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USB Support on Hyper-V (W2k8 R2)? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I'm using a Siemens Gigaset ISDN device with no drivers provided for Windows Server 2008 R2 64-Bit. So I'd like to create a VM running Windows 2000 Workstation to access my phonebook on that device.

    Does Hyper-V handle USB devices, like VMware Workstation does?
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 1:39 PM

Answers

  • Unfortunately none of the suggested solutions work:

    • Hyper-V does not propagate USB ports connected to unidentified devices through to virtual machines, not even through RDP
      .
    • Windows Virtual PC does not install on Windows Server 2008 R2

    My testing environment:

    • Host: Windows Server 2008 R2, 64 Bit
    • VM #1: Windows XP
    • VM #2: Windows 7, 64 Bit


    I strongly suggest MS to add USB support to Hyper-V.

    There ARE valid server scenarios existing requiring USB devices (e.g. fax server) to be managed by a VM.


    I guess I'll have to stick with VMware Workstation. Although I dislike the fact that it's a program, not a service...

    • Marked as answer by BetterToday Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:27 AM
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:56 AM

All replies

  • Workstation is not equivalent to Hyper-V  - so the answer to that question is, no.

    However, VPC is equivalent to Workstation (not equal), and VPC 7 (for Win7) does support USB remoting.

    However, you can also remote USB devices into a VM if you connect to the VM directly using RDP (mind you, you need RDP 6+) - you mention Windows 2000, so I don't know how high its RDP possibilities go.

    Also, for VPC 7 you also need RDP support in the VM.

    That was the really short and long answer - the summary is:
    RDP is required, as it is the conduit for the solutions that do remote USB devices.  Threfore support is OS dependant - and 2000 Workstation might be out of range.
    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:54 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by BetterToday Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:41 AM
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 2:55 PM
  • Thanks Brian, for enlightening me!

    Could you please elaborate a bit more on the RDP solution? I don't understand how this could work in my case.

    I understand that I'd have to install the driver plus supporting software on the W2k VM. ...and then? Which machine is supposed to be the "remote" machine? How could I forward the USB hardware port to the VM using Terminal Services Client?

    Your help is very much appreciated.


    PS: You're writing about VPC7.. You're sure you mean the Windows version? As far as I know, Virtual PC 2007 SP1 doesn't support USB, just like Hyper-V doesn't.
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 4:49 PM
  • RDP has two components the server side and the client side.

    The server side appeared in NT4 as NT4 Terminal Server edition and has continued as a component of Windows Server.

    This is where the Server component must be turned on within your 2000 Workstation VM - ths is where my memory gets really fuzzy as I don't recall the level of RDP support in the various flavors of Windows 2000.

    Therefore - you would launch your Remote Desktop Client and your target system is your VM.

    You also need to enable device remoting in the Remote Desktop Client.

    Now..All that being said - the server side (in the VM in your case) must support device remoting as well, not just the client.

    I talk about enabling device remoting here:
    http://itproctology.blogspot.com/2008/07/remoting-devices-into-hyper-v-child.html


    VPC 7 and Virtual PC 2007 are totally different products.  VPC 7 is the Win 7 add-on that supports 32-bit VMs.
    Virtual PC 2007 is the older personal virtualization product.

    My gut tells me that you do not have enough support in Win 2000 for rich device remoting - as device remoting depends on a whole update to the Windows device framework that is more recent than Win 2000.

    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009 7:09 PM
  • Thanks Brian!

    Georgious documentation you have provided - for your wive and for all of us!! ;)

    So I'll give it a try as soon as I'm switching computers. How about Windows XP? Would this work? Presumably the Siemens Windows 2000 drivers might also work with XP....


    Please allow me one more question: Where do I get this VPC 7 Add-on? If I enter "VPC 7" into MSDN it always directs me to Virtual PC 2007 ...
    Thursday, October 8, 2009 8:37 AM
  • Hi,

     

    So I'll give it a try as soon as I'm switching computers. How about Windows XP? Would this work? Presumably the Siemens Windows 2000 drivers might also work with XP....

