500gb MyBook external HDD and Virtual Machine

I am wondering if anyone else has had experience with attempting to recognize a 500gb Western Digital MyBook HDD in either VirtualBox or VMWare.

I have been trying to get my ubuntu guest OS to see the drive for 2 hours or so and I can’t get it to work. Not even an error or anything. I know these drives are notorious for being a pain so I think it may actually be the drive.

Weird part is, it has to be plugged into a specific USB port in the back of my machine to work in Windows XP. It won’t work in the front two ports which is kind of strange. I believe that this external drive is just bricked.

About Sean Chambers

I am a Senior software developer from Palm Coast, Florida. An advocate of Domain Driven Design, Behavior Driven Development, creator of FluentMigrator and community activist. I am married to my beautiful wife Erin and am the proud father of two wonderful children. I currently reside at ACI, a local insurance industry/mortgage software company that excels in creating solutions using Agile methodologies.
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  • I’ve not used those types of drive before, but the front USB I’ve had issues with before. For some reason, they do not provide as much bandwidth as the USB ports on the back. Mainly because they have to be extended from the motherboard through cables and the back ones are onboard.

    I’ve also heard rumors that some of the virtual machines either have a max limit on harddrive space. I had a friend partition his external drive in half and that solved the problem.

    Hope this helps.

  • I think I contaminated this blog with a virus targeting USB drives! :-)

  • That would actually make sense that the front ports wouldn’t have as much speed as the back.

    I will do some more research to see if there is an upper limit on the hard drive space in a virtual machine.


    @Joe, I guess I’ll have to look in your posts to understand =)

  • Yeah, you shouldn’t use high-powered devices from non-powered usb hubs. The front usb ports are non-powered, so they are weak and should only be used for tiny devices like Mice. (digital cameras may even have problems there).

  • Right on. I never even thought of that. Thanks for the info Ben!