Accessing USB Drives in a Hyper-V VM

Even if you don't work in a highly secure environment, you likely have a USB stash of utilities just as I do. Sure, I could copy the data from my USB to the VM or host but that takes time and unnecessary disk space or network bandwidth. Instead, I use a method suggested to me by one of my mentors, Mark Ghazai, to pass the USB drive through to the VM directly. This gives me instant access to the data without the extra network or disk space usage!

Target: Access USB drive from Hyper-V VM

Kill Shot: Use disk Pass-through method to present the USB drive directly to the VM


After you plug in your drive, open up disk management so you can take the USB drive offline

Right-click on the drive and select Offline


The drive should appear offline as seen below on your Hyper-V host where the VM is located


Now open up the settings on the VM you want to have access your USB drive. (note, you must have a SCSI controller available to add a drive to a running VM)


Click Add and select Physical hard disk: then choose your USB drive in the drop down. Click Ok


Now, log into the VM and open Disk Management. You should see the drive listed as offline. Right-click and select Online


You should now see the disk listed as online and accessible (note, my file system shows unknown because my drive is encrypted!)


If you open windows explorer, you should now see your USB drive listed


Special Thanks to Mark Ghazai for suggesting this!