     

    >> Your answer is right.

     

    Please allow me one more question: Where do I get this VPC 7 Add-on? If I enter "VPC 7" into MSDN it always directs me to Virtual PC 2007 ...

     

    >> You can download from the following link:

     

    Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/

     

    System requirements for Windows Virtual PC

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/requirements.aspx

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5:54 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by BetterToday Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:28 AM
    Friday, October 9, 2009 8:15 AM
  • Unfortunately none of the suggested solutions work:

    • Hyper-V does not propagate USB ports connected to unidentified devices through to virtual machines, not even through RDP
      .
    • Windows Virtual PC does not install on Windows Server 2008 R2

    My testing environment:

    • Host: Windows Server 2008 R2, 64 Bit
    • VM #1: Windows XP
    • VM #2: Windows 7, 64 Bit


    I strongly suggest MS to add USB support to Hyper-V.

    There ARE valid server scenarios existing requiring USB devices (e.g. fax server) to be managed by a VM.


    I guess I'll have to stick with VMware Workstation. Although I dislike the fact that it's a program, not a service...

    • Marked as answer by BetterToday Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:27 AM
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:56 AM
  • Hi,

     

    I understand it will be inconvenient that you can’ use USB in VMs on Hyper-V. However, this is designed by security reason, I will forward your request to our production group. At the same time, you can send your feedback to us:

     

    Hyper v needs USB support | Microsoft Connect

    https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=390443

     

    By the way, as Brian mentioned, there is a workaround, you can RDP into the VM to use USB device like the following blog:

     

    talk about enabling device remoting here:

    http://itproctology.blogspot.com/2008/07/remoting-devices-into-hyper-v-child.html

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 7:08 AM
  • Anybody that is having a problem trying to get a USB device (i needed a USB dongle to work) available to a VM in Hyper-V, try USB-Over-Network from FabulaTech http://www.fabulatech.com/usb-over-network.html. I downloaded the free trial, installed on the server and client (VM). Worked perfectly. I went on to but it. Can buy per USB device or as an annual service. I don't work for this company. I have been looking for a solution for a long time. This one worked. You can also get a similar solution at Digi.com, but they are more expensive and hardware based.

    ****be sure you get version 4.4b from the company. DO NOT install 4.3 which you get from the website. 4.3 and below will give you a bluescreen bugcode_usb_driver upon reboot**** i am using 2008 server r2 64 bit. i do not know if this problem occurs on other versions, but i woulnt risk it. other reports are that 4.4b fixes the problem.

    • Edited by robertpk Monday, April 5, 2010 9:52 PM amendment
    Monday, April 5, 2010 8:42 PM
  • Vincent Hu,

    Can you explain further what you mean when you say that USB support is not included in Hyper-V by design for security reasons?

    Thanks.

    Monday, May 10, 2010 12:42 AM
  • Hyper-V and the competing product VMware Workstation are designed to meet different use case scenarios.

    The primary reason that hypervisor vendors (today) do not provide USB passthrough is because that binds a VM to a particular host.  Thus that VM cannot be migrated to a different host and breaks many failover options that all hypervisors offer.  HA cannot be used, migration (live or not) cannot be used, etc.

    This is the primary reason that Hyper-V, XenServer, and ESX do not offer USB pasthrough today. These are enterprise hypervisor systems and are in a totally differnt class of product than VPC, Workstation, or VirtualBox.

    It is not a security issue, it is an issue of what is this product designed to do.

    And folks have been screaming for USB support for some time now, and the primary use case is server software that uses a licensing USB Key / HASP.

    USB storage can be passed through (in creative ways), it is just insanely slow (as is all USB storage).

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Monday, May 10, 2010 3:41 PM
  • I see your point. And I know it's not your decision to leave out USB support.

    Yet, if there is a strong demand of users requiring USB support, then Microsoft should adhere to their needs and add USB support to Hyper-V.

