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Windows on VMware ESXi: fixing “Unknown USB Device” or “The USB device returned an invalid USB device descriptor”

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/08/27

Sometimes, the Windows device manager shows any of the below errots for an USB 3.x device that is physically connected to the ESXi host and passes through a VM (via a virtual USB controller and virtual USB device).

This solution usually works: use a USB 2.0 cable instead of a USB 3.x cable.

If it doesn’t work, then the solutions are the same as when this happens in a pure physical solution:

In my case, I needed a USB connection, because it is the only way to reset a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner to correct WiFi settings after it gets confused (which happens a few times per year).


The difference for devices with a known driver:

  • USB 3 cable 
  • USB 2 cable 

The difference for devices with an unknown driver:

  •  USB 3 cable 
  • USB 2 cable 

Related information

This happened with me on both a ScanSnap iX500 and iX1500, and this did not help (as I was on a more recent Windows version): [WayBack] When setting up your scanner 502: My computer does not recognize ScanSnap iX500 with a USB 3.0 port. – Fujitsu Global.

More on USB passthrough:

More on USB virtualisation:


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