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Connecting an external hard drive to a Fusion virtual machine (1021853)

Purpose

This article guides you through the process of connecting and using a USB external hard drive inside your Fusion virtual machine. If you want to use a hard drive from another computer, you need an enclosure for it that has a USB connector.

Note: FireWire and Thunderbolt devices are not supported in VMware Fusion. To access these devices, use Fusion's Shared Folders feature to share their connection to the Mac. For more information, see Sharing a folder from your Mac to a virtual machine (1004055).

Resolution

You can use external USB hard drives with your virtual machine, much like any other USB device.

Windows

Note: Windows does not recognize USB hard drives that are formatted in the HFS+ (Mac) file system. You have to use Disk Utility to format the hard drive in the FAT32 or ExFAT file system.

To connect a USB drive:

  1. Plug the external USB hard drive into your Mac's USB port.
  2. Start VMware Fusion.
  3. Go to Virtual Machine > USB & Bluetooth (Fusion 4.x and later) / USB (Fusion 3.x and earlier) > Connect <name of hard drive>.

    Note: Sometimes Connect <name of hard drive> shows up as Connect Generic External.

  4. Start your virtual machine.

    Windows indicates that it is installing the necessary software for your new hard drive and then assigns it a new drive letter.

  5. To access the contents of the USB hard drive, double-click (My) Computer.
  6. The new drive appears in the (My) Computer window. Double-click it to access the contents.

Linux

OpenSUSE 11.2

To connect a USB drive:

  1. Plug the external USB hard drive into your Mac's USB port
  2. Start VMware Fusion
  3. Go to Virtual Machine > USB & Bluetooth (Fusion 4.x and later) / USB (Fusion 3.x and earlier) > Connect <name of hard drive> .

    Note: Sometimes Connect <name of hard drive> shows up as Connect Generic External.

  4. Start your virtual machine.
  5. Click the KickOff Application Launcher (in the bottom left corner).
  6. Type File Manager , and click it to open it.
  7. The external hard drive shows up on the left side of the File Manager window under Places.

    Note: The default mount point is /media/.

Ubuntu 10.0.4

To connect a USB drive:

  1. Plug the external USB hard drive into your Mac's USB port.
  2. Start VMware Fusion.
  3. Go to Virtual Machine > USB & Bluetooth (Fusion 4.x and later) / USB (Fusion 3.x and earlier) > Connect <name of hard drive> .

    Note: Sometimes Connect <name of hard drive> shows up as Connect Generic External.

  4. Start your virtual machine.

    The hard drive shows up on your Ubuntu desktop and a file browser window displays.

  5. Double-click the hard drive icon on the Ubuntu desktop to access the contents.

    Note: The default mount point is /media/.

Note: Consult your Linux version's documentation for other distribution and version-specific instructions.

Additional Information

After connecting the hard drive, the Connect <name of hard drive> will change to Disconnect <name of hard drive>. It can be used to disconnect the hard drive and connect it back to the host machine.

Tags


access-external-drive  add-hardware  use-usb-device

See Also

Update History

06/09/2010 -- Clarified the necessary practice for HFS-formatted drives. 08/25/2014 - Updated for Fusion 7.x

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