Howto USB Boot a VM in VMware Workstation 11

VMware Workstation 11 does now support EFI boot configuration in the GUI which enables you to boot from an USB disk without workarounds. You do not have to edit vmx files or use workarounds like mounting USB drives as physical disk or booting with Plop Boot Manager.

  1. Open Edit virtual machine settings
  2. Select Options tab
  3. Open Advanced
  4. Enable Boot with EFI instead of BIOS
    enable-efi-boot-in-workstation11
  5. Click OK
  6. Power on the VM
  7. Rightclick the USB disk icon
    usb-disk-in-workstation11
  8. Select Connect (Disconnect from Host)
    connect-usb-device-to-vm
  9. Power off the VM
  10. Rightclick the VM and select Power > Power On to Firmware
    power-on-to-firmware
  11. Select EFI USB Device and press Enter
    Clipboard01
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19 Comments.

  1. Hello,

    I've followed your step but I was never able to see the EFI USB device on the blue screen. What am I missing?

    Regards,

    Muksha

    • Is the USB Device connected? (Icon at the bottom right corner)

      • Yes, Of course.

        In Step 7 & 8, Are you connecting or disconnecting the usb drive?

        • I am now able to see EFI USB Device in Boot manager. I had to plug the stick in USB 2 input. The Stick is USB 3 - should be backward compatible.

          Nothing happens after selecting EFI USB device. It comes back to same boot manager screen. When I hit enter key continuously, I see "unsuccessful" flashing in the background. Any suggestions are appreciated.

      • what iso exactly did you use please?

        • fgrehl i'm asking.. i have a guarenteed efi disk and it wouldn't take it. I was finally able to get EFI usb device to show up but now it wont continue. Please just tell us what u used to test

  2. This has not worked for me either. I have USB2 and USB3 bootable flash drives. I have the same experience as Muksha. In a USB3 port there is no "EFI USB Device" option. In a USB2 port the option is there but it never successfully boots off the usb. No error. Just keeps coming back to the same boot screen. Anyone get past this?

  3. Having same problem. I get the Blue Screen and select boot from USB but it doesn't work.
    Do we need a particular USB Boot disk format for this to Work?
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi all, same as above with VMware Player 12 also.
    I tried with a new empty 64-bit VM and a 32-bit one as well, no changes. USB v2 of course. I used a Windows 10 DVD which boots on the physical machine to make the USB stick with Rufus. I believe the problem is the USB handling itself.
    Thanks in advance for helping.

  5. That's strange. I've tried to reproduce the issue, but I couldn't. It works with MBR and GPT USB Sticks. Any ideas?

  6. Md.Moniruzzaman

    This is worked for me.I have searched many forum to for uefi usb booting but failed to get one. Thank you very much for such a good post.

  7. portable vmware workstation avail

  8. Balubeto Balubeto

    This procedure of the dual-boot of a VM, in order to boot from a USB device, can also be applied for the WS 12.x or it can be simplified with a single boot?

    Thanks

    Bye

  9. Thorsten Albrecht

    I'd like to confirm that this procedure works with Workstation 12.1.0 and a Windows 10 USB stick which I created with MediaCreationTool.exe from Microsoft on 6/6/2016 (Windows 10 b1115 (Build 10586.164)

    Thorsten

  10. Does this require the paid version of Workstation? I'm using a free version and I don't see an "Advanced" section under Options.

  11. ¡Great post!

    The procedure works if your USB stick has been created with EFI.

    If your USB stick has been created with BIOS, you can use this free tool: Plop Boot Manager

    Here a guide that explains how it works:

    http://www.sysadmit.com/2016/09/vmware-workstation-arrancar-desde-usb.html

  12. Thanks for the info. Note that the 'right' USB icon (the one that the author did indicate with the red square) has to be clicked. For me it took 3 boots to realize that I was trying to boot from the Validity Sensor...

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