I've got a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 audio interface, which is a usb 2 compliant device.

I'm having some problems with it, and it might be related to the firmware.

Using usb-devices, I see that my device is on revision 0.25. On the manufacturers website I see firmware version 1.20.

The problem is that to upgrade the firmware, I need to run a Windows or Mac program, and I have no computer of either type. From some Microsoft site, I can download a vm image of various versions of Windows (primarily for testing website compatibility with different versions of Internet Explorer). I can run that in Virtualbox, set up hardware passthrough of the usb device to the virtual machine and then run the firmware update. I'm afraid this will fail and brick the device. Is there a way of doing this that will not brick the device?

Or would there be some way to use the Mac Os updater?

  • I remember some years ago Parallels in Mac writing specific drivers to allow a more complete USB passthrough because of some specific Windows technology. So we can safely assume it is not possible in all situations. – Rui F Ribeiro Dec 22 '16 at 8:26

I'm sure that someone else will have a better and more informed answer, but here's my two cents anyway:

It'll probably be fine.

The firmware updating applications -- when run on Windows or macOS -- are very likely just sending specific USB messages to the device.

I would expect that your virtual machine would either pass through those messages completely, or refuse to pass them on at all.

I doubt that there's much risk of "bricking" your device this way, since I would expect the USB messages to be sent in their entirety or not at all.

If you are unwilling to risk anything outside the manufacturer's support policies, you'll need to ask them for options. (They'll likely tell you to find a Windows or macOS machine.)

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