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 and removing SCSI devices 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.


Select a virtual machine.

In the virtual machines and templates inventory tree, select a group of virtual machines and select a virtual machine from the list on the right.

Search for a virtual machine and select it from the search results list.


In the VM Hardware panel, click Edit Settings.


Click Virtual Hardware.


From the Add a device drop-down menu, select CD/DVD Drive and click Add device.

The new drive appears in the virtual devices list above.


Click the triangle next to the new drive to expand the drive options.


Select the type of device.

Select Client Device to connect the CD/DVD device to a physical DVD or CD device on the system from which you access the vSphere Web Client.

Select Host Device to connect the CD/DVD device to a physical DVD or CD device on the host.

Select Datastore ISO File to connect the CD/DVD device to an ISO file that is stored on a datastore accessible to the host.


For client or host devices, select the mode used for the connection.

Passthrough IDE (raw). Use mode only for remote client device access.

Emulate IDE. Use to access a host CD-ROM device.

The host CD-ROM device is accessed through emulation mode. Passthrough mode is not functional for local host CD-ROM access. You can write or burn a remote CD only through pass-through mode access, but in emulation mode you can only read a CD-ROM from a host CD-ROM device.


(Optional) In the drop-down menu under Virtual Device Node, select the node the drive uses in the virtual machine.


(Optional) Select or deselect the Connected check box to connect or disconnect the device.


(Optional) Select Connect At Power On to connect the device when the virtual machine powers on.


Click OK.