I need to create a bootable USB to install ESXi 5.5

I've downloaded a .iso with ESXi 5.5 and created a DVD with  it.

But for some reason, my machine won't boot from that DVD.

How can I create a USB with that .iso that will boot and install VMware ESXi ?

Dwight BaerStudentAsked:
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DeadmanIT ConsultantCommented:
You can use third party freeware software Rufus. Its a very good app.
Just give a try.
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Rufus doesn't like the .iso I downloaded from VMware.  It says it's an unrecognizable format.  Maybe the .iso is corrupted.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Use YUMI, we've used it to install ESXi host in the datacenter where we didn't have access to CD/DVD drives.

Can also use for other OS types, good selection

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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
To be more specific, the Rufus error message is:  "Unsupported image - This image is either non-bootable, or it uses a boot or compression method that is not supported by Rufus... "
DeadmanIT ConsultantCommented:
Format a USB Flash Drive to Boot the ESXi Installation or Upgrade


Hope this helps you.
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Deadman:  Strange that they don't offer a Windows-based procedure.  I don't have a linux machine booted up at the moment.
Paulsolov:  YUMI also can't recognize the .iso.  Must be a corrupted download.  I'm re-downloading it.
DeadmanIT ConsultantCommented:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We use the following, although boot from USB is not supported


Try burning the iso to a CD. Many older servers don't have a DVD drive, but rather only a CD drive, and the ESXi iso fits without issues onto a CD (you are also wasting space if you use a DVD...).

But before you do that make sure your server supports ESXi. If it only has a CD drive, it is likely to be old and the CPU may not include VT support, or it is only a 32bit CPU rather than a 64bit CPU, both of which are necessary for ESXi to run.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would recommend checking the MD5 HASH, which VMware provides, to check you have a good download, and it's not corrupted!
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Checking on the hash now, but I've downloaded this .iso twice and it's the same number of bytes.

It's 3.5 GB ... Can't put it on a CD.

I don't understand your comment, Andrew, about USB not being supported.  I've installed ESXi previously on this server (an i5 machine, 16 GB RAM, about 5 years old) ... using a USB drive.  The reason I'm reinstalling it is because the download I used previously somehow doesn't match the legal key that I'm provided.  I'd like this installation to persist past the 90-day trial period.

The download I'm using is VMware-VIMSetup-all-5.5.0-2183112-20140901-update02.iso (3,599,658 KB)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You are not

I've downloaded a .iso with ESXi 5.5 and created a DVD with  it.


The file you have downloaded is the vCenter Server media!

You want this file


it's only 350MB!

Try and burn that on a CD-R.

It's called

ESXi 5.5 Update 3b ISO image (Includes VMware Tools). Click here for more details.

A quick tip, if you have a Server, e.g. Dell/IBM/HP/Fujitsu, you will want to use the OEM version of ESXi available from the Server Vendor website.

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Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 150 points for hanccocka's comment #a41399333
Assisted answer: 50 points for 2gainknowledge's comment #a41398798
Assisted answer: 0 points for dwightbaer04's comment #a41398799
Assisted answer: 50 points for paulsolov's comment #a41398805
Assisted answer: 0 points for dwightbaer04's comment #a41398806
Assisted answer: 50 points for 2gainknowledge's comment #a41398820
Assisted answer: 0 points for dwightbaer04's comment #a41398824
Assisted answer: 50 points for 2gainknowledge's comment #a41398830
Assisted answer: 50 points for hanccocka's comment #a41398889
Assisted answer: 50 points for rindi's comment #a41398921
Assisted answer: 50 points for hanccocka's comment #a41398970
Assisted answer: 0 points for dwightbaer04's comment #a41399240

for the following reason:

Thank you so much:  Deadman, Paulsolov, Rindi, and especially Andrew.

Meanwhile, I managed to contact VMware and the guy webex'ed into my machine and applied my license to my previous installation.

But I will be reinstalling at some point before long, so it's all good.

Now on to installing vCenter  Server, and then Horizon ... which is the point of the exercise.  :)
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Well, I hear you.  Except my question was "How to create a bootable USB".  All the responses that answered that question were perfectly good responses.  I'll be using those tools later on.  I learned a lot.

