Intel xHCI USB 3.0 Controller – USB Passthrough with VMware Workstation 9 in Windows 7

WaheGuru G Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru G Ki Fateh

In this Post, we illustrate how to get Intel USB 3.0 Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) Controller USB Passthrough working with VMware Workstation 9, when using Windows 7.

VMware Workstation introduced support for USB 3.0 xHCI controllers with version 8 – but with version 8 – support has been limited to NEC USB 3.0 Controllers, and hence, with version 8, we don’t get native support for Intel USB 3.0 xHCI.

Starting with version 9, Workstation introduced support for all the USB 3.0 Controllers provided that you are running Windows 8, and Windows 8 specifically, because Windows 8 introduces NATIVE USB 3.0 support, and Workstation relies on Windows 8 Native USB Driver stack to get working with all USB 3.0 Controller (as per documentation).

Now what’s more interesting is how Microsoft has implemented USB 3.0 support in Windows 8 – rather than adding the support on top of the current USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 software stack (which, as Flanagan notes, has its roots in Windows 95), Microsoft’s engineers have chosen to write an entirely new software stack for USB 3.0, retaining the older stack for 1.1 and 2.0 devices separately.”

Also note that Windows 7 till now hasn’t provided NATIVE support for USB 3.0 controllers unlike Windows 8, and VMware Workstation 9 Documentation states that Workstation version 9 requires NATIVE USB 3.0 support in Windows OS in order to get Guaranteed USB Passthrough with all USB 3.0 controllers, and since NATIVE support for USB 3.0 is only being offered in Windows 8 – chances are certain, that we may face USB Passthrough ISSUE in Windows 7.

For more Information about Microsoft USB 3.0 implementation in Windows 8, follow below listed URL.

Now in order to get Intel USB 3.0 Passthrough working with VMware Workstation 9 in Windows 7, make sure that you are running

  • VMware Workstation Version 9.0.1 with Build Number 894247 OR HIGHER
  • Intel USB 3.0 xHCI Drivers – version OR HIGHER

Also make sure that you have installed Intel USB 3.0 Controller and USB 3.0 Root Hub Drivers using “Device Manager” GUI and NOT USING the installable Binary Package version (SETUP.exe).

The Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver Installer “Setup.exe” will install the following drivers and application on the system:
· Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver | iusb3xhc.inf | iusb3xhc.sys
· Intel® USB 3.0 Root Hub Driver | iusb3hub.inf  | iusb3hub.sys
· Intel® USB 3.0 Host Controller Switch Driver | iusb3hcs.inf | iusb3hcs.sys (will be installed only If your System possesses a USB Switch Controller)  Check Update – Below
· Intel® USB 3.0 Monitor | iusb3mon.exe


Just extract the drivers from the Installable Binary Package – version, and install these extracted Drivers manually using Device Manager GUI, reboot your System, and VOILA, Intel USB 3.0 Passthrough works without any hiccups.

If we had installed Intel USB 3.0 Controller and USB 3.0 Root Hub Drivers using SETUP.exe (Installable Binary Package), then USB Passthrough won’t work. VMware.exe prompts MSG. “Driver Error / Device is being used” (details of which can be found in vmware.LOG).

A noticeable difference in SETUP.exe method and Device Manager method (manual method) driver installation – is that – Intel USB 3.0 Monitor binaryiusb3mon.exe –  isn’t installed/incorporated with Device Manager method (manual method).

Intel USB 3.0 Monitor binaryiusb3mon.exe – gets installed with SETUP.exe method, creates a HKLM Startup entry, and it can also be found under Extracted Drivers Directory PATH.

Now even if we remove/disable HKLM Startup of iusb3mon.exe, USB Passthrough doesn’t work at all – with SETUP.exe method.


If  you had previously installed Intel USB 3.0 Drivers using SETUP.exe installable image, just uninstall “Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver” using Control Panel Applet – Programs and Features (appwiz.cpl), reboot system, and then reinstall Intel USB 3.0 Controller and USB 3.0 Root Hub Drivers, manually using Device Manager GUI.

