VMware Workstation 5.5

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Connecting USB Devices

Autoconnecting USB Devices

When a virtual machine is running, its window is the active window and a USB device is plugged into the host computer, the device automatically connects to the guest instead of the host. This autoconnect feature can be disabled in the USB Controller panel of the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings). If all of the virtual machine's USB ports are already occupied when it is trying to connect automatically to a new device, a dialog box gives you a choice: you can either disconnect one of the existing USB devices to free its port or ignore the new device, allowing the device to connect to the host.

Connecting USB Devices Manually

Choose VM > Removable Devices to connect specific USB devices to your virtual machine. You can connect up to two USB devices at a time. If the physical USB devices are connected to the host computer through a hub, the virtual machine sees only the USB devices, not the hub.

There is a menu item for each of the USB ports. Move the mouse over one of these items to see a cascading menu of devices that are plugged into your host computer and available for use. To connect a device to the virtual machine, click its name.

If a device is already connected to that port, click the name of a new device to release the first device and connect the new one.

To release a connected device, click None on the cascading menu for the port to which it is connected.

If you physically plug a new device into the host computer and the autoconnect feature does not connect it to a virtual machine, the device is initially connected to the host. Its name is also added to the VM > Removable Devices menu so you can connect it to the virtual machine manually.

Automatic Reconnection of USB Devices

When you manually connect a USB device (VM > Removable Devices), Workstation retains the virtual machine's connection to the affected port on the host machine. You can then suspend or power off the virtual machine, or unplug the device. When you plug the device back in or resume the virtual machine, Workstation reconnects the device automatically. Workstation retains the connection by writing an autoconnect entry to the virtual machine's configuration (.vmx) file.

If Workstation is unable to reconnect to the device (for example, because the device has been disconnected or moved to another port), the device is removed, and a message is displayed indicating that Workstation is unable to connect to the device. You can connect manually to the device, if it is still available.

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