You use the ESXi 4.1 CD/DVD to install the ESXi 4.1 software onto a SAS, SATA, or SCSI hard drive.

You must have the ESXi 4.1 Installable ISO file on CD or DVD media. If you do not have the installation CD/DVD, you can create one.

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

Verify that a keyboard and monitor are attached to the machine on which the ESXi software will be installed.

Consider disconnecting your network storage. This action decreases the time it takes the installer to search for available disk drives.

ESXi Embedded must not be on the host. ESXi Installable and ESXi Embedded cannot exist on the same host.


Insert the ESXi 4.1 Installable CD/DVD into the CD/DVD-ROM drive.


Restart the machine.


Set the BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM device.

See your hardware vendor documentation for information on changing boot order.


On the Welcome screen, press Enter to continue with the installation.


Read the VMware end-user license agreement and accept it by pressing F11.


In the Select a Disk screen, select the disk drive on which to install ESXi 4.1 and press Enter.

Press F1 for information about the selected disk.


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 the disk you selected contains data, the Confirm Disk Selection screen displays.


Press F11 to start the installation.


When the installation is complete, remove the installation CD/DVD.


Press Enter to reboot the host.

During the reboot operation, VFAT scratch and VMFS partitions are created on the disk.


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

See your hardware vendor documentation for information on changing boot order.

Set up basic administration and network configuration for ESXi.