We tested this procedure using USB 2.0 Devices on two Mobile (PCH – HM77) and one Desktop (PCH – H77) System , all them equipped with Intel USB 3.0 xHCI Controllers in Windows 7 Sp1 x64 running VMware Workstation 9.0.1 894247.

                         Update | 07-Apr-2013 
When we Install Drivers using SETUP.exe Package - it will install the following:
1) Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver | iusb3xhc.sys 
2) Intel® USB 3.0 Root Hub Driver | iusb3hub.sys
3) Intel® USB 3.0 Host Controller Switch Driver | iusb3hcs.sys
4) Intel® USB 3.0 Monitor | iusb3mon.exe 

All this can be verified by viewing Log File - created by -
Intel USB 3.0 Setup.exe Package - "IntelUSB3 - Install.log"

Intel® USB 3.0 Host Controller Switch Driver | iusb3hcs.sys --- is installed on
a PCI BUS --- This Driver is a LowerFilter WDF Driver - and this Driver starts
at BOOT Time [START=0] [Category=Boot Bus Extender].
Intel - xHCI - USB Host Switch Controller - iusb3hcs.inf - 01

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Switch Controller – iusb3hcs.inf – 01

Intel - xHCI - USB Host Switch Controller - devmgmt.msc - 01

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Switch Controller – devmgmt.msc – 01

Intel - xHCI - USB Host Controller Switch - regedit - 01

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Controller Switch – regedit – 01

Main Function of this iusb3hcs.sys - Host Controller Switch Driver - is to detect 
Super Speed USB Devices[by parsing USB Device Descriptors]and attach that device 
to Intel USB 3.0 xHCI Controller.

When we attach a USB Device - which is Super Speed [USB 3.0] Capable - then 
this HCS Driver will route/attach the Device to Intel USB 3.0 extensible Host 

Below is a USB Device Tree Viewer ScreenShot highlighting a USB 3.0 Device 
attached to xHCI controller - courtesy of iusb3hcs.sys.
Intel - xHCI - USB Host Switch Controller - USB Device Tree Viewer - 01

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Switch Controller – USB Device Tree Viewer – 01

USB 1.1 - Full Speed | USB 2.0 - High Speed | USB 3.0 - Super Speed

Now when we Uninstall Intel USB Driver Package, it removes all of the following:
1) Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver | iusb3xhc.sys 
2) Intel® USB 3.0 Root Hub Driver | iusb3hub.sys
3) Intel® USB 3.0 Host Controller Switch Driver | iusb3hcs.sys
4) Intel® USB 3.0 Monitor | iusb3mon.exe 

All of Uninstall activity logged by Intel Installer - and attached below:
"IntelUSB3 - Install and then Uninstall.log"

And with our MANUAL Device Driver Installation method - we install 1) and 2)
and skip 3) and 4) - BUT - as we leave 3) - we are skipping USB 3.0 Host 
Controller entirely. 

That is to say - in our Manual Method - even if we installed USB 3.0 
Controller and 3.0 HUB drivers - and we attach a USB 3.0 Device - then our
Device won't adhere to USB 3.0 Bus speeds but 2.0 - because - we had skipped
LowerFilter Driver - iusb3HCS - function of which to Direct/Route USB 3.0 
Capable Devices to xHCI controller (and in MANUAL Case - USB 3.0 devices will 
be Directed/Routed to Intel USB 2.0 Controller).

Intel USB 2.0 Host Controller is labelled in Device Manager as:

i) Intel 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller (OR) 
ii) Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller

i) and ii) use the same Device Drivers (Microsoft Generic USB 2.0 - usbehci.sys) 
and i) STRING/Label will be shown in Device Manager only if we had installed 
Intel INF Package Update - Setup.exe (Intel INF Update).

So, with MANUAL Method, we loose USB 3.0 capability on Systems with all of the 
USB 3.0 Ports in order to gain USBPassthrough with VMware Workstation 9.x on
Win 7.

