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ESXi 5 USB Passthrough

Posted on 2011-10-14
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am trying to get USB passthrough to work on a Dell T110 II w/ESXi 5.0 I have followed article: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1022290 
with no luck...I am wondering if there is a compatibility list for ESXi 5.0, which i have not been able to find. I have tried using an external Western Digital Essentials HDD and my Muskin flash drive...neither show up. I am not sure if I am missing something or they are just not compatible.

Also...I have read a few articles about APC and ESXi...I assume its still best to use a NIC enabled UPS? Are there any work arounds for that in order to use USB? or any work arounds of any type...

usb hosts setup
usb hosts options
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Question by:Appnet
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16 Comments
 
LVL 124
ID: 36970835
The best method of getting a APC UPS is to use the Network Management card, and the APC software and vMA.

But, there is no need to use USB Passthru'.

Add a USB Controller to the VM, Add a USB Device, and connect the USB device to the Device you've connected.

see here

http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/articles-tutorials/general-virtualization-articles/using-usb-devices-vmware-vsphere-41.html
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LVL 124
ID: 36970847
The APC software is called PowerChute Network Shutdown, Part No. SFPCNS300, it's a free download, as long as your APC UPS has a Smart Slot for the Network management card.
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LVL 124
ID: 36970858
I would add a USB Controller to the VM.

This works correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 36974364
What exactly are you trying to accomplish?  Passthrough will only work for a single VM on the host.  Unless you have a single VM you should look into the APC NMC Card.
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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 36990737
Ok...I think I might have blurred my question. First off, I am trying to use an external HDD with a VM...there is only one VM on the ESXi 5.0 host and that is all there most likley will be. I assume "hanccocka" s post is for that...

Secondly, I would also like to find out the best way to use a battery backup with a VM. I would like the host to be shutdown as well. I usually use APC, but in this case a MinuteMen backup is being used. I still have to look into their software further...
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LVL 124
ID: 36991847
My post is that, use USB Passthru' Add a USB Controller to the VM, and then add a USB Device, connect devcde to Server, and Edit USB Device in VM and Connect.

As for the UPS - APC Network Management Card and APC software, that's another question really.
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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 37008676
hanccocka:

I actually have already done everything in that guide up to associating a particular device to that VM. I had enabled USB passthrough prior, but when I went back through to associate an USB device...it was greyed out.

I then removed USB passthrough after removing the USB controller from the VM and followed the steps in that article from scratch, but I have the same result. USB device is greyed out. I have 2 different devices plugged in. A Mushkin USB flash drive to the front ports and a Western Digital essentials HDD to the rear USB ports.

Thoughts?
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LVL 124
ID: 37009226
if you have a single USB device connected, does it work.

Not all USB devices work. But we have WD External HD working.
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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 37020363
I cant get it to work with either device I previously listed. Is there a compatiblitiy list for this?

Western Digital is pretty common so its a bit shocking that it would not work.
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LVL 124
ID: 37020388
No, there is no compatibility list.

Its' not necessarily, the USB device but the server.

Did the USB Controller, USB Device not work?
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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 37020406
The USB controller installed, I saw it under device mgr of the VM. I am unable to associate a specific USB  device with the VM though. When I go through the steps that option is greyed out as if it doesnt detect anything.
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LVL 124
ID: 37020422
Seems an issue with the USB Controller on the server, if you look at the ESXi console logs, you should see the device inserted.
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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 37022217
It shows up on the VM as a standard enhance PCI to USB host...but I am unable to add a USB device to the VM still...
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LVL 124
ID: 37022946
Check the ESXi host logs
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1500 total points
ID: 37023200
This is the Official VMware List

VMware's official list
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021345

ESXi 4.1 USB Passthrough Non-Working Devices
http://blog.peacon.co.uk/wiki/ESXi_4.1_USB_Passthrough_Non-Working_Devices

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Author Comment

by:Appnet
ID: 37320405
This was not solved...
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