I believe in Hyper-V!

Add external USB hard drive to Hyper-V virtual machine

In this blog post I’ll describe how to add external USB hard drive to Hyper-V virtual machine.
In my case I have an external WD USB hard drive with 500GB capacity and I want add that drive into my Hyper-V virtual machine.

NOTE: As you probably know, removable usb drives is not supported in Hyper-V.

This is a short “how to”:

1. On your Hyper-V host open Disk Management.
2. Choose external USB hard drive and right click on him.
3. Click on Offline.

4. Open Settings on virtual machine to which you want to add external USB drive and select SCSI Controller on the left hand side, select Hard Drive, and click Add on the right hand side.

5. Check mark Physical hard disk: , select external USB hard drive na click OK.

6. Logon into VM and open Disk Management. Click on newly attached Disk and bring him Online.

Open Windows Explorer and you will see your external USB hard drive ;)

Enjoy in day ;)

31 Responses to “Add external USB hard drive to Hyper-V virtual machine

  1. Romeo, spasio si mi glavu sa ovim postom

  2. Mark

    nice post,thanks for share.

  3. Vedran

    So cool! Thanks.

  4. Gregor

    Very nice post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep it up!|

  5. Hard drives

    Normally it detects it self but in V machine there is a bit difficulty.

  6. Mate

    Jako koristan post. Keep on with a good work :-).

  7. Firasdaw

    Nice post,
    I have a problem regarding this issue. I usually attach my external hard drives the same way u mentioned, but the problem is when the server shutdowns accidentally(electricity failure) “it happened with me today”. Now the server in the Hyper-V manager is showing (off) and when i try to turn it on, it is not working and giving an error (synthetic SCSI controller ) so what shall i do , how can I safely remove the harddrive when it is off.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your comment. As I can see, your error is not related with external HDD. If you can’t start virtual machines try to restart service “Hyper-V Machine Management”

  8. nikki

    Hi.. am facing a problem that after following above process upto 5th step i am not able to find attached disk in the virtual machine. i am using windows server 2008 r2 standard. how to resolve the problem.

    • Hi Nikki,
      Did you followed step 1-4 as I described (put disk offline, add new hdd as scsi controller)? I have been do that many times with different external USB HDD and I didn’t had any issues. As I mentioned in post, you can’t add removable usb drives!

  9. Ozge

    I’m trying to attach an usb hard drive to a VM. I have a standalone hyper-V 2012 server installation with no GUI. I’ve used diskpart to take my external device offline but I can not see it on the dropdown list of physical drives. Do you know any solution for this?
    Thank sin advance.

    • Hi,
      Sorry on my late response, it was vacation time ;)
      I had similar issue with one of my usb hdd and I convert WS2012 Core to GUI. After that I could see usb hdd on the dropdown list. When I back to Core usb hdd was on the dropdown list of physical drives. Try to do that maybe will help.

  10. Rod C

    Romeo, Thanks for clear & easy to understand process for popular admin problem.
    On Hyper-V 2012 Core what PowerShell command would take the drive Off-Line? Dismount-DiskImage or Disconnect-VirtualDisk seem to be for different function.

    • use the tool DISKPART at the command prompt
      then “list disk”
      locate the usb drive you want to take offline
      “select disk #”
      “offline disk”

      and then run list disk and your select disk drive should show as offline. you can now add the disk to the VM in hyperV manager.

  11. daniel

    hello, i did all the steps…but it is not appearing, not even on the VM disk management…. i am running an XP virtual machine, could the problem be that im attaching a WD 4 TB studio drive and XP does not recognizes disks over 2TB? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP

  12. Alexsandro Cardoso Lima

    Thanks a lot for sharing! ;)

  13. Chamara

    Thanks Romeo, simple and good post..

  14. ahtisham

    i followed the procedure above but my vm disk management doesnot show the newly attached disk, i am using usb to sata/IDE cable

    kindly response as soon as possible

    • Please install Hyper-V role on the Server 2012 / R2 or Windows 8… You have been using old technology :( . Also, can’t do that with IDE disk!

  15. brij

    Nice doc and it’s help lot.


  16. Ryan

    Amazing! This trick still works!
    I guess this is to protect multiple operating systems writing to the same device at the same time leading to locking.

  17. tasnem

    Thanks for this nice post, but I have a problem! :(
    I can’t make the USB offline! it appears that making a disk online/offline is not supported on removable media! what can I do ??!

  18. Lumpknocker

    Most excellent post, thanks for sharing!!

  19. GH

    Very helpful and the instructions are excellent. Thanks.

  20. Efren

    Hi Romeo,

    is this works in VM windows2000 OS?

  21. i tried all these methods and still can not take away the usb write protection, but i did find a working way on this site. http://removeusbwriteprotect.blogspot.com/

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