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How can I make a USB hard drive be aviable to a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 guest OS?

Posted on 2011-09-21
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How can I make a USB hard drive be available to a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 guest OS?

The external USB hard drive is currently plugged into the base server (Server 2008 R2). It shows up as drive W.

However, when I connect to any of the Hyper-V guest operating systems (including the Hyper-V guest OS that has Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 installed on it) this external USB hard drive doesn't show up as a drive letter.

I need this external USB hard drive to show up within the Server 2008 R2 Exchange Server 2010 OS so that I can set up the Server 2008 R2 backups to backup directly to this external USB hard drive.

How can this be done?
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Question by:Knowledgeable
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 375 total points
ID: 36575107
Hyper-V does not propagate USB ports connected to unidentified devices through to virtual machines, not even through RDP.

Why not network share the device on the server, and connect to a network share?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 375 total points
ID: 36575134
from the Hyper-V FAQ

Are USB devices supported on virtual machines?

USB devices are not supported on a virtual machine. Production servers, including servers running Hyper-V, are usually limited in support for USB devices. However, depending on the operating system of the virtual machine, some USB devices such as a mouse, keyboard, and CD/DVD drive that are attached to the server running Hyper-V may be accessible.

Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744892%28WS.10%29.aspx#BKMK_10
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by:Svet Paperov
Svet Paperov earned 125 total points
ID: 36575375
As hanccocka explained it is not possible to use USB device in a virtual machine.

However, for the backup purposes you could use a NAS device that supports iSCSI, for example Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d http://go.iomega.com/en-us/products/network-storage-desktop/storcenter-network-storage-solution/network-hard-drive-ix4-200d/?partner=4760

You could then attach it to the Hyper-V host or to the virtual machine. This might help with the setup: http://cn.iomega.com/nas/resources/mpio-iscsi.pdf

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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 375 total points
ID: 36575423
You could also try, USB over Network
http://www.usb-over-network.com/

or a PogoPlug which is a hardware device, which allows you to share USB devcies, or connect the USB External Hard Disk to a WD WorldBook NAS (that has an external USB port)
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