Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

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(2010-05-18) Boot From USB In VMware Workstation

Posted by Jorge on 2010-05-18


For years I have been using VMware Workstation as the desktop virtualization for all my demoing, testing and learning needs. It fulfills all the needs I have with regards to flexibly using virtualization technology in the broadest sense. I have always tried to find the barriers of the product and I was able to do really a lot with it. One thing that has not been possible with VMware Workstation (even in the latest available version) is booting from USB. The VMware BIOS does not provide an option to boot from external media.

With something I found recently, you only need to be able to boot from CD/DVD and the ability to load an ISO file OR be able to boot from Floppy and the ability to load an IMG file.

The tool I use is called "PLoP Boot Manager" and it can be downloaded from here.

After configuring the BIOS to boot either from Floppy or CD/DVD you need to load the IMG or ISO file (depending on what you used to boot). After doing this you will see a screen similar to the following.

image

As you can see, it list all kinds of options to boot from. In the case you see above it list the 4 partitions my VM has. The OS is installed on Partition2 so only that partition would be bootable at the time. But, again as you see it lists also other options to boot from, including USB.

As soon as you select an option and hit ENTER, it will hand over the boot process to the option selected. This works perfectly! Try it yourself.

I have not tested this with other virtualization technologies (e.g. Hyper-V or ESX), but I expect it is also possible to use the same way I described above.

Cheers,
Jorge
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One Response to “(2010-05-18) Boot From USB In VMware Workstation”

  1. That was something to look for

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