Atmel Studio 7 does not recognize [xxx] Xplained board under VirtualBox

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This is a mini-tutorial for people (like me) who were excited to try out their new Xplained board but disappointed that it didn't show up when Atmel Studio was launched.

 

TL;DR: If you're running Studio 7 under VirtualBox, you must (A) load and install the latest VirtualBox Extension Pack and (B) create a USB 2.0 EHCI filter for the Atmel EDBG CMSIS-DAP in the Virtual Box settings.

 

The symptom

 

When you launch Studio 7, it doesn't recognize your Xplained board.  The underlying cause is probably that the USB driver isn't properly initialized.  You can verify this by launching Device Manager on Windows and expanding the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" item.  A USB icon with a yellow "alert" exclamation mark indicates that the driver wasn't properly installed.   Click on it, go into the "Driver" tab and uninstall the driver.

 

A: load and install the latest Virtual Box Extension Pack

 

As of this writing, Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.2.22.vbox-extpack is the latest version, but make sure it matches up with your version of Virtual Box.  Other versions can be found here.  On macOS (at least) you double-click the extension pack to install it -- it's that easy.  

 

B: create a USB 2.0 EHCI filter for the Atmel EDBG CMSIS-DAP

 

Plug in your Xplained board, launch Virtual Box.  On the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window, click on Settings:

 

VirtualBox Manager

... and from there click on Ports and the USB sub-tab:

VirtualBox USB Port Settings

Select the "USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller" radio button and click then the "+" icon on the right.  From the menu, select the Atmel USB interface:

Select Atmel USB device

 

And your screen should now look something like this:

Atmel USB device selected

C: Launch your Windows image, Launch Atmel Studio 7.

 

With a little luck, your Xplained device will now show up automagically when you launch Studio 7:

Atmel Studio 7 with Xplained device

 

Happy Xplaining!