***Please use this supported method instead of the one below***
The procedure has not changed much since ESXi 3.5 but I thought I would document it anyway. A lot of people seem to end up here by googling “USB ESXi vSphere”.
Here you go:
- First get the following tools: 7-Zip(Free), WinImage(Demo)
- Download the ESXi ISO (VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.0.0-164009.x86_64.iso)
- Open the ISO with 7-Zip
- Open “image.tgz” with 7-Zip
- Browse to “image.tgz.temptarusrlibvmwareinstallerVMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd.bz2”
- Extract “VMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd”
- Open WinImage and go to Disk, click on “Restore Virtual Harddisk Image on physical drive”
- Select a physical drive
- Select “VMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd”
- And click “yes” to write the DD image to the USB Disk
Done! Now, let’s see if I can get my old Dell GX620 running with vSphere ESXi
Just wonder how was the initial bootup loading and performance?
Your Dell GX260 has an x86_64 compatible CPU? 😉
Duncan Epping says
yes it does… 🙂
I guess I’m just dyslexic… I misread that as GX260 instead of GX620. 😛
You can install directly to the USB stick by booting on the install CD, I rebuilt my two BL460c boxes this way.
How big does the USB stick need to be?
Duncan Epping says
Also the same as before, you can use dd under linux/cygwin
dd if=VMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd of= bs=1M
trimmed my brackets….
Hi Duncan, I have successfully used your method to deploy ESXi4 on USB keys. The only way to run VMs is to attached a data store via iSCSI, NFS or local drives. Personally I want to use the USB key itself to store my VMs but could not find out a way… Any idea ?
I had for a couple of month a ESXi 3.5 working fine… how is the procedure to upgrade to ESXi 4? is it safe?
Winimage is not working on Windows Vista. You can use roadkil diskimage (http://www.roadkil.net/) to write the files to a usb stick…
Actually, the method has changed considerably since ESX 3.5. In fact, the CD-ROM installer will find your USB flash drive and install directly to it without resorting to imaging or dd.
The process – from CD-boot to initial start-up – is about 14 minutes long, depending on CD-ROM speed and flash speed.
Caden Alexander says
Tom Cruise have dyslexia and yet he is still a very successful actor..~*
How can I install the vsphere onto USB drive?
Not to boot from USB but to install it to USB….
ANy help is much appreciated.