Jul 16 2010
One of the best and easiest way to start with VMware ESXi is to install it on a USB stick. This way you do not need to install ESXi on a harddrive and can you use hardware to boot from the stick.
In this tutorial I use VMware Workstation to create the USB stick. (please be aware that your host system where VMware Workstation is installed on must have a 64 bit (x64) Operating System.
Before you start, make sure there is nothing (important) left on the USB stick and format the USB stick. (I used HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool) that you can find here:
now remove the USB stick for now.
start VMware Workstation and make sure your Status Bar is enabled under View.
now create a new VM; select the ESXi ISO image (eg: VMware-VMvisor-Installer-4.1.0-260247.x86_64.iso) as the installer disk,VMware ESX as the Guest OS, and disable power on this virtual machine after creation.
Next edit the virtual machine setting for this VM remove the disk, and add a USB controller with all 3 options enabled (so including Show all input USB devices!)
start the VM, and make sure you select
Insert the USB key, and select connect (disconnect from host) for the new icon (your USB disk)
Select the option ESXi installer on the VM enter and F-11 as requested, and select the USB device to install your
ESXi… Let it complete install, and you have your ESXi USB stick!