If your server has multiple drives, you might need to configure the BIOS settings.

The BIOS boot configuration determines how your server boots. Generally, the CD-ROM device is listed first.


If you are using ESXi Embedded, the BIOS boot configuration determines whether your server boots into the ESXi boot device or another boot device. Generally, the USB flash device is listed first in the BIOS boot settings on the machine that hosts ESXi.

You can change the boot setting by configuring the boot order in the BIOS during startup or by selecting a boot device from the boot device selection menu. When you change the boot order in the BIOS, the new setting affects all subsequent reboots. When you select a boot device from the boot device selection menu, the selection affects the current boot only.

Some servers do not have a boot device selection menu, in which case you must change the boot order in the BIOS even for one-time boots, and then change it back again during a subsequent reboot.


The boot device selection menu is different from the system boot options that you can configure in the vSphere Client.

With the vSphere Client boot options, you can configure the boot sequence for floppy, CD-ROM, and hard disk drives only. For some servers, the system BIOS has two options. One is for the boot sequence (floppy, CD-ROM, hard disk) and another for the hard disk boot order (USB key, local hard disk). When you are using the vSphere Client, the boot options correspond to the BIOS boot sequence (floppy, CD-ROM, hard disk).