The null machine was the problem, since it is actually a machine with its own CDL file.
Starting with NX 8 you no longer need a null machine and it was bad practice in the past.
There is now the ability to remove a machine and get back to the default setup starting with NX 8.
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Glad to see you have a "solution".
It was not the setup libray or configuration - I think you are correct about the machine tool.
We added the command to Remove Machine, which makes it GENERIC_MACHINE..
Prior to that you had to replace the machine with the NULL machine, but it was not the same as never having had a machine.
So perhaps the fact that there is a machine present (even a NULL machine) has something to do with it.