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How to connect USB Hard Disk to ESXi 4.1 for removable backup solution

I'm trying to work out how to get a backup solution working using externally attached USB hard drives on a VMware Host running ESXi4.1.

The old solution worked by having 5 USB drives which were connected and removed each day to ensure one was always off site.

I've read various articles on the subject but wondered if someone could assist with this configuration and say whether it is possible or not.

The VM is a Windows 2008 R2 server which needs to see the USB drives
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Many thanks. It would appear my host don't support the USB passthrough, they're all Sun X4100's, but excellent article and much appreciated.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Does you SUN support VM Direct Path, where you could add a USB PCI card to the VM?

see here
http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/VMDirectPath/USB_Setup.php

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I'm now trying this on a new Fujitsu S4 server which should have support for whatever is needed.

It says Host does not support passthrough configuration though.

The VM has had USB controller added ok.
VMWareTools are installed and upto date OK.
When trying to add a usb device the list shows USB Device (Unavailable)

Not sure what to do now. Any ideas?
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Host does not support passthrough - that's likely VM Direct Path, and not VM USB Passthrough. It's confusing but different.

Check the logs on the ESXi 4.1 server, you will see in the logs, if the host server, is able to detect a device when inserted into the USB ports.

what is the USB device, not all USB devices are supported.

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