An ISO to install ESX on a Dell Poweredge server has been downloaded and copied to an external hard drive.

Boot from USB was enabled as follows:

  • F2 (Entering System Setup)
  • Boot Settings
    • USB Flash Drive Emulation Type
      • Front USB: USB Flash Disk: Hard Disk
    • Boot Sequence
        1. Hard Drive C: (Front USB: USB Flash Disk)

However, once this external hard drive has been connected to one of the USB ports, boot from USB does not appear in the F11 menu:

  • F11 (Entering BIOS Boot Manager)
    • Hard Drive C:
      • Slot 1 ...

Use unetbootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/) and write the ISO to the usb drive. I've done it before, and it works great.

  • After placing the ISO on the USB using this program, Front USB: USB Flash Disk appeared as another Boot option (+1). The ESX software is installing now. Thank you. – 030 Aug 11 '14 at 10:10
  1. Download the iso of esxi from dell with their drivers added.
  2. Browse to the webpage of your drac and open a console view.
  3. Mount the iso and boot off it.

(to boot esx from USB install to the USB stick rather than the HD)

You can also install (not boot) ESXi from PXE network boot or with physical access use a USB CD drive.

  • works great if you have iDrac – Steve Butler Aug 8 '14 at 21:26
  • @SteveButler In all honesty, not having the out of band management module in a production server these days (be it iDRAC, iLO or whatever the other vendors use) strikes me as irresponsible and unprofessional. Even the cheap, crazy bastards I work for spring for the Enterprise/Advanced iDRAC/iLO licenses, for crying out loud. – HopelessN00b Aug 9 '14 at 2:21

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.