Now we Demonstrate HCS Driver functionality - first we remove Intel HCS Driver
from Driver Store or Update (more Convenient) this PCI BUS [ACPI\PNP0A08] -
Update it with Microsoft PCI Bus Driver - as shown below:
Intel - xHCI - USB Host Controller Switch - PCI Bus Driver Updation - Options - 01

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Controller Switch – PCI Bus Driver Updation – Options – 01

Intel - xHCI - USB Host Controller Switch - PCI Bus - enumerated on - ACPI PNP0A08

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Controller Switch – PCI Bus – enumerated on – ACPI PNP0A08

Below is a USB Device Tree Viewer ScreenShot highlighting a USB 3.0 Device 
attached to Intel USB 2.0 (EHCI) controller - due to absent iusb3hcs.sys 
on PCI BUS (i.e. with Microsoft PCI Bus Driver).
Intel - xHCI - USB Host Controller Switch - Microsoft PCI Bus

Intel – xHCI – USB Host Controller Switch – Microsoft PCI Bus

Now - if you have a System with all of the USB 3.0 Ports (as mine) - then 
all of the above Scenario is applicable - BUT - if you have both USB 2.0 
and USB 3.0 Ports - then in your Case - This Scenario is only applicable 
to your 3.0 Ports and thus you can simply use 2.0 Ports to avail 
USBPassthrough without any Errors.

Now we talk about VMware USB 3.0 Controller Support in Guest/Virtual Machines:

1) VMware Workstation 9 introduced USB 3.0 Host Controller Support.
2) Drivers of USB 3.0 Host Controller are not provided by VMware Tools.
3) VMware USB 3.0 Host Controller will work only if your Virtual Machine OS 
   has Native USB 3.o Support. Examples of such OS are - Windows 9, Windows 
   Server 2010 [Windows OS Version 6.2] and Linux Kernel 2.6.31 and above.
4) So, If you a System with all of the USB 3.0 Ports (as mine) and want 
   USB 3.0 Support inside VMware Guests - So you will need atleast 
   Windows 8 / Linux  on HOST System (NATIVE USB 3.0 Support) and 
   a Virtual/Guest Machine OS with Native USB 3.0 Support 
   (such as Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 or Linux 2.6.31 or above.)

5) And If you a System with all of the USB 3.0 Ports (as mine) and want
   to stick with Windows 7 as HOST OS - then - BLAME/SUE your System 
   Manufacturer / Vendor for providing only USB 3.0 Ports.

6) And And, If we try to get Smart and Disable - Intel's USB 2.0 EHCI
   Controller - to leave the Lower Filter Driver with only a Single 
   Destination USB Controller i.e. 3.0 xHCI Controller - even then,
   USB Passthrough won't work - Cause - Issue lies with the Presence of 
   Lower Filter Driver (iusb3HCS.sys) and as long as HCS is there
   in Equation, epic Fail.


Hope this helps and Cheers :) | Your feedback is highly appreciated.

WaheGuru G Ka Khalsa, WaheGuru G Ki Fateh




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About Harmandeep

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Posted on January 8, 2013, in VMware and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. Hi Harmandeep,
    I got the same problem, and your solution may work.
    But where shall I install the drive? In the host or the guest system?

    • Hi,
      you need to install USB 3.0 Drivers on host system using Device Manager (manual method) — if u need assistance – we can get it done for you remotely (using Team Viewer) — it will just take 5-10 Mins.


  2. Great post, I think people should learn a lot from this blog its really user genial. So much excellent information on here :D.

  3. Did not work for me.
    I uninstalled the drivers via Control Panel.
    Re-installed via Device Manager for both Controller and Root Hub.
    USB 3 works, but same error on VMWare. No iusb3mon.exe running.
    Motherboard: GA-Z77-DS3H

  4. At first this seems to be working but then I noticed that the devices where connecting to the EHCI controller at USB2 speeds.
    I changed the bios to force the xHCI controller to enable and then I got back full usb 3 speeds, but also the same device busy error in VMware.
    I believe this is because the Setup.exe installs 4 components, the controller driver, the root hub, the Switch driver and the monitor. The manual installation via the device manager only installs the first two. Since the switch driver is not installed, the devices will connect to the ECHI controller instead unless the xHCI controller is force in the bios.

