?
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Message 1 of 8
"What is nipalk.sys ...?"
I had been asking the question for years and never recieved an answer until about a month ago.
That is the component that LV uses to run hardware on multiple platforms. It presents a generic interface to LV and provides acces to the hardware regardles of the OS used.
If someone knows more, please straighten me out!
I don't know the answers to your other questions, SORRY!
Trying to help,
Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Message 2 of 8
Hi Gnunesjr,

It looks like your nipalk.sys file is somehow getting corrupted during these windows explorer crashes.  You said that you had tried reinstalling the driver software. Are you using DAQmx? If so, what version?  What other National Instruments software do you have installed? Did you try removing all National Instruments software and reinstalling?  In addition, I wanted to mention that the nipalk.sys file is used by many National Instrument drivers, and the software that is corrupting it may need to be repaired or reinstalled.

I hope this helps,

Paul C.
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Message 3 of 8

OK.  When I can afford the time, I will try removing all NI software and re-installing.  I have LabVIEW 8.0, DAQmx (of course), NI Vision development, and IMAQ.  I also had LabVIEW 7.1 on my machine because it was too much trouble to remove it when I upgraded to 8.0  I have since removed 7.1, but I think there are still a lot of older versions of the "extras" that came along with it still lurking on my hard drive....

I was hoping for some guidance for a short-term "work around:"

1.  If I just re-install DAQmx, can I make a copy of nipalk.sys and store it somewhere as a back-up to avoid the painfully long 2 CD re-install of DAQmx?

2.  If the answer to 1 is "no", then exactly what part of DAQmx installs nipalk.sys?  It is a multi-part install, and if I know which part is responsible for nipalk.sys, I can repair just that and save a lot of time.

To answer your questions about version:  I'm not sure.  I don't have convenient access to the disks at the moment, but they came with my 6211, which I ordered in May of 2007.  I would be tempted to call it "the latest", but DAQmx seems to get updated quite frequently, so let's just call it a "recent" version.

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Message 4 of 8
Hi Geoff,

For the time being, you're more than happy to make a copy of your nipalk.sys file as a backup copy.  However,  I would like to see if we can determine exactly what caused the crash to determine if it is a problem with our software.  The best way for us to troubleshoot the crash is to have you create a memory dump of the error.  Here is a link on how to do a memory dump.  After you make the memory dump, please place the file on our ftp site,, and let me know when and where you placed it.

Paul C
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Message 5 of 8

I will do that.  It may be a week or more before I get to it.  Should I send you an e-mail directly, or just put up a reply to this post?

If the answer is e-mail, then you can look me up and send me an e-mail to reply to.

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Message 6 of 8
Hi Geoff,

I have sent you an email that you can reply to or you can post the location here.

Paul C.
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Message 7 of 8

Was there ever an official fix for this? I'm currently having this same issue and may not be able to remove and reinstall all of the software we have.

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Message 8 of 8