USB drives not attached to guest VM

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby pete.miles » 13. Oct 2011, 19:35

I am having difficulty connecting an USB external hard drive to my guest VM.

My host machine is a MAC desktop and the OS is Snow Leopard 10.6.8.

I am running VirtualBox 4.1.4 to create a Virtual Machine running Windows 7.

This all seems to be running well with no problems and my USB drive is visible and accessible in the host OS but not in the guest Windows.

I have followed the instructions in the online User Manual, and have tried at least half a dozen times to attach the USB drive to the Windows 7 machine but without success. At no time do I get any error messages of any sort.

Could someone please help with this problem?
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby rpmurray » 14. Oct 2011, 03:42

This is one of the most common problems reported in the forum and you can't read more than a few topics before tripping over versions of it in it's various manifestations.

The main problem is that for USB storage devices you can't have two computers (your guest VM and the host) accessing the device at the same time. What usually happens is that the host will snatch the device and mount it on the desktop before the guest has a chance to see it. The solution to this is to create a filter as described starting on page 52 of the User Manual under USB support (ha, I bet you didn't see that coming). The filter will then allow the guest to grab the device from the host. It's usually best to create the filter (your guest needs to be shutdown first), then unplug the USB device and start the guest and wait for it to complete startup, and then plug the USB device into the computer. If the stars are aligned and the gods are smiling on you, you may actually see the device in the guest.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby JohnAGonzalezFL » 14. Oct 2011, 05:12

The way that I have found to solve this problem that seems to work almost every time is:
* Insert the USB drive,
* wait for OSX to mount the drive,
* eject the drive in Finder, and
* then select the Devices|USB Devices menu and select the USB drive to mount the drive.

This works because you have to unmount the USB drive from OSX before you can mount it on your guest OS, but the drive must still be plugged in. I have tried playing with filters with limited success. They work sometimes, but this method seems to work almost every time.

Hope this helps.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby jmayson » 14. Nov 2011, 02:57

I am having the same problem and what's worse is up until recently this worked fine. I'm well aware a USB drive is useable by only a single computer.

My host OS is Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and my guest is Windows XP. I have the latest versions of VirtualBox and Guest Additions installed. The USB drive does not show up in my host OS. While in my guest OS I can see that the device is checked for use under the guest. But I still don't have access to it.

I'm guessing a VB update somewhere along the line broke this functionality. It used to work flawlessly for me.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby jmayson » 14. Nov 2011, 03:22

It's working again.

In my guest OS (Windows XP) I had to change the drive letter. (See this to do it: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307844) It was wanting to use a drive letter that was already assigned.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby ed.vbox » 22. Dec 2011, 05:24

Had the same problem with VirtualBox 4.1.8 running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit on OSX 10.6.8.

To solve the problem I had to install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.1.8-75467.vbox-extpack this is different than the Guest extensions (which I had installed as part of the original installation).

With the extension pack install I then was able to enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller in the machine setting -> ports -> usb. I also added the device to the filter list. If the USB device gets mounted in OSx then I need to be ejected before it can be access by the virtual machine. Now I can access the drive without issues. Cheers.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby radial » 28. Dec 2011, 05:32

Thanks, this just solved my problem. I had done all the steps you mentioned, but the thing that was tripping me up was the need to shut down the guest OS before trying to enable the USB controller. If you try to do it with the guest OS running, the checkbox is greyed out and you can't enable the controller. So, to reiterate:

1. Install the Oracle extension pack mentioned below
2. Fire up VirtualBox, but make sure the guest OS is shut down
3. Navigate to Settings>Ports>USB> and check the box for Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller
4. Plug in your USB device and add it to the USB Device Filters list
5. Oh, and if your host OS grabs the device first, just eject it from there and the guest OS will find it and mount it

ed.vbox wrote:Had the same problem with VirtualBox 4.1.8 running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit on OSX 10.6.8.

To solve the problem I had to install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-4.1.8-75467.vbox-extpack this is different than the Guest extensions (which I had installed as part of the original installation).

