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vSphere, Windows Server 2008 R2, and an external hard disk drive

By pyromaster114
Sep 27, 2012
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  1. Some background:
    Where I'm working right now, we have a server with two virtual machines (running servers) on it.
    As far as I know, the server uses vSphere (VMware's host for virtual machines or so it seems... enables management and setup of virtual machines on the actual machine...)
    Each virtual server runs Windows Server 2008 R2. (For our purposes, it's not really important that there are 2. I only want this to work with one of them anyways.)


    The issue:
    There is a USB 3.0 hard disk drive plugged into the actual physical server right now. The problem is that I can't seem to connect it (using the vSphere interface) to the virtual machine that is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

    I've read this:
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/networking/how-to-add-usb-devices-to-vsphere-vms/5623

    It was helpful in getting me to the point where I added the USB controller to the virtual machine. Now I need to add the USB device. But... it doesn't show up.

    Anyone have any experience in this? Any ideas?
  2. pyromaster114

    pyromaster114 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 395

    According to this here:
    http://vninja.net/virtualization/using-usb-pass-through-in-vsphere-4-1/
    "If none show up, make sure it’s actually connected to the host. If your device is indeed connected, but still not listed in the vSphere Center Client it’s not supported."
    The device (hard disk drive) that they have might actually not be supported. I find that highly unlikely as it's just a USB 3.0 hard disk drive... but at the same time, it's possible that it may not be supported.

    Some further reading here:
    http://www.vmware.com/support/vsphere5/doc/vsphere-esx-vcenter-server-50-new-features.html
    "USB 3.0 devices connected to the ESXi host are not supported."
    The ESXi host (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESXi) being the computer running the vSphere host OS, so this further suggests that it might actually be the case that the system does not support the drive plugged into it. (On account of it being USB 3.0.) I would HOPE that since USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, this wouldn't be an issue... but still, it is a possibility in my opinion.

    EDIT: Also worthy of note, vSphere will allow me to add the UPS device we have connected to the server to the Virtual Machine... so it IS seeing USB devices. Just not the USB device I want it to.


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