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I'm running Vista 64-bit and I have a device that doesn't have 64-bit drivers at all, but I need to use it for development purposes. I do have an XP 32-bit virtual machine that I can develop from if necessary.

The point of contention here is that I was told that I need drivers for the device to work on the host OS before I can install the drivers on the guest OS.

This does not make any sense. The virtual machine can see the COM ports and USB ports of the host machine. Whether or not the host OS can do anything with the device seems irrelevant. The guest OS should be able to access the device directly through the port.

Is this correct?

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nope!

It really depends on the Virtual Machine software.

I have used VMware Workstation for a very similar purpose, When you enable USB pass through, you simply need the standard correct driver for the guest operating system and nothing else.

So, Insert the device, forward it to the VM (again, different depending on what you are using), and then install the drivers in there.

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Consider the VM as a separate PC. What you do to a real PC, you do to an OS in a VM. So you do need drivers. –  alex Sep 17 '09 at 21:30

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