Unable to Remove USB Controller from ESXi 6.5 Virtual Machine

Ran into a situation where an “x” was not available for removing a USB Controller from a Guest.

To resolve, first shut down the guest (if running) and temporarily Unregister it from the host. Then from the datastore, download the .vmx file associated with the guest. Create a backup of the .vmx file, then edit the original with a text editor such as Notepad. Find and delete all of the lines that begin with “usb.”  For example:

usb.present = “TRUE”
usb.pciSlotNumber = “32”
usb:0.present = “TRUE”
usb:0.deviceType = “hid”
usb:0.port = “0”
usb:0.parent = “-1”
usb:1.speed = “2”
usb:1.present = “TRUE”
usb:1.deviceType = “hub”
usb:1.port = “1”
usb:1.parent = “-1”

Once these lines are removed from the .vmx file, save it and then upload the file back to the datastore, overwriting the original.

The final step is to re-register the guest with the host by pointing to the vmx file we just updated on the datastore. You should then find that the USB Controller is gone from the guest configuration.