VMWare ESXi 5.5 - virtual machine boot sequence

Hi all,

Is there a way to temporarily change the boot sequence of an ESXi 5.5 virtual machine? Kinda like hitting F12 from the BIOS startup screen to choose the boot device.

I'd like to temporarily boot from an iso file. I've read an VMware KB article, but it seems rather involved, and I'm hoping there is a simple way to do this.

Thanks in advance.
Go-BruinsAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, Press Escape at POST.

BOOT Options
and then select the BOOT Device you want to BOOT from.

However, depending on how fast your Hypervisor, is, you have to be quick....

So if you select, the VM Settings, (Right Click the VM, Edit Settings > Options Tab > Select BOOT Options, and you can Select a Power On BOOT Delay to slow the BOOT process, to give you enough time to hit Escape)

See this screenshot

BOOT Settings

I hope that helps. We set all our VMs in a template to always BOOT from CDROM Device as the first BOOT device.

Then you just have to connect or disconnect and ISO, to get it to BOOT from CDROM!

Never leave a VM connected to a floppy or ISO permanently! It takes ticks (CPU) away form the VM!
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Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
You are amazingly knowledgeable and proficient!

I've set the delay to 10,000 milliseconds, and hitting the ESC key doesn't seem to do anything...
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Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
I also noticed that there is an option to boot into the BIOS screen. Does making changes for one virtual machine BIOS affect only that virtual machine? Or does it affect the BIOS for *all* the machines, including the host?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Make sure when you press Escape, you are "in focus" e.g. in the VM!

You also have to be quick!

I also noticed that there is an option to boot into the BIOS screen. Does making changes for one virtual machine BIOS affect only that virtual machine?

Only that Computer (VM), just like a standard Physical Computer.

Or does it affect the BIOS for *all* the machines, including the host?

Only that single VM.
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Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
I see. Thank you.

So I can go into the BIOS and specify that the VM boots from the DVD device. That's what you mean by this statement:

"I hope that helps. We set all our VMs in a template to always BOOT from CDROM Device as the first BOOT device."

And then I can connect and disconnect the iso as needed, correct?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So I can go into the BIOS and specify that the VM boots from the DVD device. That's what you mean by this statement:

"I hope that helps. We set all our VMs in a template to always BOOT from CDROM Device as the first BOOT device."

And then I can connect and disconnect the iso as needed, correct?

Correct, and that is the first thing we do, when creating a VM, before we install any OS, the first VM tweak.
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Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
great stuff. Virtual machines keep amazing me. I would never have imagined virtual BIOSes as well.
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