Update: You should really check the latest post on How to create bootable VMware ESXi 5 U1 by using VMware Player for Free – It's the fastest and easiest method to create bootable USB memory stick with the latest Free VMware ESXi 5 U1 hypervisor.
Written in the past (some time ago…) , I published a how-to called “Howto install ESXi 3.5 update 3 on USB memory key“. The things has changed today a bit. The how-to is about the same but ESXi 4.0 and vSphere is new and it rocks…. We are in the ESX 4 Era… With ESX Server (vSphere) and more than 150 new features packed inside….
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VMware with vSphere are distancing even more the competition with the performances of vSphere greatly improved. Microsoft's Hyper-V R2 is still in Beta….. Clearly, the time for an investment into a Virtual Infrastructure with VMware was never been more advantageous. Prices for the SMB market are starting from $166 per CPU. Each physical server may contain up to two phycial processors with up to 6 cores per processor.
Ok, here is the how-to:
01.) Get this 2 tools to acomplish the task. IZArc, and also WinImage. (trial)
02.) Head to VMware Website and download the ESXi 4.0 vSphere – register for the free for the download. Here is the link.
03.)Save the file to the C drive for example.
04.) Open the ISO file with IZArc and extract the whole content to c:Vmware-VMvisor-Installer-4.0.0-164009.x86_64 folder .
05.) Browse to “image.tgz.temptarusrlibvmwareinstallerVMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd.bz2”
Extract the “VMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd” file. You'll have to extract the “image.tgz.temptar” file first…
06.) From just open Winimage, and goto file menu: Disk > “Restore Virtual Harddisk Image on physical drive”
07.) Select your USB drive
08.) Select The file “VMware-VMvisor-big-164009-x86_64.dd” that you extracted earlier.
09.) Click Yes to write the image to the USB Memory Stick. (ooups… I'm running on French Windows here…… -:) ? It's because I have 3 different language versions on my Desktop at home… Where I use VMware Workstation as a Virtual Lab. I hope that you don't mind, the tuto is quite easy to follow…) . If you got any trouble, just comment below and I'll try to help.. -:)
10.) And the result of your effort should look like this.