Change boot sequence in VMWare

I do all development stuff on virtual machine. Mainly because of trying new software and to have installation which I can always restore without any problem. Today I made update of Windows Vista and reboot problem where it gives the “configuring updates stage 3 of 3” then reboots ad infinity. What I need to do as one of the steps is to boot from the original CD.

When you restart the virtual machine you will see vmware splash screen. Hit F2 right away to get into the VM’s BIOS settings. It can show only for really short time.
VMWare splash screen

After that you will be in vmware BIOS. Use the right arrow key three times to move over to the “BOOT” menu selection. Use the UP/DOWN arrow key and the +/- keys to toggle the boot order such that “Removable Devices” is the very first (top) in the boot order. Removable Devices includes Legacy Floppy Drives.
VMWare BIOS - Boot sequence

Hit F10 to save and exit
VMWare BIOS - Save

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13 thoughts on “Change boot sequence in VMWare

  1. Glenn

    Very useful! I did not know it has the same BIOS setup just like a real PC until I read your page. The message for press F2 display too short of time.

  2. nitin

    My guest operating system is not pinging the outside network . What could be the problem ?
    Tell me something advanced ……….

  3. Martin M?lek Post author

    Hi, please send more information – what is the host and guest system?
    Try to check if you added network adapter (see ). Is the network bridged, host-only or NAT? If the adapter is there, try to run Virtual Network Editor (video: ). Try to run ifcongif or ipconfig on the guest machine if the DHCP assigned you an IP address. Another problem can be firewall on the guest machine, try to disable it and see what will happen. Can you access some website or is the problem only with the ping?
    When you will have still this problem, please give me more info about the systems and setting (firewall, network adapter) or contact me on twitter:

  4. Abel Braaksma

    An easier way is to simply right-click the virtual machine in VMware Workstation, select Power > Poser On to BIOS.

    I think this option wasn’t available when you wrote this article, but it is there now ;).

  5. Don

    Power on to BIOS not available in VMWare Player. Your tip really helped, especially using the ctrl-alt-del. I could never get into the BIOS otherwise. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Anthony


    Good advise

    However I am using vmware workstation and evertime i try to hit F2 to enter the setup I always miss the option, is there another way to go into boot settings


  7. Martin M?lek Post author

    I’m not using WMWare for some time, but you can try this. Try to click on VM > Power > Power On to BIOS, not all WM will have this. If that will not work, open the vmx file (configuration) and edit or add:

    bios.bootDelay = "10000"

    The value is in milliseconds.

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