Trying to install ESXi 5.5 on Workstation 12 Pro and getting "A fault has occurred causing a virtual CPU to enter the shutdown state."

Trying to install ESXi 5.5 on Workstation 12 Pro and getting this error while the installer is loading:

A fault has occurred causing a virtual CPU to enter the shutdown state. If this fault had occurred outside of a virtual machine, it would have caused the physical machine to restart. The shutdown state can be reached by incorrectly configuring the virtual machine, a bug in the guest operating system, or a problem in VMware Workstation.

Click OK to restart the virtual machine or Cancel to power off the virtual machine.

I have changed to EFI BIOS and I am booting from a physical USB stick that is passed through to the virtual machine. The EFI BIOS allows me to select the menu item "EFI USB Device" which lets me boot from the USB that I passed through.

I would like to install the ESXi in workstation, but this fault is not making it happen. When I created the virtual machine  I chose VMware ESX as the type and VMware ESXi 5 as the version. Gave it 4 GB of memory, 2 processors with 1 core each and a 8 GB HD.
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itniflAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Why not use the ISO from VMware, select the ISO in VMware Workstation, and let it do an easy install.

This should work  first time.
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itniflAuthor Commented:
Want to use the virtual machine to test scripted usb install. Can do it on a HP GEN8 host, but the boot time is a lot longer.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESXi installs normally on VMware Workstation 10, 11 and 12. (from an ISO)

The issue with VMware Workstation is USB Passthrough, is not available at BOOT/POST, unlike a real computer.
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itniflAuthor Commented:
Boot via USB is available all right, that is not the issue. Like I describe in the question, this is what I am doing to boot: http://www.virten.net/2014/12/howto-usb-boot-a-vm-in-vmware-workstation-11/

Have no idea if it has any effect on my error message, I guess it would not, but who knows.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you use PLOP Boot Manager, does it fix the issue?

https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/download.html

Do you get the ESXi installer menu ?

If you install traditionally from ISO, do you get the same issue ?
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itniflAuthor Commented:
PLOP Boot Manager was actually the first thing I tried before I tried the EFI bios USB boot. For some reason it can't find my USB device. EFI bios USB boot thinks different.

I tried now installing ESXi 5.5 from a standard iso as you suggested instead of booting from usb and it failed the same way. Also tried the HP specific install image, failed the same way.

BUT, I then just to try, tried installing ESXi 6.0 after changing the VM version to ESXi 6, and then the error did not happen. Then tried to change back to ESXi 5 and install 5.5, same error again. Have no idea why ESXi 6 works.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have access to VMware Workstation 11.0, maybe there is a new bug in 12.0.
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itniflAuthor Commented:
It looks like it was a bug. I can install ESXi 5.5 from iso and usb with the newest version of Workstation 11. I have to boot to USB with PLOP Boot Manage in Workstation 11, it seems that EFI bios USB boot only is available in the 12 version of Workstation (I was using 12 Pro). I am not sure if the problem could have lied in the Hardware compatibility version, because I had to change that to 11 in the VM when I downgraded Workstation. I will try to install Workstation 12 and test if it works better with hardware compatibility version 11 and post the results.
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itniflAuthor Commented:
When installing Workstation 12 Pro and using hardware version for Workstation 11, the same error happened as in the beginning of this thread when I booted to USB passhtrough via EFI BIOS. But this time Ploop boot manager was able to boot from USB, which was not possible on hardware version for Workstation 12 the first time I used Workstation 12 Pro.

So I guess it looks like USB pass through doesn't like to boot ESXi 5.5 via EFI USB boot (which is only available in Workstation 12 Pro at the time of this writing), and that Ploop Boot manager doesn't like the newest hardware version used in Workstation 12(works in Workstation 12, but with hardware version from Workstation 11).

Further testing might reveal more information that changes the picture I guess, but leaving it at that.
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itniflAuthor Commented:
Also I noticed that boot via PLOP Boot Manager only works if I set the virtual USB port to USB 2.0 and use a USB 2.0 stick. If I use any combination of 3.0 stick or virtual USB port, the boot just hangs.
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