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USB CD Drvie on VMWare

CaringIT asked
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have a VMWare server that a previous network engineer setup for us and since none of us have any real knowledge or documentation on this, need to know how I can get a session to access a CD Drvie plugged into the host machine via USB.

The host server is running VMWare ESXi 4.0.0 build 244038 with vSphere Client 4.0.0.

The virtual server is Windows 2003 R2 which hosts an IIS install for our web applications on the network.

We cannot log onto the VM session via domain or local admin accounts since a problem with our network switch so I want to use our recovery CD to change the admin password on this server.

What do I need to do to be able to use the USB based CD drive on this session?

Many thanks.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems Analyst

Unless you are in a remote location with a slow link to the server, it is much easier to just use your local cd/dvd drive attached to the workstation you are running the client from.  If you don't have the client installed locally, just use your internet browser and go to the IP address of the host.  From that page, you can download the vsphere client.

Once you have it running, Edit Settings on the VM and make sure it is set to Client Device for the cdrom device.  Then once you have the VM powered on, click on the cd icon at the top of the console screen and then you can point it to the physical drive of your system.  Resets and power cycles cause it drop the connection, so only do soft resets or you have to reconnect the cd.

If you really need to use the USB drive on the host, in Edit Settings, select host device and then select the correct device.  You may have to experiment to find out which one it is, though.
Top Expert 2015
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The only option I get is Client Device - there appears to be no locally installed drive being detected on the server.  It is a bog standard Philips extenal CD drive via USB (the server only has only 1 USB port so cannot change that).

Would I be able to boot from a mounted ISO image?
Top Expert 2015

it depends on thing you try to boot.
sometimes usb cd is a no-go.


Is there an easy way to transfer the VM session to my laptop as we cannot log on to the windows session and try and recover this?
Danny McDanielClinical Systems Analyst

Just download the vsphere client like I mentioned earlier.  The session is on the ESXi host so it will look the same.
Top Expert 2015

You may have to install vmware 4.0.0 U2 (build 261974) for better USB storage passthrough support


I've now found how to upload an ISO image (new to VMWare as it was left by a previous employee with no notes at all).  Will try this when I can take down the server and see if it will load the [Admin Edit].
Top Expert 2015

Thanks. [Admin edit] type CDs and/or ISOs are of no tech merit.

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