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KCITSFlag for Australia

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Unable to attach USB devices to virtual machines in VMware ESX 5.5 on ASUS T700 Server

We are unable to attach a USB device to a virtual machine.
the USB drives do not show up in the list of devices that can be added.

I have tried adding both of the USB host controllers but when I plug in any USB device and attempt to add this to the virtual machine the device does not show up in the list .

Can only see :
American Megatrends Virtual Floppy device
American Megatrends Virtual HardDisk Device
SOLUTION
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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ASKER

Hi thanks Andrew
Very good info, however I am a bit confused as after adding the USB controller I can select to add a USB Device (which was previously greyed out)

And there are USB devices to add but only
 `American Megatrends Virtual Floppy device`
 `American Megatrends Virtual HardDisk Device`

The USB.log does not mention anything is unsupported however it does contain the below errors.
BTW I upgraded to ESX 6 but still no change,

USB.log
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: VTHREAD initialize main thread 2 "usbArb" pid 33865
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: PREF Optional preferences file not found at /usr/lib/vmware/config. Using default values.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: PREF Optional preferences file not found at //.vmware/config. Using default values.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: PREF Disabling user preferences because disableUserPreferences is set.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: PREF Failed to load user preferences.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT --- USER PREFERENCES
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT --- USER DEFAULTS //.vmware/config
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT --- HOST DEFAULTS /etc/vmware/config
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT                    libdir = /usr/lib/vmware
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT           authd.proxy.nfc = vmware-hostd:ha-nfc
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT        authd.proxy.nfcssl = vmware-hostd:ha-nfcssl
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT   authd.proxy.vpxa-nfcssl = vmware-vpxa:vpxa-nfcssl
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT      authd.proxy.vpxa-nfc = vmware-vpxa:vpxa-nfc
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT            authd.fullpath = /sbin/authd
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: DICT --- SITE DEFAULTS /usr/lib/vmware/config
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: W110: USBArb: Error in rules file at line 1:0, '[' or '{' expected near end of file.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: VMware USB Arbitration Service Version 11.1.6
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: USBArb: Attempting to connect to existing arbitrator on /var/run/vmware/usbarbitrator-socket.
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: SOCKET creating new socket, connecting to /var/run/vmware/usbarbitrator-socket
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: W110: SOCKET connect failed, error 2: No such file or directory
2015-11-01T22:07:40Z usbarb[33865]: I120: USBArb: Failed to connect to the existing arbitrator.
2015-11-01T22:07:52Z usbarb[33865]: I120: USBArb: UsbArbPipeConnected: Connected to client, socket:13
2015-11-01T22:07:52Z usbarb[33865]: I120: USBArb: Client 33987 connected (version: 6)
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ASKER

Just to add:  we have installed the same version (ISO) of ESX on an Intel server and are using the same USB devices and they are able to be successfully added and used.

Maybe the actual ASUS USB controllers are not compatible, this is frustrating as we have not had this issue on other ASUS server previously, and really need to use Tandberg backup drives on this host.
if the device you are trying to add, does not appear as a device you can add as per my EE Article, it's not supported, if your device is on the supported list, it's also not supported, and cannot be guaranteed to work!

It's as simple as that I'm afraid!

anything in the /var/log when you insert the usb device.

Using USB passthrough is very slow, as the I/O is virtualised!

again, if your USB device is not on the tested VMware list, it's not supported, and unlikely to work! if it does work you are just lucky!
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
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ASKER

Fault was resolved by turning off Legacy USB support in the BIOS,

Points were also awarded to Andrew for his support and article on diagnosing USB errors on ESXi