Mount USB Hard Disk on VMWare ESX 4.1 and 5.x

On ESX/ESXi 4.1/5.x you cannot mount a USB disk because it's already prepared for passthrough for any virtual machine...

You have to stop usbarbitrator service before you connect your disk :

  • SSH connection on your ESX
  • Do not connect your USB drive
  • Stop usbarbitrator service :
    /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator stop
  • Connect your USB drive on your server
  • Mount your USB drive with EXT3 partition (FAT32 is supported but has a lot of limitations...)
    mount /dev/sga2 /mnt/usb -t ext3

    The directory /mnt/usb must exist
    You can find the "name" of your USB device after your connected it with the following command :
    tail /var/log/messages
  • After you used your USB disk you must unmount it :
    umount /mnt/usb

    and restart usbarbitrator service :
    /etc/init.d/usbarbitrator start