Accessing external hard drives in a VM

  1. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,119
    Windows10
       #1

    Accessing external hard drives in a VM


    I have always had a bit of an issue accessing my second hard drive (in a dvd caddy) on my laptop when I clean install to a VM (in Hyper-V for sure - but also in VMware from memory) as I always have to install specific AMD drivers (same happens if I clean install to host) as the installer installs the MS standard SATA controller drivers and I have to manually install the AMD controller drivers.

    I can then see the second drive in the VM (assuming I set up VM to access external drives).

    However, having found I get speed issues copying files to these external drives, and now I simply make the external drives shareable over my local area network, and I can see the drives as network shares regardless of whether I install an AMD SATA controller in the VM. The major plus for me is it is much faster as well.

    So in simple terms, no real need to attach external drives to a VM - just make the external network drives shareable (use password if required).

    This gets round one issue I had with VMware i.e. if drive was being accessed by VM, you could not access it via Host. Hyper-V does not have that restriction.
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  2. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,739
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #2

    Hi there

    with VMWARE you don't need to install required drivers for HDD's to the VM - so long as the drivers are working on the HOST - then simply attach the specific device to the VM via the VMware main menu

    For example I've got a 4 HDD enclosure which I'm using as a Linux software RAID device -- my VM simply sees the 4 HDD's as a 10 TB Raid 0 array. The device uses a USB-->ATAPI/SATA bridge which is simply attached to the VM as shown

    Accessing external hard drives in a VM-usbhdd.png

    You can see the 4 HDD's (marked md) are compounded into a 10 TB array (md127)

    Accessing external hard drives in a VM-snapshot11.png

    I'll bet a million dollars to a bucket full of the brown smelly stuff that a decent RAID 0 is going to be zillions of times faster than acessing HDD's over a network !!!!!!

    Linux Software raid is VERY efficient (mdadm) - and by using ext4 file system you avoid the overhead of windows file system (ntfs).

    I use this for serving multi-media, other files and backups so I don't really need to share specifically with windows but SAMBA is the best way of doing that.

    The file browser shows a single 10 TB device

    Accessing external hard drives in a VM-snapshot12.png

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer

  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,119
    Windows10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hi Jimbo,

    I know you can attach external hdds via menu - done it many times. The issue I always had was when you do that hdd is not available in Host whilst running vm.

    I assume this is not an issue if you use network shares
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  4. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,739
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #4

    Hi there

    No problem

    simply start SAMBA and then Windows networking can see it OK - even if you've formatted the drive as EXT4 -- the SAMBA protocol (SMB / CIFS) will do all the file conversions.

    Note you can also easily share SAMBA HDD's etc between Linux systems / android too --simply on the remote Linux system (same for a VM as a Physical system) as root or sudo issue command similar to :

    mount -t cifs -o username=USERNAME,password=PASSWD //192.168.1.88/shares /mnt/share

    where shares is the directory share defined in your smb.config file, the ip address is the IP address of your remote machine (probably like 192.168.1.xxx or 192.168.0.xxx,) and /mnt.xxxx is where you want to mount the device on your local machine (VM or physical).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer

  5. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,119
    Windows10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    jimbo45 said:
    Hi there

    No problem

    simply start SAMBA and then Windows networking can see it OK - even if you've formatted the drive as EXT4 -- the SAMBA protocol (SMB / CIFS) will do all the file conversions.

    Note you can also easily share SAMBA HDD's etc between Linux systems / android too --simply on the remote Linux system (same for a VM as a Physical system) as root or sudo issue command similar to :

    mount -t cifs -o username=USERNAME,password=PASSWD //192.168.1.88/shares /mnt/share

    where shares is the directory share defined in your smb.config file, the ip address is the IP address of your remote machine (probably like 192.168.1.xxx or 192.168.0.xxx,) and /mnt.xxxx is where you want to mount the device on your local machine (VM or physical).

    Cheers
    jimbo
    I think we are talking crossed wires here - I was talking about running windows in vm as well as host.
      My Computer


 

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