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Windows 7: Esxi - Install Guest by booting from ISO image

12 Jun 2011   #1

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
Esxi - Install Guest by booting from ISO image

Hi all
sometimes you find that you can't install a VM or boot from an ISO located in the Data store when using vmware ESXi as a Host.

Ensure you do

1) upload the ISO image into an acessible datastore
2) In the VM settings for that virtual machine set the CD device to ISO image and select the file you transferred to your datastore

(You can transfer the file by using the Vsphere client, and on Datastore right mouse click to get the datastore browser -- then chose upload and upload your file).

3) click on the connect at power on for the ISO image

4) ALSO CLICK THE CONNECTED BOX --if you don't do this it won't boot from the ISO !!!!!

5) in the options for Boot click option Enter BIOS at next power on of the VM

6) Powe on the VM --you'll be presented with the Virtual BIOS where you can specify the Boot order -- put CD device at top.

7) Press F10 to exit --now you should find your VM will boot from the ISO image and you can install the guest from the Virtual CD.

Missing out option 5 causes a lot of problems -- the documentation is VERY UNCLEAR.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Backtrack 4 R2

I've actually never installed a VM using this method, i have always hosted the iso on the machine running Vsphere. Is there any advantage to doing it this way? just wondering, always willing to learn new things about VMware considering that is the way our enviroment is moving.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #3

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
One advantage in doing it this way is that since the ISO is now located in the data store on the SERVER then if you need it again for any reason you don't have to find out which CLIENT has the iso.

Sometimes you want to re-create the VM or buld another one from scratch. If you have large data stores on the ESXI server you can conviently store stuff there.

Another advantage is that since the ISO is LOCALLY ON ON the server you don't get a huge amount of network overhead when transferring / reading data from the storage devices since these are locally attached to the server rather than having to use a Virtual network to transfer large quantites of data from.

(You can delete the data if you don't need it via datastore browser).

Incidentally using the Esxi server for other data is also fine -- use WINSCP (Free) for transferring data to folders on the server -- enable SSH on the server first however.

Since I have around 6 TB of data on the server I use this for storing a lot of data that other client machines can access

As this is a HOME server this is fine but I wouldn't store private data like this on a production server.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Esxi - Install Guest by booting from ISO image

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