Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can I use an extenal windows formatted USB3 harddisk on my mac connected via thunderbolt on the future Sonnet Echo-Expresscard/34-Thunderbolt-Adapter? It's clear I can use UBS3 HDs for Mac, but how is it when virtually running windows?

share|improve this question

If the drive works on the Mac side, it will work under Windows within the virtual environment. The hardware is virtualized, so Windows will not see it as a USB3 device.

share|improve this answer
Thanks EmmEff. I'm asking because I don't see a single sentence in the huge Parallels Desktop@ database mentioning only once "USB 3". So your answer means: it will be recognized, but only as USB 2? – mick Aug 31 '11 at 15:33
Parallels Desktop (and all other virtualization apps for OS X) virtualize the standard interfaces (SATA, IDE, USB, etc). None of them (currently) virtualize USB 3, but they all virtualize USB 2. – EmmEff Sep 11 '11 at 15:54
Thanks a lot EmmEff. This was really very helpful!! – mick Sep 12 '11 at 8:27
Parallels 8 supports USB3... Does it mean that a USB3 HD attached, will benefit from a USB2 port of my iMac? Can a USB2 port iMac give the speed of USB3 to a virtual machine? Mmmm. – user50856 Jun 8 '13 at 12:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.