With the extension pack install I then was able to enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller in the machine setting -> ports -> usb. I also added the device to the filter list. If the USB device gets mounted in OSx then I need to be ejected before it can be access by the virtual machine. Now I can access the drive without issues. Cheers.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby cmelo258 » 1. Jan 2012, 06:49

I have tried all of the above suggestions and am unable to get XP VM (Host = Mac OSX Lion, running VM 4.1.8 with extensions installed) to see the Western Digital HDD.

I get "Failed to attach the USB device Unknown device to the virtual machine. Callee RC: NS_ERROR_CALL_FAILED (0x800706BE)".

I will continue to review the forum but would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby Sasquatch » 1. Jan 2012, 13:53

cmelo, please don't post your problem in multiple topics, it makes it very hard to help you and get the proper information. Others that may have the same issue have to find fragments of the solution and puzzle it together, which is not helping for a quick fix.
Read the Forum Posting Guide before opening a topic.
VirtualBox FAQ: Check this before asking questions.
Online User Manual: A must read if you want to know what we're talking about.
Howto: Install Linux Guest Additions
Howto: Use Shared Folders on Linux Guest
See the Tutorials and FAQ section at the top of the Forum for more guides.
Try searching the forums first with Google and add the site filter for this forum.
E.g. install guest additions site:forums.virtualbox.org

Retired from this Forum since OSSO introduction.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby chrowe » 28. Feb 2012, 18:22

Having similar problem

OS X Lion 10.7.3
VirtualBox 4.1.8 r75467
Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack 4.1.8r75467
Guest OS: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty)
Western Digital USB drive
- shows up in OS X Disk Utility as "WD 20EARS External Media"
- shows up in VirtualBox as "Western Digital My Book [0175]"

I have tried with USB 2.0 EHCI enabled and disabled
OS X always wants to mount the drive and I have tried clicking Ignore, Eject, and just leaving the dialogue open.

After I try selecting the drive from the USB devices menu I get this error

Failed to attach the USB device Unknown device to the virtual machine .
Callee RC: NS_ERROR_CALL_FAILED (0x800706BE)


And then the USB Devices menu says "No USB Devices connected" even though the drive is still connected and it used to show all of my Macbook's usb devices, iSight, mouse, trackpad, etc.
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby Simpleton » 10. Mar 2012, 21:27

Many thanks to rpmurray for pointing me in the right direction and radial for the summary. My tip: when using the "add filter from device" option, don't add your keyboard and mouse. Hey, my nickname says it all.....
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby Giovynet » 21. Sep 2012, 05:01

For me it worked when I selected a single CPU in Settings / System / Processors/ 1CPU
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby hardtimes » 18. Feb 2013, 22:54

installed oracle virtual box. trying to use xm2go music manager using windows xp. was able to download program. device (xmp3i) shows up in settings enabled. but shows ( no activity device connected when I connect the usb cable) Other devices work fine. Any suggestions? Does oracle virtual box recognize my xmp3i players. musicmanager won't download to 64 bite. hardtimes
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby Billy603 » 20. Feb 2013, 11:21

Well, same problem here. My Imac is with Lion, the VM is an XP.
My hard disk is solid state SSD: this is very fast indeed.
TheUSBwon't attach to the guest XP, although I have tried all the here suggested fixes.
Maybe the speed of the SSD is the cause ?
If I eject an USB key from the Mac host, it just does not appear on the XP desk.
All filters are adjusted I suppose, USB 2 driver is ticked indeed. 1 CPU announced. Extension pack installed.
I see no way to change the drive letter in XP, I think it would reort some drive error and urge to change the letter if there was something wrong there.
My VM is the one which installs itself by default when launching VM and after installing XP disks.

What else to do ?

Thanks for the help !
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Re: USB drives not attached to guest VM

Postby hardtimes » 21. Feb 2013, 02:01

Does vm recognize portable devices? Seems like the only devices that doesn't work and is not recognized is the portable one. Any suggestions It comes up portable on the host the others come removable and storage
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