How To: Create an ESXi USB Key


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In this short tutorial you’ll learn how to create an ESXi USB Key.

Before we start you need the following tools:

  • 7-Zip
  • Winimage
  • VMware ESX 3i installer CD

After installing the tools we need to extract the *.dd file. Open the VMware-VMvisor-InstallerCD-3.5.0_UpdateX-XXXXXX.i386.iso with 7-Zip. Right click on install.tar and press Open Inside. Remember the Ctrl+PgDn shortcut.

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Open usr\lib\vmware\installer. Select VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_4-153875.i386.dd.bz2 and press Ctrl+PgDn again.

Extract the VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_4-153875.i386.dd file.

 

Now we have the *.dd file and we can write it back to an USB Key.

Open WinImage and pres Disk followed by Restore Virtual Hard Disk image on physical drive…

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Select the USB Key. In my case it’s a SanDisk Cruzer.

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Open de *.dd file and answer Yes on the LAST WARNING.

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When the wizard completes without an error. The USB Key is ready to use.

 

Update:

if you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7 x64 you might get an error like this:

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If someone knows a solution for this problem please leave a comment. If you run this tutorial on a Windows XP machine, it will work as expected.