can't install CD/DVD drive to guest OS from blade center - AnywhereUSB

Has anyone encountered the following problem?
the guest OS’s under VMware Sphere 4 can’t install a CD/DVD drive from the blade center. Howver the 2 virtual machine guest OS with the AnywhereUSB installed can install and see the CD/DVD drive. My consultant says he has never had a problem with adding a CD/DVD with this setup when there isn’t any AnywhereUSB installed. He suspects that the AnywhereUSB software is causing the problem.

Hi there,

I don’t fully understand the scenario.

What do you mean when you say “from the blade center”? Do you mean an internal disc drive (i.e. IDE or SATA) that’s mounted inside a physical PC?

The IBM Blade center can hold about 14 blade servers and only has 1 physical CD/DVD drive and 2 USB ports. The CD/DVD drive and USB ports are sort of linked together as you can only assign/link them to 1 blade at a time. That in itself is not the problem.
On one of the blades we have a VMware server with 8 Virtual machines (guests). They are all setup with Windows 2003 Server operating system. On 2 of the virtual machines we have installed AnywhereUSB software. On those 2 machines I can install or setup the Operating system to add or link to the CD/DVD drive on the blade center. However on the other 6 virtual machines I cannot setup the virtual machines to install the blade center CD/DVD drive. In the virtual machine settings where you can add a CD/DVD drive, the physical CD/DVD drive does not show up so you cannot choose the physical drive. However on the 2 virtual machine with the AnywhereUSB software you can see the physical drives and can install them to your virtual machine, commonly called the guest system. Our consultant says he never had this problem with virtual machines not being able to add the CD/DVD drive. And suspects that the AnywhereUSB software or hardware may causing this situation. ARE YOU ABLE TO HELP resolve this?

Thanks for clarifying.

I better understand the scenario now, but I’m not clear on what the “problem” is, related to the AnywhereUSB.

It looks like there is a problem that already exists (VMs without the AnywhereUSB software not being able to interface with the CD/DVD drive), and having the AnywhereUSB software installed somehow resolves that issue.

Is that accurate?

You are correct. Installing the AnywhereUSB did solve the problem. Also it is probably not the cause of the problem. I talked ot our consultant again and he said he recalled a simliar problem where the guest did not see the host CD/DVD drive with another customer. He tried to get an answer but was never given one. He believes he now knows what the prolbem is. I’ll have to wait until I see him again to see if he actually has a solution. Funny thing is that we changed the guest CD/DVD drive from host to client and now the 2 AnywhereUSB Guest cannot see the drive again. If the consultant comes up with a solution I will post it.

Sorry to report that the consultant said he had contacted IBM for a resolution to the problem but they never did come up with one. Therefore there is no solution as far as he knows.

I have an educated guess as to what exactly might be letting the “AnywhereUSB” virtual machines interface with the CD/DVD drive.

Virtual Machines that are created from scratch (instead of P to V) usually lack the Microsoft generic USB driver “usbd.sys”. It’s a known workaround to get this file from the Windows disc and put it in the \system32\drivers folder on a VM in order to install an AnywhereUSB on that VM.

I’m wondering if simply having that file on the “AnywhereUSB VMs” is what’s causing those VMs to interface with the CD/DVD drive.

I can’t imagine that just installing our AnywhereUSB software would be making a related difference.

You may want to experiment with this. It’s pretty straight-forward. If the non-AnywhereUSB VMs do not have “usbd.sys” in \system32\drivers then put it there and reboot the VM and see what happens.

It’s easy to try. No guarantees - just an idea.