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Cannot mount a USB key or disk device media to an ESXi/ESX host (1036340)

Symptoms

  • You cannot connect a USB key or disk device media to the ESXi/ESX host.
  • Connecting a USB key or disk device media to the ESXi/ESX host fails.

    Note: You may want to connect a USB key or a disk device media to the ESXi/ESX host to copy data to it from the host. For example, to gather the vm-support bundle from the host when the host has lost the network connectivity.

  • The USB key or disk device media appears under lsusb but does not mount correctly.
  • This issue occurs when the USB key or disk device media is formatted with a FAT16 partition and is of maximum size 2 GB.

Resolution

This issue occurs because the usbarbitrator service has claimed the device to make it available for passthrough to virtual machines. You need to enable SSH / PuTTY for the host. For more information, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1017910).
 
To resolve this issue:
  1. Run this command to stop the usbarbitrator service:

    /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop

  2. Disconnect and reconnect the USB key or disk device media. The device is automatically mounted under /vmfs/volumes/NO NAME/.
  3. After using the device, start the usbarbitrator service by running this command:

    /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator start

Additional Information

For more information about USB device passthrough requirements and limitations, as well as steps to add a USB controller and a USB device, see USB support in ESXi/ESX 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1022290).

See Also

Update History

10/14/2013 - Added ESXi 5.1 and 5.5 to Product Versions.

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