ESXi won’t boot from USB stick

I was installing ESXi 5.5 onto a USB stick today, something I have done hundreds of times. The install went fine, however no matter what I tried in the bios it just wouldn’t boot. Turns out, the server (in this case a HP DL380 G8) had no support for UEFI. Since ESXi5.5 installs as GPT by default this was never going to boot. The solution is to force the ESXi install to use MBR (were not going to make use of the GPT advantages on a 4GB USB stick anyway):

  • Boot from ESXi install media
  • Hit SHIFT+O when prompted
  • Enter "runweasel formatwithmbr" then hit enter to continue with the installer. (Note the word runweasel is already there, you just need to type <space> formatwithmbr.
  • Carry on the installer as you normally would…..
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