srwsol
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How to make a USB CD drive available to VMs as a USB device under ESXi 5.5

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Hi folks:

I discovered a possible problem with ESXi 5.5 that I'm hoping someone knows a way around.  I plugged in a USB CD/DVD drive into a running ESXi 5.5 host with the expectation that I would be able to assign it to a VM as a USB device.  However, it didn't show as an available USB device.  It also didn't show as host device that I could assign to a virtual CD/DVD device.  I rebooted the host and then the USB CD/DVD drive did show up as a host device that I could assign to a virtual CD/DVD device.  The problem of course is that I don't want to have to reboot the host every time I want to connect a physical CD/DVD drive to a VM, and I also don't want to leave the USB CD/DVD drive connected to the host all the time as I use it for other things as well (the host doesn't have it's own CD/DVD drive).   

So I guess my question is:

1).  Is there a way to tell ESXi that an newly connected USB CD/DVD drive is intended to be a USB device that can be connected to VMs,   or

2).  Is there a way to force ESXi to rescan the USB devices for USB CD/DVD drives on demand and make them available as a host device to be assigned to a virtual CD/DVD device without doing a reboot?

I'm hoping that there are some configuration settings I don't know about which control this behavior.

Suggestions welcome.

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srwsol
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OK.  I found the answer.  Guess I didn't search the kb well enough before I posted.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=102741...

Basically, you have to restart the hostd daemon after adding the USB CD/DVD device by doing:

/etc/init.d/hostd restart

from the service console.  That causes ESXi to rescan the USB devices and the USB CD/DVD drive is then available to be mapped as a host device to a virtual CD drive in the VM.  It's not as good as being able to use it right away, but at least it doesn't require the host to be rebooted each time.

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john23
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I think, its not supported. I just checked kb, dvd rom is not mentioned in that list.

VMware KB: Supported USB device models for passthrough from an ESX or ESXi host to a virtual machine...

-A

Thanks -A Read my blogs: www.openwriteup.com
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srwsol
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I looked at that list and it's ludicrously tiny.  Every USB hard drive and flash drive I've ever connected has worked fine even though almost none of them are on the list, although performance was crappy relative to native speed.   I've even connected a USB ethernet adapter, and it worked.  I think the problem here is that ESXi is confused because a CD could be considered a host device that can be assigned to a virtual CD device in a VM, but could also be considered a USB device in the same manner as a USB hard drive and could be assigned to a VM as a USB device in its own right rather than be mapped to a virtual CD device.  

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srwsol
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OK.  I found the answer.  Guess I didn't search the kb well enough before I posted.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=102741...

Basically, you have to restart the hostd daemon after adding the USB CD/DVD device by doing:

/etc/init.d/hostd restart

from the service console.  That causes ESXi to rescan the USB devices and the USB CD/DVD drive is then available to be mapped as a host device to a virtual CD drive in the VM.  It's not as good as being able to use it right away, but at least it doesn't require the host to be rebooted each time.