VMware Fusion / Stuck with a USB problem

Long story short but I accidentally unplugged my two external hard drives from my Mac while running a Windows XP virtual machine (and I also had a Windows 7 VM but that one was off at the time of the problem). Before this happened, the drives worked reliably on my Mac and on my VM and I never had any problem (I use a hub – but see below that’s not the problem).

Now each time I plug them in, they are correctly read by my Mac (and by another PC), but in both VM (even the one that was off at the time) I get an error message stating that the device has malfunctioned and that Windows is unable to connect to it, as in [these](https://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-2737806-183693/1.jpeg) [pictures](https://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-2737806-183700/2.jpeg).

I spent about 6 hours trying to fix this problem to no avail; here is my info below:

* MacOS 10.15.4
* VMWare Fusion 11.1.1
* VMware Tools 10.0.12


* I use a powered USB hub with six ports, my guess is that’s why in the screenshot above, we see six ‘unused ports’. BUT my problem persists even without the hub.
* The problem happens with any USB disk or drive, even those which were not plugged at the time of the incident.
* All the USB drives and disks work on the Mac and on other PC flawlessly; so the problem is somewhere in VMWare on my Mac.
* I even fired up a clean VM from a back-up (Windows XP) and the problem persists even with that generic ‘untouched’ VM.

Solutions that did not work (not in order):

* Reinstalling VMWare Fusion
* Formatting one of the drives
* Reinstalling VMWare tools
* Removing USB controller from the VMWare Fusion settings, then reinstalling the USB controller
* Reducing the USB compatibility to USB 1.1, USB 2.0 from the VMWare Fusion settings
* Under System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> General tab, nothing is blocked
* Within Windows XP, deleting the USB driver and rebooting for an automatic reinstall of them
* Within Windows XP, trying to update the USB driver


Short of rebuilding my Mac and two VM from scratch (a very, very painful process to say the least), I am at a loss as what to do to reset the external drive USB controller completely.

View Reddit by XaltotunTheUndeadView Source

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  1. Why don’t you use Sharing -> Shared Folders to share USB disks between your macOS and goest operating systems?

    I would understand this approach in case of Linux OS as a guest since open-vm-tools do not support Shared Folders, but with Windows OS, this works literally excellent. At least this might be a perfect workaround instead of rebuilding everything from scratch.

  2. First off, the maximum USB version that can work in a Windows XP VM is USB 2.0.

    Next I’m not sure why you are not using VMware Fusion 11.5.3 as it is a free upgrade for VMware Fusion 11.1.1 and it has a number of things fixed including some security issues and actual MacOS Catalina support.

    If your powered hub is a USB 3 one, then you can try to use a USB 2 hub instead (This is a known trick in order to force the device to communicate only USB 2)

    Yet another thing to try:

    Finally you might also want to try the preview of Fusion where they are using a completely new USB stack.


    Good luck!

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