create usb install for esx / esxi

First format your usb / flash drive with FAT. Then copy all the contents of the installer .iso onto the drive.

Next delete isolinux.bin and rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg

Edit syslinux.cfg and append “usb” to the line starting with “append” … i.e. similar to this

append vmkboot.gz — vmkernel.gz — sys.vgz — cim.vgz — ienviron.tgz — image.tgz — install.tgz usb

Next grab the latest syslinux.exe (zip for windows) from here and run syslinux -s –ma <driveletter>:


boot esx from usb drive

Its quite easy to boot esx from a usb device or flash card..

First download the .iso, then browse with winrar or similar. See if you can find the “big”.dd file this is the file we need.

i.e. the ESXi 4 file is called VMware-VMvisor-big-208167-x86_64.dd

Next grab WinImage and “restore image to physical harddrive” choose the .dd file the select your usb / flash drive.