Have tried an install of VMware ESXi 5.1.0.
I downloaded iso and burned to dvd then proceeded.
The installation went fine but on restart in fails to boot with just a flashing cursor on screen.
The server is then unresponsive.
If I boot from DVD
choose boot from local drive
it boots and works ok.
I have registered the copy using the free hypervisor key, communicated with it using VSphere Client
and have successfully created VMs of winxp 32 and Windows Server 2012 64 with little or no issues.
Just not sure how to tackle the boot from hard drive problem?
The hardware I'm testing with is a bit old
i.e. TYAN S892 server board with 2 x dual core AMD Opteron 265 and 8Gb Ram
DVD and HDD (1TB Samsung) are both sata using on-board sata contoller
By default ESXi 5 creates a GUID partition table (GPT) which requires the host to support booting from this. If the host doesn't support it, you may reinstall (i.e. wiping everything on the disk) ESXi with an MBR partition table. To do this start the installation and press Shift-O on the boot screen, then append "formatwithmbr" to the command line. See e.g. http://vmtoday.com/2012/09/esxi-5-wont-boot-from-usb/
I tried your suggestion and chose the formatwithmbr option while performing an install on another HDD.
This made no difference to my problem, so having a look at the boot-from-usb link you provided, I simply changed the boot order so that it booted 1st from the HDD rather than DVD then HDD.
This worked for both GPT and MBR installations.
So for some reason the boot sequence hangs if the dvd is empty and doesn't carry on to the 2nd device in the BIOS's boot order.
Not sure why, but its not a really much of an issue now.
Have you installed another Boot Loader on this machine earlier??
It may interfere on this and be a reason.
If not, then the opposite, just try another Boot Loader.
Hope will help.