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

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Connecting a USB key or disk device media to the ESXi/ESX host fails.

Note: For additional symptoms, see the Additional Information section.


Restart the usbarbitrator service, if you are unable to connect USB key or disk device media to an ESX/ESXi host.


This issue occurs because the usbarbitrator service has claimed the device to make it available for passthrough to virtual machines.


Note: Ensure the USB  devices are supported and compatible with ESX/ESXi host. For more information, see Supported USB device models for passthrough from an ESX or ESXi host to a virtual machine (1021345).

To resolve this issue, restart the usbarbitrator service:
  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

You experience these additional symptoms:
  • Connecting a USB key or disk device media to the ESX/ESXi  host fails when the USB key or disk device media is formatted with a FAT16 partition and is of maximum size 2 GB.
  • The USB key or disk device media appears under lsusb but does not mount correctly.

ESXi does not support NTFS formatted devices.


USB key, disk device media

See Also

Update History

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

Request a Product Feature

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  • 89 Ratings