I have Windows 7 installed on my Mac using VMWare Fusion and today I needed to enter BIOS to change the boot order of my virtual machine. I went ahead and restarted the virtual machine thinking that getting into the BIOS should be pretty easy. Not really. I ran into several problems.
First, the BIOS screen blinked for about a second and then disappeared. Large! Secondly, pressing F2 on my Mac caused the screen to brighten instead of sending the key to the VM. Since I was in full screen mode, I figured that all keys pressed would be automatically sent to the virtual machine, but this is not the case. So how do you fix this problem?
To enter the BIOS of a virtual machine, you need to change the boot latency to a larger one. You can do this by editing the VMX configuration file for your virtual machine. Here’s how to do it. Turn off the virtual machine first. In the Virtual Machine Library screen, press the Option key and then right-click the virtual machine.
Now go ahead and click on “Open config file in editor”. Be sure to hold down the Option key while right-clicking or the option will disappear. Now scroll down to the bottom of the file and add the following line:
bios.bootDelay = “3000”
Your file should now look something like this:
That’s all you need to do! Save the file and then restart the virtual machine. Now when the BIOS setup screen appears, you will have 3 seconds instead of 1! You can change this value to whatever you want, so if you want 7 seconds, just enter 7000 in the above example.
Now the last part is pressing the F2 key when you see the BIOS screen. To send the F2 key, you must press fn + F2. fn is a function key on a Mac keyboard. It’s in the bottom left corner of the screen. Note that you can also add another line to the VMX file that will force the virtual machine to enter BIOS on the next reboot:
bios.forceSetupOnce = “TRUE”
Note that this line will be automatically set to FALSE after booting the virtual machine. On a new restart, it will boot normally. This is useful if you still cannot display the BIOS screen or cannot press the F2 key in time. Any other questions please leave a comment and I will try to help. Enjoy!