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Disabling the HotAdd/HotPlug capability in ESXi 6.x, 5.x and ESXi/ESX 4.x virtual machines (1012225)

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  • NICs and SCSI controllers appear as removable devices.
  • The Safely Remove Hardware option for the virtual hardware appears in the Windows System Tray.
  • When using VMware View, you notice that View desktops that have persistent disks are disconnecting.


This article provides information on disabling the HotPlug capability on removable devices.


You can disable HotPlug capability using the vSphere Client or by editing the .vmx file.

Note: You can disable HotPlug capability for PCI devices such as e1000 or vmxnet2 NICs.

To disable HotPlug capability using the vSphere Client:
  1. Connect to the ESXi/ESX host or vCenter Server using the vSphere Client.
  2. Power off the virtual machine.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and click Edit Settings.
  4. Click the Options tab.
  5. Click General > Configuration Parameters > Add Row.
  6. Insert a new row with the name devices.hotplug and a value of false.
  7. Power on the virtual machine.

To disable HotPlug capability using the vSphere Web Client:
  1. From a web browser, connect to the vSphere Web Client.
  2. Log in with Administrator credentials.
  3. Navigate to the virtual machine you want to modify.
  4. Power off the virtual machine.
  5. Right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings.
  6. Click the VM Options tab.
  7. Click Advanced > Edit Configuration > Add Row.
  8. Insert a new row with the name devices.hotplug and a value of false.
  9. Power on the virtual machine.

To disable HotPlug capability by editing the .vmx file:
  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Access the ESXi/ESX service console using an SSH client.
  3. Open the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx) in a text editor. The default location is:


  4. Add the line:

    devices.hotplug = "false"

    Note: This setting does not interfere with HotPlug CPU/memory.

  5. Save and close the file.
  6. Power on the virtual machine.

Note: If you are using VMware View, perform one of the preceding procedures for the parent virtual machine first, then perform these steps:

  1. Create a new snapshot of the parent virtual machine:

    1. In the vSphere Client, right-click the parent virtual machine and click Snapshot > Take Snapshot.
    2. Give the snapshot a name and description.
    3. Click OK.

  2. Recompose the affected pools to this new snapshot:

    1. In the View Manager console, select a pool and open it.
    2. Click View Composer > Recompose, and select the newly created snapshot.
    3. Click Next.
    4. Configure the Schedule and Warnings options.
    5. Click Next.
    6. Review the confirmation information.
    7. Click Finish and verify that the recompose operation successfully completes.
    8. Repeat the recompose procedure for all affected pools.

Additional Information

For more information on compatibility for the guest OS, see Guest OS Compatibility Guide.

See Also

This Article Replaces



Update History

11/22/2012 - Added a new section for VMware View in Resolution 01/17/2013 - Added 5.1 to applicable versions 04/11/2017 - Added ESXi 6.x and View 6.x

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