I'm having exactly the same problem with a new Asus G75V laptop that also ONLY has usb 3 ports.
If you read this:
you will see: "Each USB 3.0 vendor implements their own drivers. VMware only supports NEC XHCI drivers."
The Asus has Intel XHCI drivers.
I suspect the same is true for your Dell.
I think we are both, uh, "sol" until such time that VMware supports the Intel XHCI drivers.
It would be nice to have confirmation that they will (some day) support it, or even know that they won't - so I can dump this laptop and get one with USB 2 ports.
If you're luck enough to have an ExpressCard port on your laptop, you can buy an ExpressCard-to-usb 2.0 adapter, and probably solve your problem.
Thanks for your reply.
I just checked, you're right, the most of my USB-hubs in Device Manager runs on Intel Drivers (however no XHCI).
How can we ask VMWare if there's coming support for the Intel Drivers? Making a support ticket (€49,-) is a bit expensive to get an answer on this very simple question.
Unfortunately I don't have an expresscard port. I have an SD-card reader with an realtek usb 2.0 driver, maybe it's worth a try to buy a SD to USB adapter. SD-ports aren't powered, USB-ports are. This would not work, unless you have a USB device which doesn't need any power.
While I did some research, I saw a topic that could help you: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3910800/usb-and-vmware-workstation-on-windows-7-x64. What they're advising is to disable the USB3.0 function in your BIOS ("BIOS Setup -> System Configuration -> Miscellaneous Devices and uncheck the USB 3.0 option"). My Dell didn't had this option, but maybe your Asus does.
Thanks for pointing that out - I'd seen that stack overflow answer as well.
Also, I've seen responses in various places that suggest changing legacy mode and anything else USB related in BIOS.
I tried every combination of the mulitple settings in my two USB options (in BIOS) - nothing made any difference.
I've just come across another issue - my Arduino IDE in a guest is useless - it needs USB to program the controller.
I'd *really* like to know if there's an expectation that this will be resolved Real Soon Now.
I just hit the same wall.
Did you already get a reaction from Support?
This is what I found in the knowledge database :
To work around this issue, connect the USB device through a USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 host controller. For machines that only have a Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) host controller, and that are using VMware Workstation 7.x and earlier, install a USB 2.0 extension card and host controller to use the USB function in virtual machines.
In Workstation 8.x, USB 2.0 devices can be connected through an xHCI controller on the host machine and passed to the virtual machine.
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I am anyhow still lost. Is there any product that fits the bill that you can just stick into the existing USB 3.0 port to somhow bridge the device? (an adapter of some sort?) Sorry if technical terms are wrong, I hope you get my meaning. My problem is that I can not put an additional card into my notebook, so I would need something that can be connected externally and will make it work.
For what I know, there is no other way than an ExpressCard to add some USB 2.0 ports to your notebook.
It's not looking like VMware is taking this issue very serious. I made a support tickets about 2,5 week ago, but still got no answer (in the meantime, the ticket is assigned acros multiple people). So, I'm still waiting for a response and when I have one, I'll keep you updated.
Recertification, VMware just contacted me finally :)!
"In any case, I wanted to let you know that one of my engineers will be following up with you on this."
Since it is unsupported at this time, I cannot guarantee a fix.
However, we will be working with engineering to see we can an add a fix and be able to support it in the upcoming versions.
In the meantime, we will do our best to find you a workaround."
I'll be in touch with the engineer soon, and let you guys know if we'll find a workaround (or don't).
after researching all afternoon about this issue I finally got it working (I have Dell 15R notebook, with USB 3 ports).
The solution was to update USB 3.0 drivers with newest (188.8.131.52) from Intel download center: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&ProdId=3467&DwnldID=21129&keyword=host+controller&lang=eng
and now I can connect USB devices to guest OS.
Hope this helps anybody, I registered just for this issue .
Update on the issue: today I started VMWare and USB devices again stopped working! I figured out that this happened after rebooting the notebook. So I reinstalled the XHCI drivers (without rebooting) and USB worked again.
So this fix only works after installing the Intel driver and until the next reboot it seems.