After Mike Laverick posted his experience with ESX Server and USB flash disks in another thread, I decided to figure out how to make it work.
Here's a quick rundown on setting up a USB flash disk (ie. pen drive, flash key, etc.) to install ESX Server.
\- You will need at least a 1 GB USB flash disk.
\- You must have
boththe ESX 3.x CD-ROM and ISO image handy.
boot.isofile in the
/imagesdirectory on the ESX 3.x CD-ROM. Copy
boot.isointo a temporary directory on your hard drive.
boot.isofile to your USB flash drive. On my PC, it's the
updatecd.cfgfiles from the USB flash disk.
isolinux.cfgfile on the USB flash disk to
syslinux.cfgfile and add the keyword usbto the end of every line that begins with
append. Here's what the file should look like when you're done:
syslinux.zip file into another temporary directory on your hard drive.
cdcommand to navigate into the
win32directory. For example:
9. Now, run the syslinux program to apply the boot loader and boot sector to the USB flash drive:</p>
syslinux -s e:
( On my PC, my USB flash drive is mounted as drive E: )
10. Finally, copy the ESX 3.x ISO image onto the flash drive:
+copy c:\iso\esx-3.0.1-32039.iso e:\ +
11. Confirm that your USB flash drive contains the following files:
12. You're all set! Unplug the USB flash drive, configure the BIOS on your server to boot from USB accordingly, and boot 'er up!
13. The ESX installer will detect the USB device and whatever SCSI / disk controllers you have. When the installer asks you what the installation source will be, choose
Great post Gents.
I have been following the instructions in the post and have not had success.
Is it possible to store the "ks.cfg" file on the usb stick and build servers with the CD and usb key?
Currently try to create a standard build for ESX 3.5 (esx-3.5.0-64607).
Actually I have gotten 6 or 7 different vendors that make USB keys to work. It came down to 2 factors, the tool I used to format the key, and making sure I had the right reference to the USB drive, some systems it shows up as sda, or sdb, or even sdc, once in a while something odd. The easiest way I know to find the USB key is to do an OEM install of ESX, with the key plugged in and then during the RPM loading, jump to ALT-F2 and do cat /proc/partitions, looking for the USB device. The one thing I have never got to work, is booting from USB and building from USB, anaconda via the partition python script just gets confused between read-write media and what it expects as read-only media as the source for the ESX source files. Same basic issue that is noted in this thread. We go absolutely no where with VMware on this issue, and with ESXi released, VMware is not motivated to solve the issue. Which I can understand, although I do not agree with the perspective.
Has anyone had success with using this method for ESX 3.5? I've integrated the pyc script as per SpiderMon's instructions over here, but it's still throwing an unhandled exception at partitioning, similiar to fbedell's on page 2 of this thread. The only other thing that I'm doing different (aside from using 3.5) is using grub as bootloader, which shouldn't matter at this point in the process. Any advice would be very appreciated.
You're probably better off using Ultimate Deployment Appliance -> http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/?page_id=366
Or, if you are just doing an upgrade, use the tarball method or the VUM method.
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Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld magazine
My ISP deleted my user directory on their server and all of my VMware-related files are gone. I'll see if I can find them on my home PC. If not, I'll try and recreate the steps for installing ESX 3.5 from USB flash.
thanks for the responses, ok I wait further news
2009/4/19, Paul Lalonde <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
A new message was posted in the thread "HOWTO: Installing ESX Server from a
USB flash drive":
Author : Paul Lalonde
Profile : http://communities.vmware.com/people/Paul Lalonde
Another option you might explore is UNetbootin:
Install this app, point it to your ISO (downloaded from VMware or customized), point it to a USB drive and go.
Only snag I've encoutered thusfar is a customized ISO with ~109 customized kickstart files. The menu it boots to only displayed the first ~20 or so files versus the full list.
If you install esx 3.0 or esx 2.5 off USB stick first, then you can install esx 3.5 and select 'upgrade' .. this bypasses the anaconda partitoning screen, so anaconda won't crash as it usually does during a fresh 3.5 install of USB stick.
neither local CDROm or Hard drive will allow me to access the USB stick. strange that the setup can boot to the USB stick but then cannot seem to see itself when its time to do the actual install. clearly this is a popular thread, and i think it would be great if VMware would just come out with a utility or something that properly sets up a USB stick for installing. It would save a lot of CDROMs going into the landfill and save a ton of time!
I am new to this thread. I have the similar problem when I try to insatll ESX 3.5 onto a HP server. I need replace the hdstg2.img file. But have problem to down load it from the link you supply. Please help me to get the right URL to download hdstg2.img
I have the exact same problem when I boot ESX 3.5 from USB on a HP server. But I have probem to download your hdstg2.img patch. I hope you can help to get this patch
Thanks in advance,
linli Zhao, email@example.com
2. Attach your USB Drive and run the MultibootISOs-v0.3.exe utility. Select your USB drive and follow the steps to completion.
3. Copy your ESX 3.5 ISO to the root of your USB Drive. In my case esx-3.5.0_Update05-207095.iso
4. Use Wordpad (not notepad) to edit menu.lst file on the
root of your USB drive. You'll see several bootable linux options in
this file. Of course, unless you've downloaded them, the ISOs for these
options don't exist. Since we've already added the ESX 3.5 ISO you'll
need add the following section to the end of then menu.lst file (adjust as needed for your version of ESX)
title ESX 3.5 Update 5 CDROM
find --set-root /esx-3.5.0_Update05-207095.iso
map /esx-3.5.0_Update05-207095.iso (hd32)
5. Remember to set your server to boot from USB drive and that should be it!~
When installing ESX from USB drive you will be prompted for the Source for ESX packages. Choose Hard Disk instead of CDROM and then in my case I selected /dev/sdb1.
Everything works great, with exception of the Anaconda Partition issue seen here on the previous threads. I'll update this post once I figure out a way to fix that issue.
I'm having the same issue others are having trying to download the hdstg2.img patch you so kindly posted. Broken link. I was wondering if you could send me copy and I'll be happy to post it on my website for others to access? Since it's 10mb you can send it to me through my gmail account firstname.lastname@example.org (they accept upto 25mb)
Since my HP server as only CD-ROM and not DVD, and the new VMware version is bigger(about 900Mb), I have try to install the VMware ESX 4.0 with the hmjones8 solution, all went well until the partition Options, then i get:
CD-ROM Missing: Insert the ESX Installation Media.
Any one have encounter this problem? How bypass this?
IT Network Manager
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