saxa
Expert
Expert

Workstation 16.2: USB pass-through is unstable

Dear all, dear support,

in an new Workstation 16.2 there is a strange problem: the USB devices, which are passed through to a Windows 10 VM are getting occasionally disconnected. It looks like if somebody would just pull out the cable out from the PC.

After the short time of nothing doing is the connection intact again.

I use pass-through for an USB headset and for an USB webcam, to work with Microsoft Teams from inside of a VM. If you loose your connection in the middle of a conference, it's not very cool πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile I downgraded Workstation to 16.1.2, which doesn't have these problems.

One more point: in order to get the devices (headset and webcam) work on WS 16.1.2, I have to set the virtual USB adapter to be USB 2.0. With this setting on WS 16.2 I had to set the virtual USB adapter to USB 3.1, because while having it in USB 2.0 mode, I didn't get sound at all.

20 Replies
darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

Same problem here. Starting a VM allows all USB devices to be accessed. After a random period of time, all devices disappear from the list, even those not connected. No activity necessary, so this is not a user triggered event. Rebooting the VM doesn't help. Restarting VMWare does. Restarting the USB arbitration service on the host doesn't seem to help.

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

Same here... guest OS rendered unusable for USB application... annoying... cant work on it anymore. 

darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

Oddly, the instability seems to only be triggered by DISK connection. Connecting any USB devices other than disks seems to be stable.

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

My issue is USB audio and USB Video... it degrades over time. made all the usual fixes to make it work but thats not working anymore. 

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darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

When you say "degrades", what exactly happens? I do notice some issues with Teams but saw that elsewhere and believed it to be a Microsoft issue.

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

Its while using Teams - but, teams has not changed, i upgraded the VM host app.  

Since 16.2.0 build-18760230 and Windows 11 22000.258 (i did not use the previews) - this issue of USB audio has returned. The fix before was to use USB 2.0 VM compat and to use USB 2.0 hardware port. Then USB audio devices would work fine... no longer. 

Steps: 

VM -> USB Compat: 2.0

USB is plugged into hardware USB 2 port (Jabra USB device)

The device is showing in the VM... 

in Teams, when i want to use the device, the speaker does not work, microphone does work 

then in Windows, goto: SETTING > SOUND > PROPERTIES > OUTPUT SETTINGS > Jabra device > then switch between "formats" i.e.  Telephone Quality or CD Quality.

When i switch between these it works for a while... but then to stops working after a while and distorts. 

Here is an older thread: Solved: Re: Workstation 16: Audio Delay and Distortion - VMware Technology Network VMTN

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

Tested with other apps like Spotify and Skype... same issue... 

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

You need to fiddle with the quality setting of the stream in the control panel, it will start to work, then a new mins later, it will distort and evntually you cant hear anything. 

darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

Anyone know where I can get a download of 16.1.2 to try that?

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Kaselite
Contributor
Contributor

I just swapped VM > USB 2.0 to 3.1 virtualization - plugged in to 3.1 hardware ports and everything is working again. 

darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

Interestingly, one VM may not show the USB devices where another VM running at the same time will. So this implies it's specific to a VM and not the underlying system.

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saxa
Expert
Expert

KaseliteJust wait for a while - you'll get disconnects. Unfortunately.

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saxa
Expert
Expert

darlee69: you can still download it on the download site of VMWare.

darlee69
Contributor
Contributor

Downgrading to 16.1.2 has solved the problem for me. No disconnects and it has been stable for hours. Hopefully all of this information gives enough from which to solve the problem.

Luke_N
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, I have checked the downloads page for V16 but only V16.2 is listed - can you provide a link?

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saxa
Expert
Expert

You must be logged in to your VMWare account and then go to "download Workstation". You'll see the select box in the top left corner, there you can select, which 16.x subversion you would like to download. 

 

 

Luke_N
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

It seems I can downgrade to V15.5.7 but the previous versions of V16 have been removed? Only V16.2 is showing

Never mind - I have found it now , many thanks again

jb75
Contributor
Contributor

This issue seems to persist in 16.2.1. I will continue to use 16.1.2 until all these bugs are fixed.

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STTH
Contributor
Contributor

Same problem for me. I have used Workstation for years and have never had the issue, so it might be a bug from the last version (16.2.3).

I have multiple VMs running concurrently, and multiple webcams and microphones. So each VM has its own set of audio/video inputs with no interference. It does not matter if only 1 VM is running though.

It happens randomly, out of the blue, and especially if the compute is stressed, as if some USB arbitration was disconnecting for a fraction of second, perhaps just enough to behave as if the USB packets were no longer being processed and therefore appearing as if the cable had been virtually disconnected.

Imagine you are in the middle of a remote presentation before 500 people and your microphone suddenly disappears. Most of the time, manually re-enabling it is all that suffices. But in some cases, a complete shutdown of the host machine is required, which is intolerable.

I have enabled the verbose logs for USB so that VMware inspects the metadata, but they have not found anything yet and they have redirected me to this article. I hope they will identify the root cause of this issue and will fix it quickly and permanently, as it is unacceptable.

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