Booting windows into safe mode

Technote (troubleshooting)


I have found booting windows into safe mode to be a bit
challenging in the virtual environment. No matter how
quick or persistant in trying to gain focus in the virtual
console and hitting the F8 key I have struggled to
consistantly gain access to the menu to allow a safe
mode boot..


Upon failure to catch the safe mode menu, the system

will continue to boot up to the normal windows splash

Resolving the problem

In esx 3.5 I have found consistancy in booting to safe mode by doing the following:

1. Go into "Edit Settings->Options->Boot Options" for the VM. Check the box for forcing a boot into the BIOS and set the "Power-on Boot Delay" to the maximum (10000ms). The BIOS setting will uncheck itself after every boot. The Boot Delay will remain set until changed. 2. Open the console window for the VM. Start the boot process. This will boot into the BIOS per the previous setting. 3. Click the console with the mouse to gain focus. Exit from the BIOS, usually selecting "Exit" and then selecting "Yes" to save the configuration and exit. Immediately press the F8 key and don't let up until the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" appears which will allow selecting the "Safe Mode" or other options.

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