How to create a bootable USB disk for VMware ESX 5.x installation

One question that I get asked alot is how to create a bootable USB disk especially for installation for ESX and Linux distros. There are probably multiple ways to do this but I effectly use a free tool call UNetbootin, this utility has binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac so works great whatever your desktop of choice, now burning CDs becomes a thing of the past.

1. Download UNetbootin and run the software (WindowsMac OS XLinux).

2. Download the VMware vSphere 5 ISO file -> VMware Download Center.

3. Start the UNetbootin application and choose Diskimage (ISO) and browse to the downloaded ISO file.

4. Choose Type: USB Drive and choose the correct USB drive letter that you want the bootable installer to be installed to( make sure your USB drive is formatted as FAT32 and not NTFS)

5. You are now done! Just make sure you select the correct boot sequence in your BIOS so that the USB drive boots first.

About virtuallylg

Hello, my name is Lorenzo Galelli, I have been working with availability and virtualization solutions for Symantec for over a decade now and its amazing to see the impact virtualization has brought to the world of IT. During my time at Symantec I have worked as a systems engineer for customers big and small and seen a vast array of different virtualization projects. I am currently Technical Product Manager for ApplicationHA for VMware and KVM and I also have focus on VDI especially with Symantec's VirtualStore and FileStore technologies. Follow my blog for all things Symantec and virtualization. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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13 Responses to How to create a bootable USB disk for VMware ESX 5.x installation

  1. kevinlandwaster says:


  2. mkhushf says:

    All I can say is this was GREAT !
    Thank You.

  3. Chris says:

    Many thanks Lorenzo – this has saved me a lot of hassle!

  4. Micke says:

    Thank You!!

  5. Charly says:

    Thanks a lot. I can not understand the insistence of vmware in using linux commands to do it harder.

  6. says:

    Thanks! Really helped!

  7. Cleyton says:

    Obrigado, ajudou muito

  8. LG says:

    Awesome. Worked perfectly.

  9. Tim says:

    Thanks! This was really helpful.

  10. Shashi says:

    It is really a good tool to have. Works great with VMware ESXi 5.5 ISO.
    I used other tools which didn’t work at all.

  11. Matt says:

    Worked for me. Just make sure the USB stick is formatted FAT32 not NTFS

  12. Bart Scheffer says:

    KIS : Keep It Simple , awsome tool

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