ajw
Contributor
Contributor

cannot use 4 of \*same* USB Network adapters (works in host)

I need to use 4 network adapters in addition to those already used for regular LAN, host-to-VM, etc. I have 4 Belkin USB network adapters.

In the Windows XP Pro host I can plug them all in and they co-exist and work fine together.

In Workstation 6 I can only use 1 adapter; when I plug the second in, it cannot load the device driver "because there is a duplicate device already in the system" (Code 42)

My environment is Windows XP Pro SP2 host and guest, and Workstation 6. (USB 2 is enabled, btw - confirmed by a Linksys USB NIC that complains "can run faster with USB 2.0" when plugged into USB 1 - and it no longer complains Smiley Happy

(Virtual machine was created with 5.5, and upgraded to 6)

I'm developing VoIP test equipment, and have a situation where I need to have my tester talk to 4 different networks (requirement is 4 separate physical NICs; can't piggyback over NAT or such)

It appears that when the USB devices are plugged into Workstation, there's a "shim" between the device's driver and another driver, "Deterministic Network Enahancer Miniport". I suspect a problem between these two, as that shim isn't used when they're plugged into the host.

I \*can* use two adapters as long as they're not the same brand (more accurately, not the same driver) - at least I can use both a Linksys USB NIC and any single Belkin NIC at the same time. I suspect if I can get two from another manufacturer, then I can run all four.

Is there any way to use all four Belkiin F5D5050 USB network adapters at the same time in a vm?

On the other hand, I've been able to simulate some pretty esoteric test setups using various combinations of virtual machines, virtual networks, and physical networks. Workstation 5 worked pretty well, but I kept running into the 3 NIC limit - with Workstation 6 upping that to 10 and adding USB 2, this is a really nice development environment! Instead of the rack of machines my coworkers need, I've got it all in my notebook! My notebook, these USB NICs, and a couple of hubs and firewalls let me do just about everything.

\- Al Weiner -

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7 Replies
continuum
Immortal
Immortal

Can you use a USB hub and connect those Belkin adapters via the hub ?


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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ajw
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the suggestion.

I've tried: (using 2 Belkin USB network adapters)

- both on notebook's built-in ports

- both on USB hub plugged into notebook

- one on notebook built-in port, one on hub.

Alas, no joy with any combination.

On the host, I can plug them anywhere - I've got a 7-port USB hub hanging off the notebook with 5 of the Belkin adapters plugged in (to host) all running into other routers - my desk is a network unto itself! kinda funny actually; all these cables and blinky-lights... Smiley Happy

\- Al -

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

I am not sure how many USB-devices WS 6 can handle at all ?

Have you looked it up in the release notes ?


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

14 USB 1.1 or 6(8?) USB 2 devices

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

Hmm - different idea ...

Have you considered to configure these Nics via the host ?

You could configure them IP-less and then use several bridged networks for the guest ?


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

KevinG
Immortal
Immortal

The UHCI controller has only 2 USB 1.1 ports. Once a USB 1.1 device is connected to the first port of the controller a virtual hub is connected to the second port of the controller which enables 7 more USB 1.1 devices.

Actually the USB 1.1 can be greater than 14 devices if no 2.0 devices are connected.

The USB 2.0 is 6 devices

ajw
Contributor
Contributor

Not sure exactly what you man by "IP-less" (no IP assigned on host? it'll end up trying DHCP and fall back to the 169.254.xxx.xxx range, so it'd still have an address)

But I think I did what you're suggesting (described below)

Before I go further though, thank you all for your suggestions - it's certainly interesting and useful to learn more of what Workstation supports.

(I'd still \*much* rather have been able to just plug the USB NICs into the vm - then tools report the NIC's MAC address; much easier...)

--- in the host ---

I plugged the USB NICs into a hub in the host, and set each one up as a 10.0.0.x static address. (x was 101 to 104 - low digit identifies which NIC it is)

That gave me a 4 NICs which Windows calls

"BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter"

"BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #2"

"BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #3"

"BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #4"

IPConfig /all gives me the map of what MAC and IP goes with what adapter.

--- In Workstation settings ---

In VMware's Virtual Network Settings, Host Virtual Network Mapping tab, I forced:

vmnet2 -> BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter

vmnet3 -> BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #2

vmnet4 -> BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #3

vmnet5 -> BELKIN USB To Fast Ethernet Adapter #4

--- In the VM ---

Shut down my VM and added 4 NICs to it. (they happened to be "NIC 6, 7, 8, and 9")

In the VM's settings, I set the network connection for each to Custom, and set:

NIC 6 -> vmnet2

NIC 7 -> vmnet3

NIC 8 -> vmnet4

NIC 9 -> vmnet5

Then I started up the VM, and set static addresses for the new NICs, using 10.0.0.20x (low digit again identified which physical NIC it maps to)

Once I mapped everything out it worked ok, but it would've been a lot easier to have just plugged the NICs into the virtual machine. (normally I use one Linksys USB NIC and one Belkin, so I didn't run into this until I needed the 4 NICs...)

Downside is that it's confusing, and I think I have to plug the USB adapters into the host in the same order so they get assigned the right network connection (so it follows my 'this adapter, MAC XX:... maps to this driver, Belkin #N, and gets this IP address A.B....')

The upside is that it works - and that's pretty impressive.

(I guess another downside is the limit of the number of vnets, but there's also a limit of USB devices in the VM - and in the host, for that matter...)

Many thanks for your answers, and an apology to RDPetruska - I started marking messages 'helpful' and didn't realize I'm limited on the number I can mark; I started from the last message up, and ran out of 'helpful' buttons before I got to you.

Thanks again,

\- Al Weiner -

side note:

The Belkin F5D5050 USB Network adapter is quite good; although a bit larger than I'd like (about half the size of a mouse, with a 14-inch cable). Very sturdy (which is why I got 5 of 'em)

The Linksys USB200M USB network adapter is a very nice design, and \*tiny* - about the size of a Flash 'thumb' drive. (like the thumb drives, has a USB connector on one end. It has a separate detachable 6"USB extension cable) But it's tricky to connect the network cable. Sweet design, but just too delicate; a little tug and the cable (and cover) pop off.

Both work fine in VMs in both Workstation 5 and Workstation 6.

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