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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Enable HD Audio in vSphere 5

First step is to un-register the VM from vCenter.

Second, open up a PuTTy session to an ESX host and browse to your datastores and into your VM folder an do a vi vmname.vmx. Scroll all the way to the bottom and add the following lines (using i for insert):
sound.present = "true"
sound.allowGuestConnectionControl = "false"
sound.virtualDev = "hdaudio"
sound.fileName = "-1"
sound.autodetect = "true"

Before you add the next line, you need to verify an available PCI slot number. My example above used 34. In this demonstration, PCI slot numbers 33 and 34 are already in use, so I'll use PCI Slot number 35 (again using i for insert).
sound.pciSlotNumber = "35"

Press escape to exit and ZZ to write the changes

Now that we have added the new hardware via .vmx, browse the datastore and register the virtual machine into vCenter. Once the VM is back in vCenter, edit the settings of the VM and you will now see there is a new driver called HD Audio. This is Virutal Machine Hardware version 8

Here is hardware version 7.

So now what happens when you boot the VM? Windows does find the driver. I would expect that this would primarily be for VMware View environments, but it's just a guess.

Shout-out goes to William Lam over at for his help and he also uncovered a new virtual ethernet adapter called "e1000e" that I'm sure you will see him talk about soon.

After testing out a quick PCoIP session to this Windows 7 VM, found that sound DOES NOT WORK using the HD Audio playback device. I had to reset to the VMware Virtual Audio playback device to get sound working once again. My bet, this is for a future version of VMware View.