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I want to run a LARGE Windows 7/XP VM. Like 50+ Gigabytes of ram and 4 cores. I need to be able to console in to this VM, but for alert purposes I need the VM to pass audio either back out to me via the console connection OR by USB speakers or something. I am on a Lenovo RD530 rack server running a XEON E5 6 core processor. All the info I find on how to do this seems out of date at best, and doesn't work on most. Any help would be appreciated.

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It looks like VMWare has added the capability to use HD audio. Here is what worked for me.

  1. Shut down your virtual machine
  2. In vSphere, right-click on the virual machine and select remove from inventory
  3. Select the root folder in the left panel of vSphere
  4. Select the Configuration tab
  5. Select Storage
  6. Right-click the datastore where your virtual machine is installed and select Browse datastore
  7. Open the folder for your virtual machine
  8. Right-click on the .vmx file and select Download
  9. Open the downloaded file in Notepad++
  10. At the bottom of the file, add the following:

    sound.present = "true"
    sound.allowGuestConnectionControl = "false"
    sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"
    sound.fileName = "-1"
    sound.autodetect = "true"
    sound.pciSlotNumber = "17"
    

Note: Select an available pciSlotNumber. Review all of the PCI slots being used in your .vmx file, and select a slot number that is not currently being used.

  1. In the VMWare datastore, select upload files to this virtual machine, select the .vmx file, and upload it
  2. Right-click on the .vmx file, select Add to Inventory, and select Next, Next, Finish to add the virtual machine to inventory
  3. In the left panel of vSphere, right-click on the virtual machine and select Edit Settings
  4. In the virual machine dialog box, on the Hardware tab, there should now be an option HD audio

Boot the virtual machine. In the screen shot below, I am using a Linux CentOS virtual machine. Instead of CentOS outputing sound to Dummy Audio, CentOS is now output audio to HD Audio Controller.

enter image description here

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On VMWare Workstation, a USB device gets plugged into the guest, as far as it can tell. If ESXi works the same way (I expect it does, just might be more formal about provisioning it) then a USB sound device ought to work. If it shows up under "Sound, vided and game controllers" that ought to work.

⋯yes, hardware version 7 or higher, noted in a manual for an older version. Also see references to USB3 being added at some point.

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