Configuring Windows Hosts for Use with USB Monitors (Sniffers)
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Configuring Windows Hosts for Use with USB Monitors (Sniffers)


Article ID: 342414


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


My virtual machine is unable to initialize the USB connection to my USB controller. The following message appears when I power on the virtual machine:

USB controller initialization failed. A supported host USB driver was not found. If you have installed USB traffic monitoring software on the host system, please remove it.

Note: If you are using Workstation 4, you might see a blue screen instead of this message.

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VMware Workstation Pro 12.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 5.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 9.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 6.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 11.x (for Windows)
VMware Workstation Pro 14.x (for Windows)
VMware Workstation 7.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 10.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 4.x (Windows)
VMware Workstation 8.x (Windows)


This error occurs when Workstation checks for certain USB monitors (sniffers) that were found during testing to cause undesirable effects and may cause the host to crash.

Note: Some customers have reported seeing this error when Microsoft Services for Unix are installed on their hosts. The only known solution for this issue is to remove Microsoft Services for Unix from the host.

To detect which driver causes the failure

  1. Run dbgview. (If you don't already have this utility, you can download it from
  2. Make sure Capture > Capture Kernel is checked. By default, it is enabled. Leaving other captures on or turning more captures on is OK.
  3. Power on the virtual machine to reproduce the "USB controller initialization failed" problem.
  4. DebugView prints a line indicating the driver that caused the failure. For example, with the hhd USB monitor, DebugView outputs HCMON: unknown driver \Driver\hhdusbh found.
To disable the check for USB monitors
Modify your registry.

Caution: Incorrect changes to the registry can leave your system unstable or unable to run. Always back up the registry before editing it, and exercise caution in making changes to the registry. VMware takes no responsibility for problems that may arise.

  1. Shut down Workstation.
  2. Open the registry (Start > Run > regedit).
  3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\hcmon\.
  4. Create a new key called Parameters.
  5. In Parameters, create a new DWORD value entry named DisableDriverCheck, and then set the value to 1.

If you continue to encounter the error message, or if the host crashes, please contact VMware technical support.

  • The USB monitor SnoopyPro is known to be compatible with Workstation.
  • This issue is resolved in the Workstation 5.5.3 release.

Additional Information

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