Boot from USB in VMware Workstation

I ‘am testing an unattended installation of VMware ESXi from an USB drive. After every change, I needed to test if the unattended still worked. I tried to use VMware workstation to test the unattended installation. VMware Workstation doesn’t support boot from USB. There is an unofficial solution to fix this problem by using the PLOP boot manager (Download link).  The PLOP Boot Manager is a small program to boot different operating systems. You can boot the operating systems from harddisk, floppy, CD/DVD or from USB.

Steps to boot from USB:

  • Download the BLOP boot manager
  • Add a USB controller to the VM and select Automatically connect new USB devices.


  • Attach the PLOP boot manager image as floppy- or CD image
  • Boot the VM in PLOP
  • Insert the USB stick and select USB


Sometimes the USB device is not detected at once, reboot the VM once more and it should work.

With PLOP it is possible to use USB boot VMware Workstation.

Credits goes to Uli Hankeln from, thanks for pointing me to this boot manager.

3 thoughts on “Boot from USB in VMware Workstation”

  1. hi

    have followed all instructions found in getting usb booting up in vmware,
    by using plppt.iso, even though i get this working correctly in vmware still cant get it to find or recognise the usb’s

    trust some one can help

    steve b

  2. Great little tool! Never used it before, but it worked perfectly. Steven, make sure you are connecting the USB flash drive to the guest by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner of the VM console screen before choosing to boot from USB.

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