Create a Bootable ESXi Installer USB Flash Drive

For servers without CD drive or remote KVM you might want to use an USB Flash Drive to install ESXi to the hardware. This post explains how to create a bootable ESXi Installer USB Flash Drive in less than 2 minutes. The Flash Drive will work totally identical to an Installable CD.

esxi-installer-rufus

  1. Download Rufus
  2. Download or create an ESXi Image
  3. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer
  4. Open Rufus
    rufus-icon
  5. Select your Device
  6. Select your ISO file
    rufus-select-iso
  7. Select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers
  8. Press Start
    create-usb-esxi-installer-with-rufus
  9. Select Yes when it asks to replace menu.c32.
    replace-menu-c32-warning
  10. Rufus will now create your bootable ESXi Installer USB Flash Drive. This will take about one minute.
    rufus-copying-iso-files

Additional Hint
When you boot a server with this USB Flash Drive the ESXi Installer will copy the whole installer to the memory which means that you can install ESXi to the device where you are installing from. Just select it during the installation. This also works for diskless ESXi hosts where you want to install ESXi to an SD Card.install-esxi-to-usb-flash-drive

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23 Comments.

  1. Customized ESXi Image for Intel NUC | Virten.net - pingback on December 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm
  2. Unattended ESXi Installations from an USB Flash Drive | Virten.net - pingback on December 12, 2014 at 11:26 am
  3. Thanks! Works great! :razz:

  4. VMware Homeserver – ESXi on Gigabytes BRIX | Virten.net - pingback on February 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm
  5. Yep it really work :cool:
    Many thanks for you for help!

  6. Can someone help me figure out why the USB install on my NUC 5i5RYK doesnt see my Transcend 128 GB SSD M.2 drive as an option? The only option available is to install back on the USB.

  7. thank, it work perfectly. currently I use it with vSpare Hypervisor v6

  8. Thanks for this guide, I asked how to do this on another thread and my answer was right here! I'm using this for 1st Intel NUC that arrives tomorrow. . So, first NUC, first time using ESXI. It is going to be an adventure!

  9. hero status! thnx for making this!

  10. Great article. Thanks!

  11. Instalando vSphere (I) – El Ñapas - pingback on April 8, 2016 at 9:33 pm
  12. Wonderful! This worked great. Thank you!!

  13. Thanks great article and works fine.

  14. Exelent and simple guide! Worked OK!

  15. Free ESXi 6.5 – How to Download and get License Keys | Virten.net - pingback on November 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm
  16. I created the USB boot drive with the procedure but didn't work ... in boot sequence appear Unknown Device. What could be the problema?

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