USB to Serial inside VMWare Guest?

I have a 5 port AnywhereUSB device, and connected to it I have a Cables to Go USB to serial adapter.

When I connect to the AnywhereUSB hub with my local notebook running Windows 7, everything works like a charm.

When I try to connect via my Windows XP virtual machine running under ESXi, the AnywhereUSB hub connects just fine and the USB to Serial adapter driver installs just fine, but when I actually try to connect to the COM port I get nothing. I’m using Putty to try to communicate with the console port of a Cisco network device.

I reconnect to the AnywhereUSB hub using my notebook and I can connect just fine.

Obviously this isn’t a problem with AnywhereUSB as my notebook has no problems, but it is very important for my application that it is able to run from a virtual machine (and consequently, a thin client).

I did follow the special instructions regarding copying usbd.sys and re-installing the AnywhereUSB drivers, and if I were to judge based on appearances, I’d say everything is working fine. It’s just when I try to use a terminal program to connect that things fall apart. I’ve tried both Putty and Hyperterminal.

Anyone have any ideas?

Was the virtual machine rebooted after copying over the ‘usbd.sys’ file to the XP OS? If not, reboot and see if you now can connect.

Yes, I rebooted as prompted by the AnywhereUSB software, and once after that for testing.

Is my understanding accurate?

  1. notebook + AWUSB + adapter “works”, i.e. using either Putty or Hyperterminal, you can communicate with the Cisco.

  2. everything above is the same, except a virtual machine is being used for the AWUSB host.

If so, what exactly do you mean by you “get nothing”? What exactly is the symptom, using both Putty or Hyperterminal?

I’ve also discovered that I get the same behavior when connecting to a machine via RDP (even when connecting to the console via RDP).

When I say I get nothing…

I launch a Putty window. A black window is displayed. Typically, if I hit enter, the device I’m connected to will echo back a prompt or provide some sort of response. When using USB anywhere via an RDP session, I get no response. The window is simply black. What’s interesting is that if I reboot my AnywhereUSB device, my Putty session complains about losing connectivity. It’s almost as if my keystrokes aren’t being passed through or something.

I think I’m a moron = )

It looks like I used the Windows 7 driver for my Windows XP box. That looks like a bad call on my end; after manually removing the Windows 7 driver and installing the XP one, it’s working in my VMWare XP guest.

If you’re using the prolific driver under XP, make sure that ser2pl.sys is dated ~2005 and that serenum.sys is dated ~2004. Anything newer indicates that you might be using the Vista or Win7 driver.

This is probably what was causing the other user on these forums issues as well.

I’ve done little testing since I got this working, but if I continue to have any issues I’ll provide feedback in this thread.

Thanks for the feedback!