    What's the point in being plain stubborn?

    If enterprise server users don't make use of USB support, they just don't use it.

    Hyper-V should provide an option to optionally enable USB support (with appropriate confirmation message, warning the user that a VM cannot be migrated to a different host and many faiover options will break, that HA cannot be used, migration (live or not) cannot be used, etc.).

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:19 AM
  • Your comments are not ignored.  But let me make one last remark..

    Hyper-V is a product that is only two years old.  A pretty impactful product for only being two years old. 

    this being said, they are working on features far higher on the importance scale than USB passthrough.  I can assure you that it is on the radar, but I have no idea as to where it fits in the ranking.

    On a side note, there are other hypervisors that are much older that lack the same support - so obviously there is an industry wide low ranking of this feature.  (that is the history of the problem).

    I first ran into this problem with ESX 6 years ago.  Trying to virtualize an application server that used a USB HASP (that is when USB HASPs were new, it was all parallel port HASPs before then).   So, this is not a new problem, it is just not considered highly important by the vendors.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 3:34 PM
  • Brian,

    I appreciate your reply.  Would you please tell this angry mob what some of those "features far higher on the importance scale" are?  I have been using R2 since beta.  I have not run into issues that are show stoppers so far.  Yet, I'm tired having to struggle with (and got yelled at) the USB issue.

    I agree with the comments from others.  Why MS has to play hard to get?  There must be ways to get around the whatever issues you mentioned above.  Please, for once, listen to the user community.

    TYL

     

    Saturday, July 3, 2010 6:22 PM
  • I am not here to defend MSFT.  And I know that MSFT is not playing hard to get - trust me I know that the developers are well aware of the desire for this feature.

    However, I will say that this USB passthrough issue has been slow to come for all of the hypervisor vendors (Hyper-V being the youngest of the big players).

    One reason is that it breaks the ability to migrate a VM or to provide HA to a VM - if the USB HASP is plugged into a particular host and the VM is powered on at a different host or migrated to a different host the USB is lost.  That is the harsh reality.

    Client connectivity is there using RDP - so VDI scenarios are covered.

    USB mounted storage can be given to a VM as a passthrough disk (not as a USB device).

    It is really easy to put USB into a hosted virtualization engine like VirtualPC, VirtualBox, or Workstation.  As the VM cannot up and move to a different host at a moments notice.

    It is considerably more complicated to have a <good> USB passthrough solution in a hypervisor environment (full enterprise hypervisors, Hyper-V, XenServer, ESX).  Where the chances for a VM to be running on a different host at any moment are really high.  And as cloud scenarios are being developed, the flexability to move a VM are a really high demand - making the chances for a VM moving even greater than today.

    This is what needs to be designed for.  Providing the USB passthrough in a smart way, not just a quick and dirty way.  Quick and dirty is easy, turning it on is easy.  Dealing with broken migrations, broken HA features is not.  This is where existing USB over IP solutions actually work.

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    • Proposed as answer by AD_1 Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:01 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by AD_1 Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:01 PM
    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 4:54 PM
  • I've been a VMworkstation user for some time and just installed Hyper V on one of my 2008 R2 servers with a Windows 7 virtual machine.  I was trying to get around the USB issue for a USB  based communications device by loading the USB virtual com driver on 2008 R2 and then attempting to pass it to Windows 7.  The virtual com driver created COM3 on the host 2008 R2, which I tried to pass to the Windows 2007 VM.  I can only see COM1 and COM2 on the Hyper V manager and there is no option to add COM3 to the Windows 7 VM. 

    Is there a way to make this work without going to VMworkstation or similar ?

