USB flash drive problems using Parallels with WinXP

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by smax013, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. smax013

    smax013

    Messages:
    14
    I have encounter some thing odd when trying to use a USB flashdrive on my MacBook Pro vs. using one on my father's MacBook Pro. I looked through the threads and did not see anything directly addressed the same issue, but saw some hints that other may have similar problems.

    The problem that I have encountered is that my father just got a new MacBook Pro with a Core 2 Duo. He got Parallels for it and I installed it and got it fully updated. I have him running WinXP Home with Parallels. It all worked fine when I installed it, but I did not try any thing like a USB flashdrive. When he started using it, he tried using a USB flashdrive with WinXP within Parallels. It would not mount within WinXP but would mount on the Mac OS X side. He would get a message within Parallels saying the drive was in use by someother process.

    Now this was weird because I am able to use my USB flashdrive with WinXP in Parallels on my MacBook Pro. At first, I thought maybe it was my flashdrive was somehow different or "better" that his. But, when I tried my flashdrive on his MBP, I got the same result and his flash drive worked fine on my MBP. As a result, I have take a closer look at each computer.

    I am running a 18.3 GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro. I am using Parallels build 1940 at the moment (just realized there is a newer version after encountering this problem). I am running WinXP Pro within Parallels. With this configuration, I am able to plug in several different USB flashdrives and they will mount within WinXP in Parallels. While I don't get USB 2.0 support and speeds in this mode, they do work. I have tried it with my USB flashdrive and my father's USB flashdrive.

    My father's MBP is a never 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo. He is using Parallels build 1970 (which is how I learned that there is a new build). He is running WinXP Home. With this configuration, neither USB flashdrive will mount within WinXP from within the Parallels environment. They will mount in the Mac OS and can be used there (and as such, I can use a Parallels shared folder setup to get access to them from within WinXP in Parallels, but this is a "band-aid" fix and I would like a better solution if possible).

    As result of this, I can see three differences: 1) Different processors/hardware - Core Duo vs. Core 2 Duo; 2) Different Parallels builds - 1940 vs. 1970; and 3) Different versions of WinXP - Pro vs. Home. Of the three, I don't see why the 3rd difference would cause any problems of this type, so I consider it unlikely that it is the culprit. My money is on either the Parallels build difference or the processor/hardware difference.

    So, my questions? Has this type of situation happened to anyone else? Does any know if this problem that is related to the Parallels build or if it is somehow related to the newer hardware in the new MBPs?

    FWIW, I am able to use Hotsync with a Treo 650 from within Parallels on both machines. I have not yet encountered any USB problems (other than slow speeds due to only 1.1 support) with any USB devices. Admittedly, I have only tried USB flashdrives, a USB dongle for use with a piece of hardware locked software, and the Treo (both Syncing and using with PDANet).

    Thanks
     
  2. jcjohnston

    jcjohnston

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    I'm having the identical problem. I have a MacBook Pro Core Duo that works fine and a newer Core 2 Duo that exhibits the same problem you are having. Keeps saying the USB is in use by another process. This same problem affects my Garmin GPS that works fine on the older MacBook Pro.
    I found another thread that describes how to determine what driver is loaded in OS X that has the USB port busy. It showed an Apple iTunes iPhone USB driver was loading when I plugged in the flash drive. This driver must be in the 10.4.7 that ships with the new Core 2 Duo.
    I haven't found the time to troubleshoot this farther, I'm hoping someone else who has more time and patience than me can resolve it, in the meantime I'm transfering files the long way.
     
  3. smax013

    smax013

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    14
    Temp solution...

    A temporary solution is to mount the USB flashdrive in Mac OS X. Then use the Parallels shared folder setup (i.e. in the configuration page) to add the flashdrive as a Parallels Shared Folder (i.e. using Parallels Tools). As long as you don't change the name of the drive in the Mac OS, it will be found as a Parallels shared/networked folder in WinXP when you connect it to the Mac OS. This works pretty well, but would be nice to have full regular access to the USB flashdrive.
     
  4. joem

    joem

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    1,247
    Set the VM to autoconnect USB devices. This has been addressed over and over here. A search would have found it.
     
  5. eshieh

    eshieh

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    Maybe because these conditions are different and this solution doesn't apply?

    I have a similar problem. MBP C2D 2.33 w/2Gb on XP Home SP2, Parallels build 1970. It's been running great for a couple weeks, but i just tried plugging in my USB drive and am observing the same problems. It mounts in OS X fine. I eject it to try and "free" it and it still says its busy. I turned autoconnect on as advised and all i get is the exact same busy message except that now it appears automatically.
    It seems like OSX might not be freeing the drive even after being ejected and that the autoconnect solution MIGHT work if parallels can grab the USB drive before OSX/Finder does.

    Strangely, Parallels works great at grabbing the DVD Drive before OSX...
     
  6. smax013

    smax013

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    14
    I do have Autoconnect set to on for both my laptop and my father's. It works for mine but not for my dad's.
     
  7. Osaka100

    Osaka100

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    Core 2 Duo

    Having same problem as above, NO usb devices working with a new MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo ... and yes, I have autoconnected turned on.

    I have the same version and same XP virtual machine running on a MacBook (Core Duo) and no problems at all.
     
  8. joem

    joem

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    1,247
    It works fine on my MBP core duo, and yours but not on the core 2 duo? Interesting. Anyone else have it working on a core 2 duo?
     
  9. smax013

    smax013

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    14
    I can say that it is NOT just a pure USB issue. I can say this because I have my dad's MBP setup to Sync with a Treo 650 from within WinXP in Parallels using a USB sync cable and it works fine. I can also make use of PDANet with the Treo 650 from WinXP in Parallels on his MBP. And it works just as well on my MBP with my Treo doing the same two things.

