Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am running VMware Server on a Windows Server 2003 host. I have two Windows XP guests installed on it. Each guest has some software running on it that each require a USB dongle for licensing reasons. Unfortunately, the vendor of each software application both happened to use the same type of dongles. This seems to be creating a problem as VMware can't differentiate between the two. That is, when I select one of the USB devices for one of the VMs from the drop down list in the VMware Server web GUI, both devices become checked and both show up on that guest. Trying to select the other device (they both have the same name which is really confusing, by the way) on the other VM results in a message saying it is already connected to the other VM. So I have to shut down the first VM in order to allow the second VM to use one of the USB dongles. Unfortunately, this results in the second VM having both devices connected.

Any ideas on how to get VMware to differentiate between the two? Maybe each device has a unique ID or something and I could manually change each VMs configuration file to point to the correct one?

share|improve this question

Unfortunately I don't know of a way to make the VMWare software differentiate, however we are using a dongle with our ESXi box (which doesn't support USB devices) via a hardware device which makes the dongle available of the network. The device we are using is the sx-2000u2 from silex. Maybe you could use one of these for one of the devices which would alleviate your problem.

share|improve this answer
That looks like an awesome little box – prestomation Sep 16 '09 at 20:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.