You can use a physical drive on a client or host or you can use an ISO image to add a CD/DVD drive to a virtual machine.

If you are adding a CD/DVD drive that is backed by USB CD/DVD drive on the host, you must add the drive as a SCSI device. Hot adding or removing SCSI devices from an ESXi host is not supported.

You cannot use vMotion to migrate virtual machines that have CD drives that are backed by the physical CD drive on the host. You must disconnect these devices before you migrate the virtual machine.


Ensure that the host is powered off before you add USB CD/DVD devices.


  1. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings.
  2. Select the Hardware tab and click Add.
  3. Select CD/DVD Drive, and click Next.
  4. Select one option.
    Option Description
    Use physical drive
    1. Select Client or Host as the location.
    2. Select a Pass through (recommended) or ATAPI emulation connection type.
    Use ISO Image Enter the path and filename for the image file, or click Browse to navigate to the file.
  5. If you do not want the CD-ROM drive connected when the virtual machine starts, deselect Connect at power on.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the virtual device node the drive uses in the virtual machine and click Next.
  8. Review the information on the Ready to Complete window, and click Finish or click Back to change the settings.
  9. Click OK to save your changes.