    I have only noticed the problem with USB flashdrives so far. So far, every USB flashdrive that I have tried with my MBP and WinXP in Parallels will mount fine, but does not mount in WinXP in Parallels on my dad's.

    I will note that there may be a similar issue with a portable USB harddrive that my dad has. He has tried with WinXP in Parallels and it will not mount, but does mount in the Mac OS (but that does not help as it is formatted for NTFS so the Mac side cannot write to it). I have not yet tried that drive with my MBP from within WinXP in Parallels, so I don't know if it works on my system or not. I will likely try it out tomorrow.

    The only other USB device that I have worked with is a USB copy-protection dongle for my structural analysis software. It works fine on my MBP, but I have never tested it on my dad's.

    I might also try "messing" with some flash memory card readers to see if the same issue arises. My gut tells me that it likely will.
     
  10. smax013

    smax013

    Messages:
    14
    And I can now confirm that the Parallels build does not seem to be the issue. I updated my MBP (with Core Duo) to Parallels Build 1970, which is the same Build that my dad's MBP (with Core 2 Duo) uses, and my USB flashdrive still works fine. Thus, the only differences between my setup and my dad's is the hardware (his Core 2 Duo vs. my Core Duo) and the version of WinXP (his WinXP Home vs. my WinXP Pro)...but I don't think the difference of the Windoze version would cause the issue.
     
  11. Calebsr2k

    Calebsr2k

    Messages:
    1
    Same USB issue except ...

    I am having the same problem with build 1970. I used two different thumb drives. One is a 4GB SanDisk Model SDCZ6-4096. The other drive is a generic 1GB Drive. I also used a card reader and that did not work.

    Just giving you my two cents worth. :)

    BTW I am using a MacBook Dual Core 2 with 1 GB or Ram if that helps.


    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  12. joem

    joem

    Messages:
    1,247
    From what I can see, the folks reporting that it works are using core duo processors, and the ones reporting it doesn't work are using core 2 duos.

    Anyone make a core 2 duo work? Anyone with a core duo that doesn't?
     
  13. Paul Linden

    Paul Linden

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    76
    I wouldn't even bother trying to mount a USB drive to the guest directly in Parallels, at least until USB2 is supported, since you'll be limited to USB 1 speeds.

    Just use the workaround described earlier in the thread, and mount /Volumes as a Parallels Shared Folder. That way, any drive attached to the Mac will show up, and will have full (or close to it) USB2 or Firewire speed.
     
  14. joem

    joem

    Messages:
    1,247
    If the connection to a USB device works at all, it is not limited to 1.1 speeds. It will transfer data at near USB 2.0 speeds if the device is capable of it. Parallels takes advantage of the 2.0 hardware, and passes data as fast as it comes in.
     
  15. Rich White

    Rich White

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    22
    My MBP core duo works fine even without using autoconnect. I don't get the "in use" message when manually selecting the 1GB "Cruzer Micro" device. It does not really seem worth it to me, however, since it's currently much slower in Windows XP. Plus, viruses could "hop" onto it while mounted in Windows ;)

    That may well be true, but...

    Mounted in Windows XP, a 200mb file took about 6-7 minutes to copy to the Windows XP desktop.

    Mounted in Mac OS X, the same file takes about 25 seconds to copy to a shared folder on the Mac side and then about 10 seconds to copy from the shared folder to the Windows XP desktop.
     
  16. enidoi

    enidoi

    Messages:
    2
    I have a MBP Core 2 Duo and am experiencing the same problem.

    I cant access any USB drives. I have:

    1 Cruser mini 1 gb thumb drive fat formatted
    1 lacie 250 gig ntsc formatted
    1 lacie 250 gig fat formatted

    All of them give me the same error telling me that the device is busy. My reason for wanting to access through parallels is to clean up the NTSC drive which is not Mac writable.
     
  17. smax013

    smax013

    Messages:
    14
    And unfortunately, the "work around" (i.e. mounting in Mac OS and mapping it as a Parallels Shared folder) won't work for an NTFS drive...at least if you want to write to it (you should still be able to read files from it).
     
  18. smax013

    smax013

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    14
    Personally, the 1.1 (i.e. slower) speeds don't bother me too much for a flash drive. For a USB hardrive, on the other hand, that would be a MAJOR issue. Trying to back up or write/read gigabytes of a data over a USB 1.1 connection to an external drive would be torture. I am hoping that it is just a "glitch" with the new Core 2 Duo hardware that the Parallels folks will fix soon.

    I will note that it does not personally affect me other than I provide "support" to my dad. My MBP and Parallels works fine with my USB flashdrives and I don't have any external USB drives...all my external drives are Firewire based and I basically only use them on the Mac side of stuff. And if I do need to use a Firewire drive with Windoze within Parallels, then I can use the "work around"...at least until Parallels adds Firewire support in the future sometime.
     
  19. CJConline

    CJConline

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    19
    mapped drive interference

    Something to check which may or may not be related. Do you have any Windows mapped drives eg as (E: ) or possibly other mapped hardware immediately after the hard disk (C: ) and DVD-RW drive (D: )? If so you might have problems. For some unknown reason, on my machine MBP core 2 duo (running bootcamp, as I had to give up on parallels for the moment), any USB drive will only mount if there is a drive letter space vacant for them before any mapped drives.

    Something to look out for. Of course you can always use the disk management function in the Windows Computer Management console (under Administration Tools menu) to permanantly change the drive letter mapping for any device.

    Hope this helps. :)

    chris
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2006
  20. smax013

    smax013

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    14
    Nope. Only drives listed are the C: drive (hard disk image) and D: drive (optical drive).
     

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