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Getting USB to work on ESXI 5

Posted on 2011-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I recently installed  ESXI on a new machine for some virtualization testing.  Being new to this particular technology, I'm having trouble with USB support.  I've read a number of articles on support for version 4.0, but I am currently running 5.0.0.  The software applications we're going to be running on this machine require a USB Dongle to be plugged in order for the software to function, but when I plug any device in (like a hard drive), the drive does not recognize anything.

I've installed a third party usb controller card in the machine, but it doesn't seem to matter which port (on the motherboard or not) I plug it into, I cannot successfully detect anything.

Any help would be appreciated!   Added Controller
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Question by:Kyle Witter
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8 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 36586995
Your host server has to support USB Passthrough, or VMDirectPath (IOMMU in the BIOS - check with your server vendor). If not, what you'll have to do is use something like AnywhereUSB: http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb#overview
VMDirectPath: http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esxi4-vmdirectpath.htm; http://http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010789

~coolsport00
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LVL 120
ID: 36587021
When you connect the USB device to the Servers USB ports (not the added controller)

I can see you have installed a USB Controller in the VM, which is good.

 USB
Do you get the above error in  the screen shot?

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LVL 120
ID: 36587078
If you are see-ing the above screen shot, and no devices are shown, even after connecting, either the USB devices are not supported or your server does not support USB Passtru.

You could opt for adding a PCI-E device, VMDirect Path, but your server has to support this as well.

Checkout these which also applicable to ESXi 5.0.

http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/VMDirectPath/USB_Setup.php
http://vstorage.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/usb-passthrough-in-vsphere-4-1/
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Author Comment

by:Kyle Witter
ID: 36587080
I did see that and I added the device (attached pic), but it still does not show up in the VM
usb-dev.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 36587096
Go to the Configuration tab, then Advanced Settings in the Hardware box. If you see "Host does not support passthrough", then you can't do it. You'll need to use AnywhereUSB.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 36587114
Interesting because the device should be recognised in the VM.

Select Device Manager, Rescan for Plug and Play, or Restart VM.

(not all USB devices are supported)
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LVL 120
ID: 36587151
@coolsport00: USB Passthru' is slightly different. A host does not have to support Direct I/O path for USB Passthru' to function.

 USB
USB2
See here, Server does not support DIrect I/O path, but supports USB Passthru.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 36587239
Ah, ok; that always confused me! Thanks bud..
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