Problems using some USB devices in a virtual machine (774)
- You cannot use a specific USB device in my virtual machine.
- The guest operating system locks up.
- Failure when you plug in a USB device
- You see an error message similar to:.
Inappropriate ioctl for device
These sections describe various problems that can occur when you use USB devices with a virtual machine, and suggest ways to avoid or work around those problems. The last section in this article explains how to file a support request with VMware.
Note: USB devices do not work in a Solaris virtual machine on VMware Server 1.0.
USB 3.0 Devices
For information on USB 3.0 devices, see VMware Workstation 7.x does not detect and connect USB devices attached through USB 3.0 host controller (1025956) and Host and guest OS USB 3.0 and virtual xHCI support with Workstation 9 (2041591)
USB 2.0 Devices
VMware Workstation 6, 7, and 8, VMware Player 2, 3, and 4, and VMware ACE 2 include a virtual EHCI controller that allows guests to fully use USB 2.0 devices. To enable USB 2.0 support for a virtual machine created with older products, you need to:
- Open the virtual machine with Workstation.
- Upgrade the virtual machine hardware version. For more information, see the Workstation help topic Change the Version of a Virtual Machine.
- Add a USB 2.0 controller. For more information, see the Workstation help topic Enable the USB 2.0 Controller for a Virtual Machine.
If you do not want to upgrade the virtual machine, there is a workaround. Try plugging the device into a USB 1.1 host port, or plugging the device into a USB 1.1 hub and then into a USB 2.0 host port. This action forces the transactions between the host and device to be USB 1.1. We suggest this because some USB 2.0 devices can experience problems when they are connected to the host with a USB 2.0 connection. This is due to operating system or driver limitations in passing the USB 2.0 host data to the virtual machine’s USB 1.1 controller. For example, formatting a USB 2.0 flash thumb drive or USB 2.0 hard drive can cause a Windows XP or Windows 2003 guest to fail with a blue screen error.
Troubleshooting USB devices
Follow these steps to troubleshoot a USB devices that does not work properly with your guest:
- Read the VMware product documentation on the VMware Web site
for information on various types of USB devices and their expected
behaviors in a virtual machine:
- For Workstation 12.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using VMware Workstation 12 Pro Guide
- For Workstation 11.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using VMware Workstation 11 Guide
- For Workstation 10.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using WMware Workstation 10 Guide
- For Workstation 9.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Getting started with VMware Workstation 9
- For Workstation 8.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 8
- For Workstation 7.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 7
- For Workstation 6.x, see the Connecting USB Device to Virtual machine section in the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 6
- For Workstation 5.5.x, see the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 5.5
- For Workstation 5.0.x, see the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 5.0
- For Workstation 4.x, see the Using VMware Workstation Guide Workstation 4
- For Workstation 3.x, see the Using VMware Workstation Guide
- GSX Server
- Ensure that your USB device works when you plug it in and use
it on the host system. If the USB device is not recognized on the
host or does not work properly there, it might not work in a
virtual machine, either.
- Ensure that the necessary drivers are installed in Windows. For
more information, see A connected USB
storage device is not displayed in a Windows virtual machine
- Check whether the device needs to be automatically connected to
the virtual machine. Syncing devices (such as PDAs or smart phones)
must often connect quickly to the syncing software and so they
require USB autoconnect. Before connecting the device or initiating
a sync command from the device, ensure that the virtual machine has
- Linux hosts: Disable hotplug and unload any kernel modules to
improve the results. For related information, see Cannot use USB
device in a virtual machine on a RHEL 4 x64 host
- Windows hosts: The first time the device is autoconnected, the
VMware USB driver must load. Leave the syncing device connected
while you load the driver, then disconnect and reconnect the device
a second time for a quick connection into the virtual
- Linux hosts: Disable hotplug and unload any kernel modules to improve the results. For related information, see Cannot use USB device in a virtual machine on a RHEL 4 x64 host (1036506).
- Determine whether the USB device needs extra configuration.
Issues can occur because the USB devices do not implement the USB
protocol as expected. To resolve this issue, you can use certain
quirks in the guest's interactions with the USB device.
To add quirks:
- Open the
- Search for the device manufacturer's name. Locate a line
vmx | USB: Found device [name:Apple\ IR\ Receiver vid:05ac pid:8240 path:13/7/2 speed:full family:hid]
The line has the name of the USB device and its
pidinformation. Make a note of the
- Edit the
.vmxfile. Add this line to the
pidwith the values noted in Step 2, each prefixed by the number
0and the letter
usb.quirks.device0 = "0xvid:0xpid skip-reset"
For example, for the Apple device found in step 2, this line is:
usb.quirks.device0 = "0x05ac:0x8240 skip-reset"
- Save and close the
- Restart the virtual machine and try connecting the device
- If the issue is not resolved, replace the quirks line added in
Step 4 with one of these lines, in the order provided, and repeat
Steps 5 to 8:
usb.quirks.device0 = "vid:pid skip-refresh"
usb.quirks.device0 = "vid:pid skip-setconfig"
usb.quirks.device0 = "vid:pid skip-reset, skip-refresh, skip-setconfig"
- Use one of these lines at a time. If one does not work, replace
it with another one in the list. Do not add more than one of these
.vmxfile at a time.
- The last line uses all three quirks in combination. Use this only if the other three lines do not work.
- Open the
Filing a Support Request with VMware
If the issue continues to exist after trying the steps in this article, or if you have found a quirk that works, let us know. We need some specific information from you, so follow this process:
- Shut down the virtual machine.
- Open your .vmx file for editing again, and add this line:
usb.analyzer.enable = "TRUE"
- Edit the virtual machine settings and go to Options > Advanced.
- Set Gather debugging information to Full.
- Power on your virtual machine.
- Connect the USB device to your virtual machine.
- Collect the VMware Support Information. For more information, see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware Workstation (1346).
- File a support request with VMware Support and quote this
Knowledge Base article ID (774) in the problem description. For
more information, see Filing a Support
Request in My VMware (2006985) . Ensure to include this
information with your Support Request:
- The most recent log file.
- A complete description of how the device failed to work in the virtual machine.
- The exact make and model of the USB device you are trying to
- After collecting the support information, set Gather debugging information to None.