    • Hi,
      Thanks for Updating status.

      As our Test Systems were equipped only with USB 3.0 ports (our Test Systems were with PCH H77 and HM77), hence there was no USB Switch Controller and thereby – associated Driver – Intel® USB 3.0 Host Controller Switch Driver | iusb3hcs.inf.

      On our Host System, USB 3.0 was operational and we had tested the transfer speed by using a Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 Drive.

      We had also mentioned in the Main Post itself that we had only tested USB Passthrough with USB 2.0 devices, but we will TEST USB Passthrough (with xHCI on Guest/VM) using USB 3.0 Devices on our System’s (equipped with USB 3.0 Only) and another System (equipped with Gigabyte – GA-B75M-D3H – PCH – B75 – equipped with both Intel xHCI USB3.0 and EHCI USB 2.0) and update results in the main post.

      Check Section: Update | 07-Apr-2013


    • That corresponds with my findings. In dual USB 3.0 – 2.0 systems (eg many many laptops, and not limited to ultrabooks) the speed drops to USB 2.0 speeds. Highly annoying.

      • Hi, First check that your USB 3.0 Device in the HOST OS – has been indeed attached to a xHCI controller / USB 3.0 Root HUB and not EHCI Controller / USB 2.0 Hub – using USBbview.exe. If attached to xHCI, then proceed as:

        Make sure that your Guest has Hardware Compatibility set to Version 9 ( virtualHW.version = “9” ), as version 9 is required to emulate USB 3.0 controller in Guest.

        If you are running virtualHW.version=9, you also need to set USB Compatibility to USB 3.0 ( usb_xhci.present = “TRUE” ) in Guest, and install xHCI controller drivers in Guest OS to get USB 3.0 Passthrough Emulation completely working.

        Also check this VMware KB –


      • Hi Harmandeep, thanks for the quick reply. This speed decrease from USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 actually already exists in the W7 host system.

      • So, indeed Intel USB Switch Controller ain’t working or maybe due to buggy BIOS implementation.

        Also Check USB Device Connection in Host OS using USBview.exe – as specified in the previous reply.

    • Hi,
      I have updated regarding HCS (Host Switch Controller) – Check Back for more updated Info…

  5. — Update – We weren’t able to source GA-B75M-D3H and thereby, Testing is still pending —

  6. On a number of Thinkpads (T430 and X1 Carbon) I only got this to work after setting USB 3.0 support to Automatic in the BIOS. (Will continue testing to see if this is a persistent solution)

    • Hi, thanks for updating. Also check BIOS description related to USB Switch Controller of these SKUs.

      • I did check, but not relevant in my case. Customer uses the Lenovo USB 3.0 dock for dual-display and ethernet, but at the same time requires USB 2.0 smartcard authentication and webcam in his VM. The dock requires 3.0 and the smartcard reader requires 2.0. Hence the automatic setting.

  7. On my laptop, installing the Intel USB3 drivers via Device Manager does not work as expected. My laptop has only USB 3.0 ports, but it have an internal high speed wireless bluetooth

    While the described process does create the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller and Intel(R) 3.0 Root Hub entries in device manager, it does not allow any devices (USB 3 or otherwise) to connect to the eXtensible controller (usbview.exe shows they all connect to the Enhanced controller instead).

    So, it appears that iusb3hcs.sys must be installed in my case in order to be able to connect USB 3.0 devices to the eXtensible controller – presumably because of the internal high speed USB Intel wireless bluetooth.

    Bottom line is that, yes – using the described approach does allow USB devices to be available to VMware on my laptop, but it is because they are functioning as USB 2 devices connected to an enhanced host controller.

    My need for USB 3 speeds on devices attached to the host outweighs the need for USB in VMware virtual machines, so I’m using the standard setup for now.

    If anyone has any ideas for how to get around this issue, I’d certainly be interested in hearing about it.

