Lately I’ve been asked about how someone can go about on delaying the BIOS boot up screen for a virtual machine on ESX/ESXi because sometimes it loads so fast that administrators aren’t able to hit F2 for the BIOS setup, F12 for Network Boot or ESX for the Boot Menu. While it’s probably common knowledge to many professionals who have been working in the virtualization / datacenter field for awhile, it may not be for those who are just starting out so here’s how:
1. Log onto the host or vCenter with VI Client.
2. Right-click on the virtual machine.
3. Select Edit Settings.
4. Navigate to the Options tab.
5. Under the Advanced options, select Boot Options.
6. On the right, you’ll see a Power On Boot Delay field where you can set the delay in milliseconds. I’ve set this virtual machine at the bottom to 10,000 which equals to 10 seconds.
Now when you boot the virtual machine, the BIOS screen will be delayed by 10 seconds with a countdown at the bottom right hand screen:
Hope this helps.