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Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

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gcb123
Occasional Advisor

Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Morning I am hoping someone might have some information here or run into this problem themselves, hopefully with a solution. We have just setup an HP ML310 Gen8 with VMware Esxi v5.1, we converted over an old Windows 2003 server on to the new hardware and all is well, except we are unable to access any USB 3.0 drives which are plugged into the server, we have yet to try USB 2 drives but I am going to site today to check if these function. I have tried adding the a USB controller within vSphere but still nothing appears in the guest O/S.

 

There seems to be some confusion as to whether USB 3.0 works with VMware ESXi v5.0 or not, some articles say yes others say no. I have tried using hardware passthru but I am unable to get this to work, when I select the hardware to be passed through in VMware, VSphere says the host needs a reboot but when it comes back up the USB hardware selected for passthru is de-selected. I appreciate that the ML310 G8 only has USB 2.0 ports but surely USB 3.0 devices should work only running with USB 2.0 speeds.

 

I wonder if anyone else has run into this problem and found a solution, the build of VMware ESXi v5.1 was the HP version so I would have expected better hardware compatability. Interestingly enough other HP servers we use such as the HP ML350 G6's don't seem to have this issue and seem very USB friendly, I am frantically trying to find a solution to this problem as my client uses USB HDDs for backing up.

 

Many Thanks

Gary

7 REPLIES
LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Gary,

 

I found that the ML310G8 server has only USB 2.0. The ML310G8v2 has USB 3.0.

I know this doesn't really answer your question but I would try USB 2.0 drives regardless of what server you have (v1 or v2). USB 3.0 is just now getting into the mainstream for servers. Some of HP's larger Gen8 servers are still using USB 2.0.

 

Customers having USB 3.0 requirements are having to try add-on (desktop) PCI modules in servers. I would think VMware would at least USB 2.0.

 

Regards,

 

Louis

Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

First thing that come to my mind is a contact problem that I have seen already with several USB3 sticks when connected to an USB2 port.

 

As you know an USB3 connector has a contact set for USB3 and a contact set for USB2. Sometimes the USB2 contact set in the plug is just too short, hence it has no contact to the connector of the system.

 

See http://usb3connector.com/usb3-differences01.jpg for example.

 

I have 2 different USB3 sticks that work fine in any USB3 slots. But connecting to any USB2, the LED stays off. If I pull the stick for about 0.5 to 1mm, it works.

 

 

Consider to try an USB2 cable between the server and the HDD.


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Always a good day when you learn something new!!!

 

Thanks Torsten!

 

R,

 

Louis

gcb123
Occasional Advisor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Sadly it doesn't look as if USB 2.0 devices are working either, I wonder if removing the USB controller from the guest, rebooting the host and then trying the passthrough will work?

 

Looks like I might be making a trip to the site which is going to be a pain as I will probably need to be rebooting this server in order to find a solution :-(

 

Are the any HP moderators or special teccies that might know the answer to this?

LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Could it be a BIOS setting?

 

I know that on previous servers there were settings for disabling USB in BIOS for security...

R,

 

Louis

gcb123
Occasional Advisor

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

I did think about this but keyboard and mouse are working ok on the server and the USB ports appear in VMware passthrough option, but I will certainly check.

gcb123
Occasional Advisor
Solution

Re: Getting USB 3 Ports working on HP ML 310 G8 server within VMware ESXi 5.1

Ok well we got to the bottom of the problem in the end, the reason why the USB ports were not working was because the VM virtual machine was created using version 4 of the VM converter and as a result this produced limited use of the USB port, I have just built a Windows XP PC on the same hardware and all USB ports work fine.

 

USB 3 support is only available to Windows Server 2012 and above, if you install a USB 3 card into a VM server and try to use it for any other O/S other than Windows 2012 then Vsphere will advise you that it will not work with you current server O/S/