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Use local resources on Hyper-V virtual machine with VMConnect


Updated: May 20, 2015

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 R2

You can give a virtual machine access to a computer’s local resources, like a removable USB flash drive, when you use Virtual Connection Manager (VMConnect). To make this happen, turn on enhanced session mode on the Hyper-V host, use VMConnect to connect to the virtual machine, and before you connect, choose the local resource that you want to use.

If your Hyper-V host runs Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you might not have to go through the following steps to turn on enhanced session mode. It's turn on by default. But if your host runs Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, you must turn on enhanced session mode to use it. It is turned off by default for those operating systems.

To turn on enhanced session mode,

  1. Connect to the computer that hosts the virtual machine.

  2. In Hyper-V Manager, select the host’s computer name.

    Screen shot of Hyper-V Manager with host name
  3. Select Hyper-V settings.

    Screen shot of Hyper-V Actions pane
  4. Under Server, select Enhanced session mode policy.

    Screen shot of enhanced session mode policy
  5. Select the Allow enhanced session mode check box.

    Screen shot of enhanced session mode policy
  6. Under User, select Enhanced session mode.

    Screen shot of user setting enhanced session mode
  7. Select the Allow enhanced session mode check box.

  8. Click Ok.

You can choose a local resource like a printer, the clipboard or a local drive that’s on the computer that you’re using to connect to the VM.

To select a local resource like a drive,

  1. Open VMConnect.

  2. Select the virtual machine that you want to connect to.

  3. Click Show options.

    Screen shot shows Show Options button
  4. Select Local resources.

    Screen shot shows Local Resources tab
  5. Click More.

    Screen shot shows More button on Local Resources
  6. Select the drive that you want to use on the virtual machine and click Ok.

    Screen shot shows local resource drives.
  7. Select Save my settings for future connections to this virtual machine.

    Screen shot shows save settings check box
  8. Click Connect.

You can easily edit your connection settings for VMConnect by running the following command in Windows PowerShell or the command prompt:

VMConnect.exe <ServerName> <VMName> /edit

To be able to use a computer’s local resources on a virtual machine:

  • The Hyper-V host must have Enhanced session mode policy and Enhanced session mode settings turned on.

  • The computer that you use to connect to the virtual machine with VMConnect must run Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • The virtual machine must have Remote Desktop Services enabled and run Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 as the guest operating system.

If your virtual machine fits those criteria, then you can use any of the following local resources available from the computer where you use VMConnect.

  • Display configuration

  • Audio

  • Printers

  • Clipboards for copy and paste

  • Smart cards

  • USB devices

  • Drives

  • Supported plug and play devices

You might want use a computer’s local resources to:

  • Troubleshoot a virtual machine without a network connection to the virtual machine.

  • Copy and paste files to and from the virtual machine in the same way you copy and paste using a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP).

  • Sign in to the virtual machine by using a smart card.

  • Print from a virtual machine to a local printer.

  • Test and troubleshoot developer applications that require USB and sound redirection without using RDP.

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