HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
MVE^2, Expert of the Year 2017-2011, Scribe 2016-2012, Author of the Year 2018-6,2013-2012 VMware vExpert 2019-2011 30 years of experience.
This article will show you how to create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5). It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installations fail because of a corrupt iso image.
In my previous Experts Exchange Articles, most have featured Basic and Intermediate VMware and Virtualisation Topics. 

If you would like to read my Basic VMware articles, they are listed at the end of this article for your convenience.

In this series of basic VMware articles for the Novice, I'll be showing you the basic VMware skills required to install, configure and deploy virtual machines using VMware's FREE VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi).

What is an ISO? (Andy's Laymen Definition)
An ISO is an image or bit copy of a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, the ISO is a file, similar to a compressed archived file, this *.iso file contains the data from a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. The ISO file is a virtual CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. Using an *.iso file has many advantages, some are listed below:-

The original CDROM/DVD-ROM can be stored securely, and is no longer required, after an ISO image has been created.
Multiple virtual machines can use the same *.iso concurrently.
Computers without a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM reader can use the data stored on the *.iso file.
Installing OS (operating systems) or transferring data is faster.

1. Prerequisites

2. Install InfraRecorder

Download InfraRecorder from https://www.fosshub.com/InfraRecorder.html. We like to use InfraRecorder, because it is a small lightweight application, and there is a portable version which does not have to be installed. In this article, I'm using the installable 64 bit version - InfraRecorder Windows Installer 64-bit.

InfraRecorder-Language-000309.jpgSelect the required language and Click OK and continue

InfraRecorder-Setup-000310.jpgat the Welcome to the InfraRecorder Setup Wizard, Click Next to continue

InfraRecorder-Setup-000311.jpgClick "I Agree" to Accept the terms of the License Agreement.

InfraRecorder-Setup-000312.jpgSelect all the components that are required, and Click Next to continue.

InfraRecorder-Setup-000313.jpgSelect the Install Location, and select Next to continue

InfraRecorder-Setup-000314.jpgClick Close to complete the installation.

The installer will Complete the software installation, it only takes a few seconds to complete. Click Close to complete the installation.

3. Create an ISO image file

Insert an original operating system CD-ROM/DVD-ROM into your optical media device.  In this example, we are using an Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 CDROM.

InfraRecorder-000315.jpgClick Read Disc.
InfraRecorder-000317.jpgSelect your CDROM drive, and enter a valid Windows filename and click OK to create the ISO.The data will be copied from the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, and the ISO image will be created.

Creating-Image-000318.jpgCreating-Image-000319.jpgEdit-Article-000320.jpgEdit-Article-000321.jpgEdit-Article-000322.jpgThis can take several minutes to complete.

Select OK to complete the operation. The ISO image file has been created.

4. Creating a MD5 checksum signature of the ISO image file

We will use the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utility to create a MD5 checksum signature for our freshly created ISO image file. This is important, so we can compare these signatures, once we have completed the transfer to our VMware host servers, and confirm the ISO image file has not been corrupted in transfer.
MD5---SHA-Checksum-Utility-2.1-00032.jpgDouble-Click and start the MD5 & SHA-1 Checksum Utility 2.1 application. Click browse and select your freshly created ISO image file.
MD5---SHA-Checksum-Utility-2.1-00032.jpgShortly after selecting the ISO file, the application will start calculating the MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256 and SHA-512 checksums for the file, this can take a few minutes depending upon the size of the ISO image file, which needs to be read.

The MD5 checksum for my WindowsNTServer40.iso are:-

MD5 Checksum: 205AFCB572EA557C2E63E3292B47ED95
SHA-1 Checksum: 17BED61D821BBB2FAD15F40E3D9D07BBC288635C
SHA-256 Checksum: 59D5C50B94ED575EC3C6CC5F62E4091B5746D9734D8F620EC5956EBCB0CD9930
SHA-512 Checksum: F093B1E1F96C81B38FB098158D342355FEDE2B47E3C62976C29F9B7A68568AD75319364F57703E1F3660EB120A3003C993DF4438439B84C18B0BC8740C04C2C7
Generated by MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility @ http://raylin.wordpress.com/downloads/md5-sha-1-checksum-utility

Please note the MD5 checksum value for use with the  VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5.1 (ESXi 6.5)

Congratulations you have successfully created your first ISO (*.iso), and created a MD5 checksum signature for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5).

In my next Article in this series, we will show you HOW TO: Upload and Check the MD5 signature of an ISO CD/DVD image to a VMware datastore using the VMware Host Client, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5)

Basic VMware Articles Series: 
These articles are also applicable to VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0.
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