VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

How do I install ESXi on a USB drive

How can I install ESXi on a USB drive using the ISO file so I can boot from the USB drive? I am using a DELL LATITUDE D610 and it will not let me install it on the HD since it has an IDE controller. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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19 Replies
Rubeck
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

this is also a nice one: http://www.lamnet.nl/wordpress/?p=35

Duncan

My virtualisation blog:

If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

I follow the instructions using a Western Digital external USB drive. But even when I changed the boot order on the BIOS it keeps booting from windows on the HD. Any suggestions??

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

You actually need to use a USB Flash Drive - not just a USB connected HD.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

I also don't see any files on the drive...Is this normal?

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

The process will extract 4 partitions onto the USB flash drive. If you open it with a disk management app you should see Hypervisor0 --> Hypervisor3.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

How big does it need to be?

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

I use 1 GB, but the image is around 750 MB.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

Any specific brand or type I need to use?

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

I've used a corsair 1 GB and a kingston 4 GB - basically nothing special - they were the cheapest I could get.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

Apparently you can actually install it on a WD external USB drive, 120 GB,...I just did it. Now my question is.. can I store my VMs on the same drive? or do I need a separate drive for them?

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, I have the system running...How do I create a datastore now and start importing or creating VMs?? Can I use a second USB drive or use the same drive where the software is installed and running?...I keep getting this error when I try to import a virtual appliance

Index was out of range. Must be non-negative and less than the size of the collection. Parameter name: index

If not how do I create an NFS drive from a second USB drive to store the VMs or Virtual appliances?

Is there a free NFS server I can use to store the VMs that runs on windows XP?

Any suggestions on how to get a couple of VMs running will be greatly appreciated...

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

That's something new for today :). Any special BIOS setting? I take it this is a generic USB case?

In the VI client, on the summary page for host do you see a datastore listed? If so, you should then be able to create VMs on it and you should have plently of space. Not sure what performance will be like.

Usually for NFS I've used Unix Services for Windows. I'm not sure you can install that on XP? You could try this - http://www.rocketdivision.com/download_starwind.html. They have a free edition (1 connection only) and if you search the forums one of the guys from Rocketdivision would give you a free NFR license so you could connect 2 or more hosts. If you have a spare PC, take a look at openfiler.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

I used a WD standard USB external drive, 120 GB, and I have the server up and running but nothing shows up in the Summary tab under "datastore". I went to the "configuration" tab and the only 2 options are a "san/lun" or an "NFS" mount so I need an NFS server to make my 2nd drive available to store VMs. I have not found any docs focusing on this so I am trying whatever I can to get things running.

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amirs
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For best results, please keep the following in mind when creating your own ESXi USB image:

  • The USB flash storage device must be at least 1 GB in size. Once you flash ESXi onto the storage device, you should not use the residual space for any other storage.

  • Please use a USB 2.0 flash storage device.

  • Do not use any "U3" or any encryption-capable USB storage device. Encryption and security features make the device problematic for use with ESXi.

  • The USB device should be wear-leveled to ensure a longer lifetime.

Please note that VMware does not support user-generated versions USB-based ESXi.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

How can I create a datastore in the same drive I am running the ESXi server from??

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nick_couchman
Immortal
Immortal

Once you get ESXi up and running, log in with the VIClient and go to the Configuration -> Storage Adapters section to partition and configure a datastore. If ESXi didn't use up all of the available space for its own partitions, it should allow you to create a new partition and data store. If you're actually installing off the CD it does this for you automatically, consuming the remaining available space on the install drive for a datastore.

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VLTlorito
Contributor
Contributor

I am using a 120 GB WD USB with ESXi installed and running and it does not give me access to the rest of the disk. Any suggestions on how to install VMs on the rest of the disk will be greatly appreciated.

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amirs
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMFS does not install on USB devices. It requires SATA or SAS interfaces. In some cases, it also installs on some IDE devices.

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