Windows 10: VMWARE VM can now boot from USB stick / device

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  1.    01 Dec 2017 #1

    VMWARE VM can now boot from USB stick / device


    Hi there.

    The latest version of VMWARE can now boot a VM from an external USB device (stick or HDD like an SSD etc.

    I mean here that the BOOT can be from the USB device --of course one has always been able to OPEN a VM which exists on an external device but until recently you could only boot from the VM's HDD or an ISO either physical or an ISO image.

    You need to get into POWER ON ---->Power on to Firmware when starting the VM.

    Note also you can create UEFI bootable VM's even if your HOST hardware is an older machine that still only has MBR boot (legacy boot).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This info is for VMWARE WORKSTATION V 14 -- VBOX should have similar -- not sure how the config is set up.

    VMPLAYER might not have the same facility -- I'm not sure if VMPLAYER (the free version) allows boot into Firmware option. Perhaps other people who have vmware player could post whether the firmware boot option exists.



    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    01 Dec 2017 #2

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there.

    The latest version of VMWARE can now boot a VM from an external USB device (stick or HDD like an SSD etc.

    I mean here that the BOOT can be from the USB device --of course one has always been able to OPEN a VM which exists on an external device but until recently you could only boot from the VM's HDD or an ISO either physical or an ISO image.

    You need to get into POWER ON ---->Power on to Firmware when starting the VM.

    Note also you can create UEFI bootable VM's even if your HOST hardware is an older machine that still only has MBR boot (legacy boot).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	snapshot1.png 
Views:	6 
Size:	77.2 KB 
ID:	166279

    This info is for VMWARE WORKSTATION V 14 -- VBOX should have similar -- not sure how the config is set up.

    VMPLAYER might not have the same facility -- I'm not sure if VMPLAYER (the free version) allows boot into Firmware option. Perhaps other people who have vmware player could post whether the firmware boot option exists.



    Cheers
    jimbo
    Are you sure it will work with flash drives?

    Hyper-V has been able to boot from bootable usb hard drives for a long time but it requires taking the boot drive offline so VM has total control over it.

    This is not possible with flash drives (windows to go certified drives may be an exception), as they cannot be taken offline. Of course this may be host OS dependent - you certainly cannot take a removable drive offline but inserted in Windows Hosts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 137
    10 Pro 16299.248 64 Bit
       01 Dec 2017 #3

    no one cares about this. what we want is to put our install media on usb and use that to create a vm instead of just selecting a iso. this should of addressed by them YEARS ago.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 33,769
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       01 Dec 2017 #4

    To answer Jimbo's question....

    VMPLAYER might not have the same facility -- I'm not sure if VMPLAYER (the free version) allows boot into Firmware option. Perhaps other people who have vmware player could post whether the firmware boot option exists.

    No, it does not.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    01 Dec 2017 #5

    xXWhackerXx said: View Post
    no one cares about this. what we want is to put our install media on usb and use that to create a vm instead of just selecting a iso. this should of addressed by them YEARS ago.
    What are you rabbiting on about? That is exactly what the new feature will do.

    I cannot see any real point to it anyway, as all installation media are in downloadable iso format, and why bother tying up a usb stick and usb port anyway to install an OS on a VM. What is point of virtualising a PC if you don't virtualise everything?

    Even if you got a usb drive installation drive, and no iso, it takes a couple of minutes to create an iso anyway.

    In the end, this is a solution to a problem we never had!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 137
    10 Pro 16299.248 64 Bit
       01 Dec 2017 #6

    cereberus said: View Post
    What are you rabbiting on about? That is exactly what the new feature will do. I cannot see any real point to it anyway, as all installation media are in downloadable iso format, and why bother tying up a usb stick and usb port anyway to install an OS on a VM. What is point of virtualising a PC if you don't virtualise everything? Even if you got a usb drive installation drive, and no iso, it takes a couple of minutes to create an iso anyway. In the end, this is a solution to a problem we never had!
    you're clueless aren't you? it's a way to test a key before actually using it as you install media. yes it's rare for the media to fail while you are installing windows but it does happen, and this makes it possible to verify that the media will work as it should. and fyi his post says boot a vm not a iso from external usb.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    01 Dec 2017 #7

    xXWhackerXx said: View Post
    no one cares about this. what we want is to put our install media on usb and use that to create a vm instead of just selecting a iso. this should of addressed by them YEARS ago.
    Hi there

    I'm the foreigner here but I thought my English was clear enough -- Boot whatever OS is on the USB -- I don't mean run VMWARE workstation and open a VM that's stored on an external USB drive.

    I mean when you get into the VM's Virtual BIOS on VMware player select Boot into Firmware and then you can select as the boot device a USB drive / stick and boot whatever OS is on it. Until recently you could only give a real CD/ DVD device or an ISO image as one of the alternative boot options as well as the Virtual HDD or a network card (PXE).

    Sorry if my English wasn't clear enough.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    02 Dec 2017 #8

    xXWhackerXx said: View Post
    you're clueless aren't you? it's a way to test a key before actually using it as you install media. yes it's rare for the media to fail while you are installing windows but it does happen, and this makes it possible to verify that the media will work as it should. and fyi his post says boot a vm not a iso from external usb.
    You are the clueless one.

    Read Jimbo's reply. There is no need to have that ability JUST for testing a usb stick is working. In fact that is not the best way to test it at all. A far better way is to create a virtual hard drive and install to that!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    02 Dec 2017 #9

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there

    I'm the foreigner here but I thought my English was clear enough -- Boot whatever OS is on the USB -- I don't mean run VMWARE workstation and open a VM that's stored on an external USB drive.

    I mean when you get into the VM's Virtual BIOS on VMware player select Boot into Firmware and then you can select as the boot device a USB drive / stick and boot whatever OS is on it. Until recently you could only give a real CD/ DVD device or an ISO image as one of the alternative boot options as well as the Virtual HDD or a network card (PXE).

    Sorry if my English wasn't clear enough.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    It was clear to me but I did initially ask if it worked for usb flash drives, as Hyper-v can boot from usb hard drives but not normal usb removable flash drives as you cannot take them offline. You say in your reply it can - I assume you have done it?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    02 Dec 2017 #10

    Hi there

    Works fine

    The USB is just like a physical DVD or an ISO image.

    The reason this is good is that you might have created the USB from another computer and want to install the OS (as a VM) on a different machine.

    OK I know it's easy to do it with an ISO image but on say a USB you can either make it bootable for the VM or say store a load of ISO's on it and access those as Virtual ISO's at boot time.

    It's not one of those "Absolutely Must have" features but I like it and find it useful.

    I also like being able to create UEFI bootable VM's on ageing hardware (specifically older servers) that are still only MBR / legacy boot systems too -- although that's another issue and probably only exists in the paid vmware workstation product. Not sure about VM's on HYPER-V if you can do that (i.e create a UEFI VM on a HOST which only supports MBR BIOS boot).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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