     

    Saturday, October 2, 2010 9:44 AM
  • VMware ESXi already does it, and even includes support for live migration. HASP/other dongles are huge issue, especially for (guest) OS that does not work with various USB over ethernet solutions.
    Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:09 AM
  • In my opinion as systems administrator it needs USB support and the security should be in charge of of the Administrators, in my modest opinion is about money and the workaround sucks, i am a micorsoft products follower, i install in my company only microsoft products, i am virtualising my servers and hyper-v i have to admit with pain is miles away from VM ware, Hyper-v is just slow no usb support, i strongly believe they should improve it or they will loose the virtual battle against vm ware.

    the work arround sounds good for small administration jobs, what about to restore info from old backups made to and external hhd, in disaster recovery booting up, as i mentioned i am very disapointed that for once they have a grate piece of software for free and they couldnt care less

     

    thanks


    bidexhouse
    Sunday, November 7, 2010 12:09 AM
  • This answer is not good enough. Sorry, but the majority of test environments will need usb support one way or another, especially for USB dongles security keys. 

    I have been working with test environments for enterprise products for both Win and Linux for more than 6 years. There is the need for having USB pass-through.

    The true big enterprise products that are sold out there for both Linux and Windows have USB security keys. This will not change too soon as we are not MS to just give an X no alphanumeric security key that can go to anybody.

    People even if installing in a virtual (lab) cloud for availability, will want to switch the USB key from one to the other, there even is the possibility of a failover, and the USB key can have the same code. There is a strong need for USB.

    Nobody cares if storage (which has an workaround) works. USB is needed for any kind of devices, some proprietary. 

    Now any solution involving RDP or other windows based workarounds will not work on Linux virtual machines.

    VMWare Sphere 4.1 then... 

    • Proposed as answer by WebMeasure Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:00 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by WebMeasure Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:00 AM
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:14 PM
  • The answer perhaps to the USB limitation using Hyper-V is to map a drive to your USB device. For example server name Pluto wiith a USB removable disk using Drive E:\ could be access from your guest OS via UNC like this \\pluto\e$  this gets around the unsupport USB drive limitation.
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:03 AM
  • Unfortunately, this solution doesn't work for non-drive-like USB devices, like PKI card readers, dongles or other devices.
    Vote here for a Microsoft Connect feedback channel on Windows - and win a better Windows!

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:55 PM
  • The best solutions so far for passing USB devices like software licensing HASPs into a VM are documented in other replies of this thread.

    Unfortunately, this is considered a workaround by many.  There is still software out there that uses LPT port based HASPs as well.

    In my experience many of these software applications require no more processing than a workstation or a client machine.  Or they simply require that one user each day opens the applciation whre the physical HASP is located.  Mind you, this is my experience, but I have worked thorugh a few permutations of dealing with this and virtual machines.

    We had one piece of software where we simply had one client worktation class machine that had multiple licensing dongles attached.  It had scheduled tasks that launched the software and logged in - this was done strictly to deal with these physical licensing devices.

    It was less expensive than a network sharing device as it met the software requirment and allowed us to virtualize the core application server.  It was the vendor that was incorrect in telling us that the dongle had to be on the server itself (it was when they told me we also had to run certain funcitons at the server that I started playing around with configuraitons and discovered what their support folks didn't know).

    Just some of my experiences..

    Things like card readers, personal scanners, etc. are generally something that each user has.  And these are solved by USB passtrough of either RDP or XenApp / XenDesktop. 

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:18 PM
  • It is just like MS to say we need a work around for an issue that has been going on for years now. I am finding articles saying that we need USB Passthrough since 2009. We are now in 2011 almost 2012. We can already see that VMWare already has offered the consumer the USB Passthrough in VSphere 4.1. So where is MS's version? This is not acceptable.
    Friday, September 30, 2011 9:21 PM
  • I am not going to defend MSFT here. But, VMware did not support the USB scenario until 4.1.  Only released in 2010. Last year. They did not have the feature back in 2004 when I first wanted it.  It took 6 years of customers asking, at least.

    IMHO, it is not worth complaining about. You want to make it a higher priority?  go to connect.microsoft.com find the issue and vote for it.  the mor that do, the higher the priority it becomes.

     


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful) http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:33 AM