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Install ESXi from USB media

I know there is an official document about this and lots of information on the web, but I wanted to share my version...I think its mighty useful. This is from a Windows workstation and the procedure is written from memory, but it should get you there. This should also help those wanting to PXEboot. Also, if you get a big enough drive, you can save the OVA files for vCenter etc and have the whole kit-and-kaboodle in one place!

-----<I'm not responsible if you blow up your workstation e.g. format your hard drive>-------

1.Download SYSLINUX from http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/Download and unzip the contents. For the example, I'll assume you unzipped to c:\temp\syslinux
2.Insert a USB flash drive (even the new ones that don't have the RMB set work with this)
3.Identify what drive letter the flash drive received. For the example, I'll assume E:
4.Make sure it is formatted FAT32
5.Launch an elevated command prompt (as administrator)
6.type C:\temp\syslinux\bios\win32\syslinux.exe -mfa E: (MAKE SURE E IS YOUR FLASH DRIVE) and hit enter
7.Copy the following files to the root of your flash drive
8.Copy the ISO files of the ESXi installs you need (yep, you can have more than one depending on the size of the drive)
9.Create a syslinux.cfg file with the following (modify as you need for more entries)

DEFAULT menu.c32
MENU TITLE ESXi-5.5.0-1331820 Installation Menu
LABEL Universal Image
  KERNEL memdisk
  APPEND iso
  INITRD /ESXi-5.5.0-1331820-Universal.iso
  MENU LABEL ESXi-5.5.0-1331820 ^Universal Image

- Steve Please consider marking this answer "correct" or "helpful" if you found it useful. Steve Brill Virtualization Junkie VMware, SAN/NAS, Networking and Server Infrastructure Engineer
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