The default BIOS on VMware doesn’t support booting from USB in VMs (at least not yet). However, it is possible to do that using the Plop boot manager easily. Download the latest version and extract the files (I tried version 5.0.15-test). We need the plpbt.iso file to boot the VM.
Create a new VM and use the plpbt.iso to boot it.
USB Controller should be present with following settings –
On boot, use the USB option in bootloader menu. In case of any issues, check that the USB pen drive is connected in the VM settings.
Plop works with VirtualBox. It is useful for booting older machines with no USB boot capability as well.