You use the ESXi CD/DVD or a USB flash drive to install the ESXi software onto a SAS, SATA, SCSI hard drive, or USB drive.

Before you begin

  • Verify that the server hardware clock is set to UTC. This setting is in the system BIOS.

  • Consider disconnecting your network storage. This action decreases the time it takes the installer to search for available disk drives. When you disconnect network storage, any files on the disconnected disks are unavailable at installation.

    Do not disconnect a LUN that contains an existing ESX or ESXi installation. Do not disconnect a VMFS datastore that contains the Service Console of an existing ESX installation. These actions can affect the outcome of the installation.

  • Gather the information required by the ESXi installation wizard. See Required Information for ESXi Installation.

  • Verify that ESXi Embedded is not present on the host machine. ESXi Installable and ESXi Embedded cannot exist on the same host.

Procedure

  1. On the Select a Disk page, select the drive on which to install ESXi, and press Enter.

    Press F1 for information about the selected disk.

    Note:

    Do not rely on the disk order in the list to select a disk. The disk order is determined by the BIOS and might be out of order. This might occur on systems where drives are continuously being added and removed.

    If you select a disk that contains data, the Confirm Disk Selection page appears.

    If you select a disk that is in vSAN disk group, the resulting installation depends on the type of disk and the group size:

    • If you select an SSD, the SSD and all underlying HDDs in the same disk group are wiped.

    • If you select an HDD, and the disk group size is greater than two, only the selected HDD is wiped.

    • If you select an HDD disk, and the disk group size is two or less, the SSD and the selected HDD is wiped.

    For more information about managing vSAN disk groups, see the vSphere Storage documentation.

  2. Select the keyboard type for the host.

    You can change the keyboard type after installation in the direct console.

  3. Enter the root password for the host.

    You can change the password after installation in the direct console.

  4. Press Enter to start the installation.
  5. Press Enter to reboot the host.

    If you are performing a new installation, or you chose to overwrite an existing VMFS datastore, during the reboot operation, VFAT scratch, and VMFS partitions are created on the host disk.

  6. Set the first boot device to be the drive on which you installed ESXi in 1.

    For information about changing boot order, see your hardware vendor documentation.

What to do next