I have the free, standalone core Hyper-V Server 2012 running on my physical machine. I set up remote management from my Windows 8 client.

When I proceed to create a virtual machine I would like to install the OS from a usb thumb drive but it is not recognized in Hyper-V Manager on my client (when the USB is plugged into the physical server) nor is it recognized in Server Manager under File and Storage Services > Volumes

Is there a role needed to recognize external usb flash drives? Because I think this standalone version is just core Hyper-V role and that's it... but this is such a basic functionality.

Can anybody comment.


There isn't native USB device support for Hyper-V VMs for a plethora of reasons. The main one is that it would break in live migration and failover scenarios. This is pretty typical of type 1 hypervisors. ESXi doesn't support generic USB devices connected to the host either.

You can work around this by presenting the USB disk as a passthrough device as outlined in this TechNet blog post. The linked example uses the GUI, but you can do it all using diskpart.exe and the remote Hyper-V Management console on your Hyper-V 2012 server.

  • I think this cannot be done in core, diskpart gives me an error when I try to set the disk to offline: "The operation is not supported on removable media" Same as here: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-IE/winserverhyperv/… – Vazgen Nov 4 '12 at 3:53
  • can I open disk manager in core or is this this tool added with a role? – Vazgen Nov 4 '12 at 3:54
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    I'm not sure, to be honest. If diskpart doesn't work, then disk manager won't either. You may not be able to mark a usb thumb drive as offline, it might only work for actual usb external hard disks. The command to launch disk manager is diskmgmt.msc. If you can launch disk manager on core, that's the command that would do it. – MDMarra Nov 4 '12 at 3:55
  • I cannot launch it from core. diskmgmt.msc unrecognized. Guess I'll just use a DVD. Thank you – Vazgen Nov 4 '12 at 3:58

Finally I found a solution.

  1. Connect to your Hyper-V VM using RDP (not Hyper-V console)
  2. Before logging in, enable the USB thumb drive on the RDP client's Local Resources tab.
  3. Voila, your USB thumb drive shows on the VM's Windows Explorer

More here.

  • This is a good way to use your USB drive, but it is NOT a solution for installing the OS, which is what the question asks about. You can't RDP to a HyperV VM that has no OS installed on it yet... – Grant Jul 23 '14 at 17:44

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