  8. Hi,

    i try the workaround on ASUS N76V but still not working. Same error “Device is currently in use. Icheck the virtualHW.version it’s 9.
    Some suggestions or more tips?

    Thanks for your reply.

  9. The problem is not in the iusb3mon, but in the iusb3hcs.inf, if to install the controller switch driver, the usb 3.0 would be supported, if to rollback it the usb 2.0 mode will work.

    Here is the idea to create two spearate hardware profiles, one with a controller switch, and another one without for vmware purposes only, then you will be able to choose during the boot ‘do you need the 3.0 or vmware?’

    • Hi, you are correct about HCS – but AFAIK – there ain’t any support for Hardware Profiles in Win 6.x or higher – so is there any Way via which we can facilitate ‘Hardware Profiles’ functionality.

      • It seems, such a “Hardware profile” functionality could be reached thru switching the BIOS xHCI options between [AUTO] and [ENABLED].
        When it is set to [ENABLED], all the external devices are forced to connect via usb3.0 controller (as Device Manager shows).

      • Hi, Harmandeep
        I tried to switch xHCI pre-load option to [Disabled] in BIOS and discovered that USB passthrough with VmWare 9.0.2 on Win7 host works EVEN WHEN iusb3HCS.sys IS INSTALLED !!!
        So, just switching between [Enabled] and [Disabled] or between [Auto] and [Disabled] solves the problem (even without any manipulations with the driver)!
        At least, this happens on my ASUS N56VJ.
        The only trouble I faced is a very long period (about 30 sec) between the moment of connection of a USB flash and the moment of availability of its filesystem (the effect takes place as on virtual, as on host machines when the BIOS switch is [Disabled]).
        Do you have any idea what the hell is that?

      • Hi, Thanks for Sharing, but i don’t know about the reason for the delay of Availability of USB Devices Filesystems… If i came to know about the DELAY, i will let you know.

        And on our Test Systems, we didn’t had any USB Controller Configuation OPTIONS as on your ASUS System.


  10. Sir,
    I have
    Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller – 3B34 and 3B3C,..
    can you let me know if these are Intel USB 3.0 xHCI Drivers, and if yes then how to install the drivers, and if not then what i can do it to connect usb in vmware WS 9.0.1 build 894247.

    Please help, need urgently.
    Host OS – Windows 7 Home Premium
    Guest OS – Windows 8 ..

    • Hi Rohit,

      AFAIK, Intel added USB 3.0 Support (via xHCI Controller aka USB 3.0 Host Controller) beginning with 7-Series Chipset (such as H77, B75. HM77, Q77 … …) – and as you mentioned that you are having 5-series Chipset on your HOST System – which means that you are having USB 2.0 Support (via EHCI Controller aka USB 2.0 Host Controller) – and in Win 7 — USB 2.0 Controller is supported Natively – and there hardly any issues with USB Devices PassThrough when using:
      1) Intel eHCI Controller with
      2) Win 7 Native USB Controller Drivers (or even Intel’s).

      But, if you are having trouble, you need to Parse appropriate Sections from the *.LOG Files relative to your Targeted VM DIRECTORY – and search for similar Patterns on Internet (probably VMware Community will be highlighted with Solutions).


      • Thanks Sir for your reply,.. but in device manager under USB controllers it is mentioned…
        Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller
        Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Root Hub

        and on disabling them, it is disables my driver.
        i even edit my .vmx file as given in

        but still no success, so please help.

      • As i was still not able to pass-through to vmware, using usb (which i dont know whether it is 2.0 or 3.0).

        but i manage to do it by using eSATA/USB combo port, which i am lucky to have it on my laptop…

        so thanks for ur help,.. and consideration…

      • So Rohit – in our Case – you were having Renesas USB 3.0 Host Controller — and in this thread – we are covering Intel USB 3.0 Host Controller | But on Systems with Intel 2.0 and 2.0 USB Ports (like your esata/usb) – USBPassthrough ain’t a Concern and Works most of time.

