If you are running a VMware product on Ubuntu (or another Linux host I suspect) then you may encounter a problem when trying to mount/attach a USB device plugged into your host, to one of your virtual machines. The error message I was getting was “Remote USB device error: Remote device disconnected: an error occured while sending data.” – not very helpful.
Tracked this down to the permissions, (on *nix its always permissions -but in a good way!) on the usb device node and the fact that you are running the virtual machine as a non root user that doesnt have the right permissions to the usb node.
To fix this, open Terminal and type:
sudo chmod -R 777 /dev/bus/usb
Of course, after a reboot the permissions will be reset but there are many ways to automatically set this so its permanent.