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 useful? install ESX4 from USB using unetbootin 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:02 pm
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Post useful? install ESX4 from USB using unetbootin
Is this useful for you guys?

How to install vSphere / ESX 4.1 from a bootable USB drive

Jason Thomasser’s Blog
“install ESX4 from USB using unetbootin” ... netbootin/

August 10, 2009 by jthomasser

i recently needed to install esx 4.0 onto an older server which did not have a dvd drive. after looking at many different methods for creating usb bootable drives , tricks, etc. nothing was particularly straight forward, with fat16, vs fat32, master boot records, dos bootable, etc…..

i came across unetbootin ( ) which is available as a windows or linux installable. i downloaded the windows version, plugged in my 4GB USB stick and ran it (it’s just an executable) on my laptop. I specified the ESX 4.0 image as the iso diskimage.

this created a perfectly bootable usb stick on a 4GB device. The creation took about 5-6 minutes on a USB 2.0 port on my laptop.

once completed I added askmedia to the boot options in the syslinux.cfg file because the default wants to boot from cdrom only.

edit syslinux.cfg

If you don’t want to do this you can select you install option for ESX and then add askmedia to the kernel parameters.

to install from USB make sure you can boot from “removable devices”, then go through the install questions. when it asks if you want to install from cdrom/usb, nfs, localdisk, etc. select cdrom/USB and install will proceed like from a DVD.

the upside of this approach is if you attempt to boot on an older server with only USB 1.1 which is all i had, you can use an alternate method for installing. i ended up specifying an NFS server and path which made considerably quicker work of getting data to the disk.

hopefully this was a useful trick for you to use.

Cheers – Jase

Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:38 pm
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