  11. thanks so much for this info…works perfectly!!!! finally can connect usb devices to my VM on laptop that only supports usb 3.0 with no option to switch to 2.0

  12. thanks for this instruction !!!

    it was working well on an ASUS UX32VD which also has only USB3.0 ports and an Intel USB3xHC

    got my VMware linux guest working with USB-devices

  13. Stephen payne

    Hi, I’ve followed the directions here and installed the USB 3 drivers via device manager on my Dell Latitude E6430. I’m trying to redirect USB 2 devices, so I don’t know as my issue is directly related, but ever since I upgraded to W/S 9.x, my fingerprint reader and proximity card reader no longer show up as an option to redirect. When I look in the vmware.log file, I see:
    2013-04-01T10:59:31.249-07:00| vmx| I120: USBGW: Write arbitrator op:15 len:4
    2013-04-01T10:59:31.249-07:00| vmx| I120: USBGW: Failed to write header: The handle is invalid (6)
    2013-04-01T10:59:31.249-07:00| vmx| I120: USB: Unable to initialize ‘Generic’ backend

    Any ideas on this one?

    • Hi Stephen, try Microsoft PCI Bus driver on the above NOTED PCI BUS – restart – and then – it should probably work…

      • Stephen payne

        Harmandeep, the issue turned out to be a problem with the VMware-USB-Arbritration service on the Windows 7 host. Apparantly because I also run the View client and the vSphere client, when VMware Workstation updated to version 9.02, the service never updated properly. I had to get all three products uninstalled before the service would successfully get removed, and then reinstalling workstation fixed my issue. Thanks.

  14. Hi, Harmandeep!
    I have Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Series Chipset laptop with only 4 USB 3.0 ports.
    I have followed steps described early.
    1.uninstalled Intel(r)_usb_3.0_extensible_host_controller_driver
    2. Installed manually Intel(R) “USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller” and “Intel(R) USB 3.0 Root Hub”.
    3. Changed hardware ids of PCI Bus to PNP0A08

    After restarting my device “Microsoft USB Sync” is still shown in “Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller” (via USB device tree viewer) node. Is this right?

    I also changed USB compatibility mode to USB 3.0 of the Guest operation system. Now I can’t install USB Controller drivers in Guest, it is saying my “This computed doesn’t meet the minimal requirements for installing the software” (Windows 7 SP1 x64).
    I could send snapshots if necessary.
    Please, could you help me? What should I do?

    • Got the same. Any suggestions?

    • Hi,
      I have the same Problem as Jen Doe. How can I install a virtual xHCI Controller in a Windows 7 Guest?
      Thx in advance.


    • Hi Jen, If you are running Windows 7 in Guest OS – then you can’t use USB 3.0 Controller – because W7 isn’t providing xHCI Controller Drivers. You need W8 or Server 2012 in the guest OS.

  15. Hi Harmandeep,

    could you please kindly help me get this problem done remotely. i have teamviewer in my computer. you can let me know the time when it will be convenient for you by sending me email at . Thank you in advance.

  16. Thank you!
    Now I can use my usb3,0 in guest system successfully! Thank you!

    My laptop is DELL insprion 14z usb3.0 x2、window7 professional 64bit. vmware9.02.
    guest system is windows server2008 enterprise 64bit& xp

    uninstall “Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver” using Control Panel Applet – Programs and Features (appwiz.cpl), reboot system,

    reinstall Intel USB 3.0 Controller and USB 3.0 Root Hub Drivers, manually using Device Manager GUI.(Unzip usb3,0 dirvers into fold, then manually reinstall. OK)(don’t setup)

    中国 广东 广州

  17. thanks for taking the time to post such an accurate and descriptive solution to work around this problem. I only wish I had found your webpage sooner!

  18. Thanks so much for this post!
    I have an HP Elitebook Folio 9470m with only USB 3.0 ports, with Win 7 64-bit on the host, and WinXP VM.
    I need to use a USB-Serial convertor for work and was pulling my hair out trying to find a way to do so with this configuration.
    After following the steps outlined above, everything is working!