Andrew "went the extra mile" after I told him the exact filename that I was downloading, and he knew that it wasn't what I wanted to be using, for this particular context.  But my question was general, and I think the responses were all relevant.
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
thermoduric:  Thanks for making me accountable.  I try to assign my points carefully and almost always I do so after resolving the issue.  (Sometimes issues can't be resolved;  sometimes they can't be resolved in the time-frame;  sometimes I get distracted and don't properly "do the paperwork", I admit.)
1.  Deadman - suggested Rufus - Yes I tried it and it works just fine, except not for that particular iso.  I've used it since for other iso's.  I gave him 50 points.  In retrospect I wish I'd given him more, because I do try to give a few more points to the "first responder".

2. Paulsolov - Yumi - I downloaded it, but didn't try it two days ago, since in the meantime Andrew Hancock made a suggestion.  I have worked a lot with Andrew and respect his suggestions.  He suggested unetbootin, which I have since tried with the correct iso, and it works.

In the meantime, yes, I have tried Yumi and it works just fine.  (using the correct download)

3.  Deadman suggested a procedure from the vmware site.  This would be a great procedure if I were using Linux.  But I'm using Windows.  But I  still think his suggestion is great for anybody who's using LInux.  It's on the vmware site, therefore of any suggestions it's probably one of the most reliable.

4. Deadman then suggested a procedure from virten.net.  It uses rufus as well.  I didn't actually try this, because by then it was after midnight.  When I came back to this issue at 8:15 the next morning, by then Hancock had pointed out that although there are two .iso files in the download from vmware, only one of them is bootable.

5. I did use Hancock's suggestion about checking the MD5 hash.  I'm doing that consistently now.

So after spending more time now and having carefully looked at all the solutions that I accepted, I can't find any suggestions that were wrong.  The one suggestion that I completely didn't try was Yumi, and I have since tried it and it works.

I completely value the help I receive from Experts Exchange.  In the future I will be more careful to document any solution that I accept in order to make it clear that it is a viable solution, even though it may not be the solution that I chose in the end.  Why should I not award points for a working solution, even if I didn't choose it?

Summary:  I can't think why I would want to delete any of the above accepted responses.

Thanks again Modalot and thermoduric for making me accountable.  I hope my EE reputation isn't in tatters after this episode.  I do love Experts Exchange.
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
One more thing.  I see this hasn't been closed yet, so may I make one more comment.

This is important because it bears on how I close every one of my EE questions.

I accept answers and assign points with three considerations:
1.  It's a way of saying "Thank you" to somebody who spent their valuable time, without payment, to help me solve my problem.
2.  For my own selfish reasons, it's an archive that I can go back to later to review what I've learned, and
3.  I understand that EE has its own reputation to be concerned about.  We all want EE to gain a reputation in the community, and in the world for that matter, as being a reliable source of good information.  For this reason, it is critical that I not accept a solution which is blatantly wrong.

I think Modalot's complaint was primarily because he suspected that I had accepted a suggestion that I hadn't actually downloaded and tried, and which was potentially wrong.  To a certain extent he was correct;  since then I've tried out the Yumi suggestion and it works just fine.

With regard to the point of there were suggestions made that didn't relate directly to the actual problem I was having (i.e. I was using the wrong iso file) ... I still maintain that anybody who reads this archive stands to gain valuable insights from it.  I have (now) actually tested all the suggestions.  There's nothing there that's actually wrong.  And I do want to be allowed to say "Thank you" to my friends at EE who try to help me out.

Thanks for listening to me rant one more time.  Modalot and thermoduric ... if you still disagree with me, then what do you want me to do?
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.

Summary (I think) (for my own future benefit):  Don't accept a response that you haven't read carefully;  particularly make sure you don't accept a suggestion that's actually wrong.
Dwight BaerStudentAuthor Commented:
Summary:  My problem, identified by Andrew Hancock, was that I was using the wrong .iso ... There were two .iso's in the download, and I was using the wrong one.  Nevertheless, I learned a lot in this exercise about creating a bootable USB stick.  And a few other things.
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