Category: Miscellaneous

VM boots too fast.

I had a situation where I needed to reset the password on an Ubuntu guest running on vmware server 2.0.1.

I could not hit the escape key fast enough to access the GRUB loader.  I tried many iterations but the guest booted too fast.  What to do?

One way to slow down the boot process is to configure the guest to boot to BIOS.

In VMware Server; power down the guest.

Bring up the web access and click on the specific Guest.  After that click the power tab and you will see an option for:

BIOS Setup
Enter the BIOS setup screen the next time this virtual machine boots

Click the box and click ok

Power up the Guest and you will be presented with the bios screen.

Exit the bios screen and hit the escape key (possibly a couple times) and you will get the grub loader.

There you can edit the particular kernel and add “single” to the end of the line and boot the guest into single user mode where you will get options for what to boot.  Select the option for command shell and there you can reset the root password with the passwd command.

More USB WIM oddness

Normally, to install a system, I would boot off a pxeboot CD, copy the WIM file from a share and imagex apply it. There was a problem with the network configuration where I couldn’t get to the shares so I decided to use a USB stick.  After converting my USB’s file system to NTFS, I copied the WIM file and then copied it to the disk. I ran the imagex apply and the OS setup would fail on reboot.

Watching a safe mode boot; it would fail right after disk.sys would load.

At first I thought it was the drivers but nothing seemed to work.  What made it strange was the fact it worked on another system.  I compared the systems hardware and they were the same.  To make it even more strange, I reloaded the system which worked and after that it failed.

On a whim; I decided “why not apply directly from the USB stick?”

I entered:

D:\PEIMX\IMAGEX.exe /apply e:\myimage.wim 1 c:

I rebooted the system and it loaded. I tried this approach a couple more times and had no failures.


I did not seriously research a reason for the failures since using a USB stick is not a common procedure on my network.

In time I may look for an answer but for now this is a solution for anybody who has the same problem.