Ticket #4168 (closed defect: obsolete)

Opened 12 years ago

Last modified 5 years ago

Grayed-Out USB Devices Require Cable Dance to Connect to Guest

Reported by: HipHoppity Owned by:
Component: USB Version: VirtualBox 2.2.4
Keywords: usb port device gray grey grayed greyed cable dance plug unplug replug Cc:
Guest type: other Host type: other

Description (last modified by aeichner) (diff)

I've been working with VirtualBox 2.2.2 and 2.2.4 with a Mac OSX (v. 10.5.7) Host and WinXP SP3 Guest. I have noticed a problem with a grayed-out USB device (a signature tablet HID in my case).

To get the grayed-out device to show up in the USB Devices list for activation I can add a filter (either device specific or empty). The problem I've got now is that each time I start the VM the device is grayed-out in the USB Devices list. With a filter applied, the only way I can activate the device is by going through the unplug/replug the USB cable dance.

I'd like to see these sort of grayed-out USB devices just shows up in the device list each time the guest is started without going through the cable dance of unplugging & replugging cables.

Observations About Installing Grayed-Out USB Device (My Experiences)

I thought some of my experiences might help you address this problem with grayed-out USB devices.

  1. As far as I can tell, you need to use a filter to get a grayed-out USB device activated. There are two options -- a device specific filter or and empty filter. In my particular case I've tried both approaches and get the same results either way. However, some of the forum posts indicate that an empty filter might be needed to solve some activation problems.
  1. After adding a filter I often find that for the first one or two VM shutdown/startup cycles thereafter, the USB device is listed but when you try to activate it a connection error is generated (see below). The USB cable dance (unplug/replug cable) usually gets you past this and allows the device to connect. Observation: Interestingly, after a couple of VM shutdown/start cycles the device stops showing up in the USB Devices list as an active option -- it is grayed-out. Here is the error I've been seeing:

Failed to attach the USB device "X" to the virtual machine
USB device "X" with UUID "Y" is busy with a previous request.
Please try again later.
Result Code: NS_ERROR_INVALID_ARG (0x80070057)

  1. Observation: After installing a USB device filter I've noticed that when the VM is shutdown the status shows as "Aborted" rather than the usual "Powered Off". While this is puzzling, I've not noticed any performance problems other than the grayed-out USB device. If the filter is deleted the status after VM shutdown returns to "Powered Off".

Change History

comment:1 follow-up: ↓ 2 Changed 12 years ago by monsterfromthefuture

Bump........ Same problem here, will this issue corrupt the guest? running Kubuntu 8.04 & Ubuntu 9.04 in 2.2.4. Host: imac 7,1. Mac OSX 10.5.7

comment:2 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

Replying to monsterfromthefuture:

Thanks for your comments Monsterfromthefuture. I only have experience with WinXP VMs (on a couple of iMac OSX 10.5.7 Hosts) so far and I haven't noticed any guest corruption thus far. The only other sort of reports I've seen in the forums indicate that this USB problem might express itself a bit differently if you are running VBox on a Windows Host.

It is helpful to find out that this issue with grayed-out USB devices and cable dance activation extends beyond WinXP guests. If you have any differing behavior from my experiences please post.

comment:3 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

Installed VirtualBox 3.0.0 today with new guest additions. I found the same USB device behavior described above persists in VirtualBox 3 -- unplug/replug USB cable dance is still required to make some USB device connections to the Guest. Please consider fixing this bug in VirtualBox 3.

comment:4 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

After installing VirtualBox 3.0.2, I found that this USB cable dance of unplug/replug is still required to overcome grayed-out USB device problem. Please consider fixing this in VirtualBox 3.

comment:5 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

VirtualBox 3.0.4 installed and this USB "cable dance" still needed to enable grayed-out USB devices.

comment:6 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

USB "cable dance" for greyed-out devices is still required with VirtualBox 3.0.6.

comment:7 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

Grayed-Out USB device problem still present in version 3.0.8.

comment:8 follow-up: ↓ 9 Changed 12 years ago by Gnumpf

I had a similar problem with an USB drive (OS-X 1.5.8, VirtualBox 3.0.4, 3.0.6, 3.0.8), fixed by adding write-permissions to /dev/vboxdrv -> For a quick test start as root. If your USB device is not longer grayed-out, you have a permission problem. BTW - this does not occur using an USB-Stick.

comment:9 in reply to: ↑ 8 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

Replying to Gnumpf:

Thanks for posting this Gnumpf! Great effort on the web-post listed with your message by-the-bye.

Have you listed this in the forums yet? Maybe it will be helpful to some others and perhaps would point the developers towards a solution for this problem.

comment:10 follow-up: ↓ 11 Changed 12 years ago by Gnumpf

Hi HipHoppity,

I created a new thread in the forum about the topic. Sadly a day later my setup broke again after updating my OS-X Host :-((

The usb-drive stayes unavailable, setting rw-permissions for the executing user does not longer help.

from VirtualBox-3.0.8-OSE.tar.bz2:

If the device was ignored by global filters, or didn't match any filters at all (including guest ones), it is handled by the host in a normal way. In this case, the device state is determined by the host and can be one of USBDeviceState_Unavailable, USBDeviceState_Busy or USBDeviceState_Available, depending on the current device usage.

Sounds pretty clear and easy - but I have no evidence for something other using the device. Remains not-matching filters - which are created automatically. Devices specific filters as well as "any" filters do not match.

So, any hint how we could trace this down?

comment:11 in reply to: ↑ 10 Changed 12 years ago by HipHoppity

Nice post in the forums Gnumpf. I was glad to see you are getting some thoughtful replies there.

Sorry to hear things broke down on you again. I noticed that UKChuckTown has replied with some advice at your forum topic on this =>

Perhaps there's some daylight there? Best of luck with your experiments. Hopefully we will get some feedback from developers on this.

comment:12 Changed 9 years ago by dimaqq

This is still a problem for me, osx 10.8.2 mountain lion, virtualbox 4.2.4

Device in questions is Pickit2, I suspect it pretends to be HID.

I can work around it by tweaking permissions like this:

sudo chown root:vboxusers /dev/vboxdrv

Last edited 9 years ago by dimaqq (previous) (diff)

comment:13 Changed 5 years ago by aeichner

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to obsolete
  • Description modified (diff)

Please reopen if still relevant with a recent VirtualBox release.

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