Microsoft RemoteFX USB redirection: Four key considerations

Microsoft's RemoteFX USB redirection feature provides much-desired native USB support, but there are a number of considerations to take into account with USB redirection, including some limitations.

One of the biggest knocks against Microsoft Hyper-V virtual desktops was the lack of USB support, but the RemoteFX add-on for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) finally offers this capability. When a user plugs a USB device into a PC that's acting as a thin client, Microsoft RemoteFX makes the USB device available to the user through his virtual desktop.

The following are four factors to consider when using Microsoft RemoteFX USB redirection.

1. Hardware and software requirements

In Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, RemoteFX installs as part of the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host role. Older versions of Windows Server do not support Microsoft RemoteFX.

These are the other requirements you need to follow for Microsoft RemoteFX USB redirection to work properly:

  • Virtual desktops must run Windows 7 with SP1.
  • Hyper-threading must be enabled in the RD Virtualization Host server's BIOS.
  • You must enable the Windows Aero desktop experience.
  • The virtual machines should contain drivers for any USB devices you may use in the remote desktop session.
  • The computers through which users connect to remote desktops must run version 7.1 or higher of the Remote Desktop Client software.

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