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Creating a bootable USB ISO image

I was browsing across some forums and notice someone mentioning using a tool called Rufus to create a bootable USB stick from a ISO image of Windows. So I thought let me give it a go with a ESXi ISO.

In the steps below I was using Rufus version 2.8 and VMware ESXi 6.0 Update 2 ISO
  • Head over to and go to the download section (Only Windows version of the software is available, using Version 2.8 at the time of writing)
  • Have the USB device/key that you wish to turn it to a bootable drive plugged in to your workstation/laptop
  • Once you have downloaded the "exe", run the software and you may be promoted to allow it to run in administrator mode
  • You will be presented with the following screen
  • Under Device select the USB device that you wish to use
  • Change the volume label if you wish
  • Tick Box "Create a bootable disk using" and select the drop down arrow to change to "ISO Image"
  • Click on the "CD image" to select the image you want to use
  • Leave all the after options as they are like the above screenshot 
  • Click "Start" to start writing the image to USB device
  • You may get the following screen around the "menu.c32" which ask you whether you would like the Rufus to download a newer version to fix the issue. Select "Yes". A folder called "rufus_files" will be created in the locate of where you have ran the "exe" from

  • If you have any existing data on the USB device it will prompt you whether you would like to over write it. Click on "Yes" to continue if you are happy to overwrite the data
  • You should now see within the program window that the software is starting to write to USB

Once it is completed then the USB stick is ready to be used as a way to install ESXi. As you can see with a few simple steps above you now have a bootable USB device which has the install files for ESXi.

This could be very useful in my opinion where you can not use remote management software such as iLO to mount ISO images to install. There could come a time where you need to create custom ISO ( but was unable to burn to a physical media. Using USB would be quicker and you could recreate the image again and again not wasting any media. This software could also be used for deploying other OS such as Linux and Windows.

Enjoy this and all credit to the people at Rufus for making such a cool tool to be used.


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