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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > Using External CD/DVD Drives With VMWare Fusion

Using External CD/DVD Drives With VMWare Fusion
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l008com
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Jun 22, 2011, 07:58 PM
 
I'm running VMWare Fusion 3.1.3.
I have 4 VM's I want to run at the same time. I have a bunch of optical drives connected, two via SATA through a PCI card, and two via FireWire.

I want to set things up, so each virtual machine sees one and only one optical drive. No other virtual machines, and even the real Mac Pro itself, won't see the CDs when I put them in. I thought it was actually going to be a straight forward setup. But when I connected my external drives and fired up VMWare, I see that VMWare only sees my Mac Pro's internal optical drive as an available CD/DVD drive. It doesn't seem to see any of the externally connected drives. The real Mac OS on my real Mac Pro sees all of the optical drives, all of the inserted CDs, it lets you play them in iTunes etc.

So is there a way to make these externals show up as available optical drives?

The "Specify a physical CD/DVD drive:" menu is a menu with only one item in it, the Mac Pro's internal optical drive. What I need is a way to make my externals show up in that list.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 22, 2011, 08:40 PM
 
Seems Parallels has the same problem. It only sees the one internal optical drive in it's "list" of drives. A solution for either program, VMWare or Parallels, would work for me.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 23, 2011, 12:05 AM
 
From the vmware website:
Can I use my FireWire CD and DVD drives in Windows?
Yes, you can access your FireWire CD/DVD drives in VMware Fusion by
assigning your FireWire CD/DVD drive to a specific virtual CD/DVD drive. Go to the Virtual Machine menu, select CD/DVD and select CD/DVD Settings. Select "Specify physical CD/DVD drive" and choose your FireWire CD/DVD drive and close the Settings windows. To access your FireWire CD/DVD drive in Windows, go to My Computer and choose your CD/DVD drive which is now using the FireWire CD/DVD drive for it.
Two of the drives i have connected right now externally, are firewire. And two are sata (via pci card). None of these drives are showing up in the drive list. I've tried it on my windows VM's and my OS X VM's, there is no difference.
     
ghporter
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Jun 23, 2011, 06:50 AM
 
With VirtualBox, you can select any attached drive/device that is not currently mounted on the Mac. Have you tried ejecting these USB optical drives and then seeing if they show up in your VMs?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 23, 2011, 09:53 AM
 
None of them are USB, but you can't eject a drive that has no CD in it. What is VirtualBox?
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 23, 2011, 10:37 AM
 
VirtualBox doesn't seem to see any of my external optical drives either. This picture is taken with two sata via pci, and two firewire:
( Last edited by l008com; Jun 23, 2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: hilarious typo)
     
tooki
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Jun 29, 2011, 10:50 AM
 
I don't know about FireWire, but with USB you could just "connect" the external drive directly to the VM.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 29, 2011, 12:12 PM
 
Problem is USB it slow. USB is about half the speed of firewire. And for what I'm doing, speed is the name of the game.
     
ghporter
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Jun 29, 2011, 09:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
VirtualBox doesn't seem to see any of my external optical drives either. This picture is taken with two sata via pci, and two firewire:
Are you making sure those optical drives are not mounted by OS X? That's very important-VirtualBox avoids conflicts for attached physical drives by not allowing anything that's mounted by the host OS to be visible to the guest OS. Those controllers are virtual-the VirtualBox shell connects otherwise unmounted devices appropriately to its virtual controllers, as well as connecting its own virtual hard drives that way...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
l008com  (op)
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Jun 29, 2011, 10:31 PM
 
What do you mean by unmounted drives? There are no discs in the drives so nothing is on the desktop. Is that what you mean?
     
ghporter
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Jun 30, 2011, 06:55 AM
 
There has to be something to mount for VirtualBox to see it. With media in the drive, see if you can disconnect the drive from OS X without ejecting the media. Alternatively you could click on the little USB plug in the bottom frame and see if VirtualBox lists the drives. If they are there, you may only have to select them to have VirtualBox connect them and make them available to the guest OS.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 4, 2011, 07:50 PM
 
I just got another box of CDs to rip so back to this topic.
I just tried with VMWare 4.1.1, it still can't do this. "This" being, configuring hardware optical drives so they "belong" to one and only one specific VM.
I'm downloading the latest copy of VirtualBox right now, I'll try that next. This seems like a relatively simple thing to try to do, in the world of virtual machine. I'm surprised it's being so difficult.
     
   
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