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VMware Server 2: How to press F8 at boot to get in to windows safe mode?

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
In doing a test restore of a system in VMware, i need to be able to boot in to Safe mode.

The problem is that the VMware remote console apparently doesn't display the bootup screen which would allow me to press F8 to boot in to safe mode.

The first thing in the VMware remote console i see after doing a reset is the windows server 2003 splash screen, at that point it's too late to press F8.

Anyone know you can boot in to safe mode in Vmware server 2?

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Question by:jspaziano
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by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22618108
once you restart the vmware immediately click your mouse inside the console and then press f8
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jspaziano earned 0 total points
ID: 22618138
i've done that, but it doesn't work.
It's as if the console doesn't even control the VM until after it loads the OS (i don't see the VMware splash screen, or the option to press a key to choose a boot device, etc.)

i did find a workaround .. which was to stop the vm, then go in to vm settings and tell it to go in to the BIOS setup screen at next startup.

When you exit the BIOS you are able to hit F8.

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by:ostaehr
ID: 22622214
It's just that you have to be very quick pressing F8. Same issue for pressing ESC in POST to pop up the boot device menu. What helped me out is pressing Ctrl-Alt-Ins (Soft Reset) after the box has focus and then keep hitting the desired key :)
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Expert Comment

by:ACIAR
ID: 25237527
Hi,

Just wanted to add that F8 does work on a VMware restart - but you have to keep tapping F8.

Thanks for the help
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by:bigeven2002
ID: 26329613
If you are administering the VMs remotely through VPN with the VMware Infrastructure Client, then forcing BIOS setup and exiting is the only way as the keys won't respond fast enough.
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