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Dear VMware Workstation, Please Let Me Into The BIOS, I Just Want To Change The Boot Order

One of the frustrating things with VMware Workstation can be trying to get into the BIOS to change the boot order. Unless you have mad, click, F2 skills, it’s pretty easy to miss the BIOS prompt in the millisecond it actually displays. By default you can PXE boot a VM the first time, but after an OS is installed, you will have to change the boot order to be able to PXE boot again, or if you want to have the CD-ROM boot first.

Thanks to Paul Newton for the following tips:

To Increase the boot delay, edit your .vmx file and add the line:

bios.bootDelay = "5000"

This will add a 5000 millisecond (5 second) delay to the boot.

Or you can add:

bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"

To make the VM enter the BIOS setup at the next boot.

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I am a Microsoft MVP for System Center Configuration Manager and owner of Nackers Consulting Services, LLC. I focus primarily on System Center Configuration Manager and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit. In addition to helping clients leverage the technologies they use, I enjoy spending a lot of time on the forums and email lists helping answer questions and just seeing what people are doing with the deployment technologies available to them. I have spoken at Microsoft Management Summit on ConfigMgr/MDT integration and I have spoken at user groups around the country. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, I am always willing to help.

1 Comment

  1. Or you could just select the vm, select menu list > VM > Power > Power on to BIOS. This should also work.
    Greetings, Jürg

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