Passthough hard disk to virtual machine in VMware ESXi 6.5


I would like to passthrough 2 4TB hard disks to a Window virtual machine. I'm using VMWare 6.5.0 build-5969303. The disks can be shown below :

[root@ubuntu:/dev/disks] ls
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD20EARX2D22PASB0_________________________WD2DWCAZAD650074    vml.0100000000202020202057442d5743415a4144363530303734574443205744
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD20EARX2D22PASB0_________________________WD2DWCAZAD650074:1  vml.0100000000202020202057442d5743415a4144363530303734574443205744:1
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD4004FZWX2D00GBGB0__________________N8GL2MYY____________     vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD4004FZWX2D00GBGB0__________________N8GLBBXY____________     vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:1
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6    vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:2
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:1  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:3
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:2  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:5
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:3  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:6
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:5  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:7
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:6  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:8
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:7  vml.0100000000202020202057442d574343344a31584850484e36574443205744:9
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:8  vml.01000000004e38474c324d5959202020202020202020202020574443205744
t10.ATA_____WDC_WD5000AZRX2D00L4HB0_______________________WD2DWCC4J1XHPHN6:9  vml.01000000004e38474c42425859202020202020202020202020574443205744

I tried this command :

vmkfstools -z /dev/disks/t10.ATA_____WDC_WD4004FZWX2D00GBGB0__________________N8GLBBXY____________ /vmfs/volumes/4TB_A.vmdk

But I get this error :

Failed to create virtual disk: Function not implemented (2490377).
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Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
Enable USB passthrough on the Host in vmware vsphere, then add a USB device to the VM. This will allow passthrough. The host will need to be rebooted.
saffar4everAuthor Commented:
Where can I find this option?
I also tried to connect to ESXi by vSphere, but I get an error "the required client support files need to be retrieved from the server". I cannot download the client from the ESXi server.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
RDM of a local disk are not supported.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: Add Local Storage (e.g. a SATA disk) as a Raw Disk Mapping (RDM) or Mapped RAW LUN to a virtual machine hosted on ESXi

What are you trying to do or wanting to do ?
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Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:

it is actually easier than what I stated, but I need to clarify that I am referencing a USB device passthrough from the Host to the VM. If that is not your scenario then my method will not work.

- Plug in the USB device to the USB port on the server
- Open the settings [Edit Settings] of the VM you wish to access the USB device and 'Add Other Device'
- Select 'USB Device'
A new option will appear and you can select the USB device that you attached to the Host via a drop-down. This allows you to select a different USB connected device per VM if you want.
- Browse the VM's WIndows Explorer and your USB device will appear.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
USB Passthrough is ONLY designed for devices which on are on the HCL.

see here

Just because you have a USB port on the server, and a USB device, does not mean you can pass it through!

for more information you can read here (it's also very slow!)

HOW TO: Add and Connect a USB Device to a Virtual Machine, hosted on VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX 4.1 ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.0

USB passthrough was designed by VMware, for security devices, aka Dongles!
saffar4everAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the detailed responses.

I actually want to access the disk in Windows 7. The disk is NTFS formatted. I don't want to lose the data. Once I access the disk in Windows 7 I can proceed with my applications.

I was able to passthrough USB devices. I want to do the same with hard disks. I hope I can do the same with hard disks.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can try, but if it does not work, it's not supported! - Simple.

USB Passthrough was never designed for that.
saffar4everAuthor Commented:
How about attaching the disk as RDM disk ?

I also installed vCenter. Does vCenter have any similar feature ?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
vCenter just manages the host. it's not going to change anything.

Attaching RDM to VM, is not really supported.

if you;'ve followed my EE Article and it fails, that's it, it was always a hack and not supported!

VMware vSphere is an Enterprise Hypervisor, used in commercial datacentres, there is usually not a requirement to add a single SATA NTFS disk to a VM!

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