USB storage and Hyper-V

If you’ve been using Hyper-V, you already know that it doesn’t do nice things with USB. But what if you need to add a 3 TB USB hard drive to one of your Hyper-V-based virtual machines as I had to do tonight? I will admit that I spent a frustrating few hours messing around with some failing iSCSI options before I gave up, went to Best Buy to buy a 3 TB disk and used what I called the “brute force” option to get the storage added to the virtual machine.

It’s not rocket science, but here’s what I did to add the new USB storage to my virtual machine:

  • I plugged the USB drive into the Hyper-V host.
  • The drive appeared as an online drive and was ready to use on the host.
  • From Disk Manager, I took the drive offline in order to make it ready to add to a VM.

  • I shut down the virtual machine to which I wanted to add the USB drive.
  • Next, I opened the Settings page for the virtual machine and chose to add a new hard drive.
  • When prompted for the hard drive to attach, rather than creating an image, I simply chose the Physical hard disk option on the virtual machine’s settings page and selected the USB disk. Take a look at the figure below.

When I restarted the virtual machine, the new USB disk was simply passed through to the virtual machine and was immediately usable.

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