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Hyper-V USB Drive Passthrough

Dec 19, 2019
Hyper-V USB Drive

Computing environments that include the ability to use USB devices offer users a method of connecting a virtual machine to external storage equipment. It can be very convenient to connect Hyper-V to a USB drive to create backups.

Note: You cannot use other types of USB peripherals such as thumb drives or pen drives in the same way, as they are not supported.

The absence of Hyper-V support for enabling USB connectivity severely limits the utility of solutions using the virtual platform. Many users would benefit from knowing how to access USB drives in Hyper-V.

This article is going to discuss how to add USB drive to Hyper-V.

There are two potential remedies for this lack of Hyper-V USB support:

  1. Hyper-V USB drive redirection
  2. Hardware solution connect USB drive to Hyper-V VM

Hyper-V USB drive redirection

Employ software to enable USB passthrough of USB devices from the Hyper-V physical host to the guest virtual machines.

USB Redirector is a software application that enables you to access USB drives on your Hyper-V virtual guests’ machines. It allows you to connect to USB drives attached to a Hyper-V host. The software also lets you access any network-attached USB device from a physical or virtual machine.

Redirect USB Drive to Hyper-V
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Steps for Hyper-V USB Drive Redirection

  1. 1
    Install USB Network Gate on the physical host and virtual guest machines.
     USB to Ethernet connector
  2. 2
    Share the USB drive on the physical machine which is designated as the server. This can be the local host or any network-attached machine.
     Remote USB devices tab
  3. 3
    After the USB device has been shared from the server it can be connected to a client machine. Use USB Network Gate to establish this connection.
     USB remote connection
  4. 4
    Your Hyper-V Device Manager will display the shared USB dongle. At this point, the virtual machine can use the dongle just as if it had a direct physical connection to the equipment.
     Share USB device

Hardware solution connect USB drive to Hyper-V VM

A hardware network USB hub is a piece of equipment that is used to extend the capability of a network or computer to connect to multiple USB devices. The USB hub essentially turns a single USB interface into an avenue that many devices can traverse simultaneously. USB hubs are available in a wide variety of styles which can address the needs of virtually any installation.

Hardware network USB hub lets you connect a Hyper-V session to USB peripheral equipment located anywhere on your network. You don’t need to attach it to the guest machine’s local host.

Using this method entails buying the USB hub and may require you to install software and drivers to provide its functionality. This can be problematic, as installing additional software on the Hyper-V Server forces you to use the Windows Server Core command-line interface.

Connect USB drive to Hyper-V VM with Network USB Hub

You will not have this issue this USB Redirector and the software solution is fully scalable, which cannot be said for a USB hub. You will be constrained by the number of USB ports that the device provides.

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