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How to add a 56k Fax Modem to VM using VMware ESXi Essentials 5.0

Hello Experts,

I need to attach a fax modem to a VM running on my VMware host. My host is a Dell R510 and I have a PCI-e fax modem already installed. When I tried searching for answers I saw where PCI had some issues and recommended using USB. So I have both USB & PCI-e, Brand, USR fax modems.

When I go to, Edit Virtual Machine, and add hardware, when I select PCI device, it says Unavailable and say: There are no devices reserved for PCI passthrough on the host.

Can someone please explain how to attach a fax modem to a VM?
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
You've got a few options:-

Use VMDirect Path if available, or USB Passthru'


VM Direct Path allow you to add a PCI card to a VM
VM Directpath

USB Passthru allows you to add a USB device connected to the host
USB passthrough

Author

Commented:
I'm waiting for all users to leave so I can shutdown the host and see if the Intel Directed I/O is enabled in bios. I did look at the passthrough options but I'm not sure what device I should be selecting.

 Passthrough devices
I assume it may be the Unknown Communication Device but I am not sure. I know there are three usable PIC-e slot. One has a Dual Broadcom NIC card, USR Fax Modem, and one empty. I believe there is another PCI-e card that is used for the RAID Controller, PERC H700.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
what you can do, is also use the lspci

and check out the vendor ids.

But the Vendor ID for the Unknown Commications Device is LSI. and the Device ID of 630 indicates this is a pci simple communications device.

So it's likely to be this PCI card.

Once added, you'll be able to add that to the VM, it should plug and play, and then install drivers as you would for normal physical machine.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
it's also likely that Intel Directed I/O is enabled in bios, because you can see a list of devices for VMDirect Path, otherwise you would see none, or it would state Host Not Supported.

Author

Commented:
hanccocka,

After adding the passthrough device and rebooting the VMware host the 56k modem was attached to the VM and is working properly. :-)

There is another device showing up in Device Manager as unknown but not causing any issues so I'm happy. Thanks hanccocka,

  Device Manager on VM with fax modem