  19. Intel USB 3.0 Controller and USB 3.0 Root Hub are not in my device manager. The only time I’ve seen it there is when the extensible drivers were installed with the exe. Help please. How do I do the manual install when I can’t see it in the device manager?

  20. Thank you for this great guide, that has let me finally connect USB devices to my guest OS.

    I have a Z87 chipset with both USB 2.0 and 3.0 on my motherboard.
    I am not sure I have understood the update to your post correctly:
    Is there a way to keep USB passthrough with VMWare (I don’t care about the speed in the guest), and still have Superspeed bandwidth for USB 3.0 devices connected to the host ?

    My tests seem to demonstrate that iusb3HCS.sys PRESENCE breaks VMWare passthrough, but its ABSENCE breaks Superspeed in host.

    Any help will be much appreciated 🙂

  21. Gary Morgan

    Hi thanks for the post, i have been researching how to fix this issue since i bought my new lap top back in november. I have followed the instructions you gave by uninstalling intel usb drivers via add remove programs and then installed them manually. All my USB are working fine within windows 7 and my alfa wifi card with aertheros chipset is also running fine. But when i run vmware and go to: VM, Removeable devices….. It does not show my Alfa card as a device which can be added. I previously had version 9 of workstation and could see the wifi card to connect, just had an error saying that it was constantly in use. For some odd reason now i have installed a newer version of vmware and the usb drivers manually i now cannot see them within VMware. Any ideas on what could be causing this problem? I have tried the uninstall / reinstall a few times now but still have the issue.


  22. Hi there, sorry if this posted twice but for some reason i cant see the post i just made.

    OS used: Windows 7 SP1 64bit
    VMWare: Workstation 9.01

    I have followed your steps by unistalling the intel usb drivers through ‘add / remove programs’ I then reinstalled them manually via ‘device manager’. USB is functioning fine within the host OS, but when i open VMware and go to ‘removalable devices’ i cannot see any USB device to add to the guest OS, even though my Alfa Wifi Card is shown as connected and functional within the Host OS.

    Any ideas on what could be causing this?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in Advance


  23. Computers_SUCK

    The people at VMware should read your post, they’re clueless. And Intel should fix the GUI installer.

    You saved my life. THANKS!

  24. Thank you so much for this post!

    I was unable to connect even USB 2.0 devices on an USB 2.0 port into VMware Workstation 9.0.2 until I followed your post and uninstalled the Intel USB 3.0 driver (and then reinstalled it manually using device manager).

    Kind of sad that this information is not in the VMware Knowledge Base and somewhat hard to find. It’s not VMware specific though (I think) – VirtualBox looks like it’s affected too.

    Intel: FIX THIS! It’s been six months!

    • Actually, it’s not fault of Intel or VMware. It’s just that Windows 7 has no NATIVE support for USB 3.0 — so thereby intel provided USB 3.0 support for Windows 7 using a LOWER Filter Driver — whereas — VMware workstation USB Passthrough relies on GENERIC NATIVE DRIVER (Support) of the Windows OS — which in our case – is missing.

      • @harmandeep: you make it sound like it has to be so. But why does Intels driver break passing through even old USB 2.0 devices? And why doesn’t it do that if installed in a slightly different way?

        AFAIK the NEC USB 3.0 drivers don’t have such a problem.

      • Intel Driver Breaks due to the Presence of Lower Filter Driver — and VMware is having trouble in Parsing IRPs (I/O Request Packets)from this Filter Driver.

        NEC don’t possess such a Problem because VMware is supporting certain Specific NEC Controllers.
        VMware is also supporting certain Specific ASmedia Controllers.


  25. Thanks for finally writing about >Intel xHCI USB 3.
    0 Controller – USB Passthrough with VMware Workstation 9 in Windows 7 | VirtualizationMaximus.

    com <Liked it!

  26. And eventually in Workstation 10 it is fixed, so back to normal.
    Win 7 x64, host USB 3 ONLY and USB devices ARE now accessible in guest OS

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