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 want to add a CD/DVD drive that is backed up 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.


Power off the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine in the list and select Edit settings from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Add other device and select CD/DVD Drive from the drop-down menu.
  4. Expand CD/DVD drive and select an option.
    Option Description
    Use physical drive
    1. Select Client Device as the location.
    2. From the Device Mode drop-down menu, select Emulate CD-ROM or Passthrough CD-ROM.
    Use ISO Image
    1. Select Datastore ISO File as the location.
    2. 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 to connect when the virtual machine starts, deselect Connect at power on.
  6. Select the virtual device node that the drive uses in the virtual machine.
  7. Click Save.