Delay boot time on a VMware virtual machine

Somewhere in a dark corner at VMware HQ somebody had the great idea of setting the BIOS to display for less than two seconds on a virtual machine, which makes it almost impossible to hit the F2 key needed to access the BIOS menu. Fortunately, there is a simple solution.


Open the virtual machine .vmx configuration file you wish to modify and somewhere in the configuration add the following parameter.

bios.bootDelay = "5000"

Here is an example of how it looks.


What this parameter is extend the BIOS display time for five seconds, which is enough time for you to press the F2 key.



  • Rich

    That’s handy. Here’s another one useful when installing new guest OS from an ISO image. Boot directly to the BIOS setup so you can change the boot device order.

    bios.forceSetupOnce = “TRUE”

  • Marcin

    It works. Thanks a lot!