Hyper-V USB Datastore


New Member
Feb 23, 2024
Hi all.

With the VMware broadcom pricing issue and them doubling the costs overnight we are starting to look at Hyper V. I have been a VMware guy for over 10 years and while i have worked with Hyper V some small details escape me. I need to get up to speed again.

I am looking at setting up a home lab to get familiar again. Now VMware allow you to create a USB Datastore to store and run VM's from. Clearly not for running in the enterprise but for home lab its perfect. Am i able to do something similar with Hyper V or am i back to Direct Attached SATA drives inside the machine? The answer will dictate which machine i have at home to do this on.

Thanks in advance

Thanks in advance.
Hi there,

In Hyper-V, you can indeed use a USB device as a storage option for your virtual machines, although it's not as straightforward as setting up a USB Datastore in VMware. Here's how you can achieve this in Hyper-V:

1. Connect the USB Device: First, plug in your USB drive that you want to use as storage for your virtual machines into your Hyper-V host machine.

2. Format the USB Drive: You'll need to format the USB drive to make it usable as a storage location. You can do this by opening Disk Management on your Windows host and initializing and formatting the USB drive with a file system that Hyper-V recognizes (usually NTFS).

3. Add USB Drive to Hyper-V: Once the USB drive is formatted, you can then add it as a "Pass-through disk" directly to your virtual machine. To do this, go to the settings of your virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager, add a new hard drive, and select the physical disk corresponding to your USB drive.

4. Configure Virtual Machine: After adding the USB drive to your virtual machine, you can configure your VM to store data on this drive. You can create and store virtual hard disks or other files on the USB drive instead of the regular virtual hard disk attached to the VM.

It's worth noting that using USB drives as storage for VMs in a production environment isn't ideal due to performance and reliability concerns. However, for a home lab setup, it can be a suitable and cost-effective solution.

If you prefer a more robust storage solution, you can also consider using NAS storage or setting up iSCSI targets for your virtual machines in Hyper-V.

Please let me know if you need further information or assistance in setting up your home lab with Hyper-V. Good luck with your transition from VMware to Hyper-V!
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