This is one of those things that on its face, seems like it should be very straight forward. You plug in the USB drive, and then mount it as a CD-ROM in the guest, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Adding the Drive to Your ESXi Host
1. Plug the drive in. Duh.
2. A new controller should show up on the host. On mine, it originally showed up as vmhba37. Going through it again, it shows up as vmhba38.
3. If we drill into the storage controller, you’ll notice there are no SCSI devices available yet. This is normal.
4. Perform a Rescan on your host storage.
5. Click OK to scan for new storage devices. No need to scan our new device for a VMFS volume.
6. You should now see a new CD-ROM device on the USB Storage Controller.
Adding the CD/DVD/BD Drive to Your VM
1. Find your VM in inventory. Right click it (1), then choose Edit Settings (2).
2. Click Select next to New Device (1), then SCSI Device (2).
3. Click Add.
4. Choose the appropriate device to add.
5. Click OK.
6. The drive now shows up in my VM as it should, with the disc I’ve inserted.