How To Access CD/DVD, USB Drives WithIn The Guest OS On Oracle VirtualBox; You Can Also Boot The Virtual Machine From Them

Written by Chaks

Topics: Articles, How To, Software Review, Windows

When i was writing an article on Avira AntiVir Rescue System in TechSmartLife, I was looking for some information on how to make VirtualBox Windows installation to make VirtualBox to boot from the CD-ROM or USB. I found some useful links dedoimedo, agnipulse which works with the old versions of VirtualBox. The current version of VirtualBox 4.1.8 has simplified accessing the external drives like CD/DVD and USB. With the current version of the free VirtualBox you can access the external hard drives with very little effort.

There are two ways you can attach the external drives to VirtualBox. One is through the Settings menu of the VirtualBox Manager which is a permanent settings (until you remove it), second approach is a dynamic or runtime setting within the Guest OS. The settings made at runtime would lost when you shutdown the VM. You required to install the GuestAdditions before using either of the procedure.

Step 1:

Open the VirtualBox Manager and click on the desired Operating System

Oracle VM Virtual Box

Step 2:

Goto the Settings of the desired Operating System.

Select the Storage and click on the Add CD/DVD Device (left side + icon) on the Storage Tree.

Select the Leave Empty button in the confirmation dialog box.

VirtualBox Add CD Drive

Step 3:

Select the newly created Empty icon under the IDE Controller. On the right side under Attributes area, click on the CD icon and click on your CD/DVD drive. Finally press on OK button.

VirtualBox CD Drive Selection

Step 4:

Now, your Guest OS would be able to access your CD/DVD drive.

VirtualBox CD Drive Added

Step 5:

Login to your Guest OS and access the CD drive.

VirtualBox Access CD Drive

Another Approach: Dynamic (Runtime) Access Without Making the Settings in VirtualBox Manager.

  • Don’t make any changes to the Settings in the VirtualBox Manager
  • Login to the Guest OS from VirtualBox Manager
  • Select Devices and click on the CD drive from there.
  • Now you would be able to access the CD drive

VirtualBox Add CD Dynamically

To Access USB Drive From Oracle VirtualBox

  • Go to the Settings menu and select USB.
  • Make sure the Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller is checked, otherwise select it.

VirtualBox USB Access Setting

  • Login to the Guest OS
  • Put the USB device into the USB slot
  • You may see the below error message, because some times the Guest OS (In this case Windows) is not configured to Automatically fetch the drivers. In that case, click on the Change Settings and enable the automatic update of drivers and re-insert the USB device.

VirtualBox USB Fail Due to Drivers

  • Now click on your USB device name under USB Devices which is under the Devices menu item of your Guest OS Virtual Machine (Refer the Image in Step 3 above, the USB menu is right under the CD menu item).
  • Browse the USB device with the windows explorer

To Access Make Virtual Machine To Boot From External CD Drive

  • Add the CD/DVD drive as explained in the beginning of this article
  • Launch your Windows 7 or any Guest OS
  • Observe the launch screen carefully, in few seconds you would see a message with an option to select the Boot device
  • The default button for this is F12. Press it when you see the above message
  • You would be presented with the different booting options.
  • The booting options and other more detailed information is added in Avira AntiVir Rescue System article


VirtualBox Download

VirtualBox Extension Pack Download

6 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. jonny says:

    that worked. Thanks!

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  5. Hamdi says:

    Thnx alot …

  6. Saqlain says:

    I am using android os in virtual box in .vdi format. How to add files so that I can access then in my guest android os. Also I don’t have internet.

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