Most of the Windows OS bootable ISOs will have a "Press any key to boot from CD" and if you miss pressing the key with the VM in focus that you could end up with that screen.
To get the VM into focus and prevent missing out on pressing the key, choose the "Power on to Firmware".
Alternatively, you could also boot up from the bootable USB. Again "Power on to Firmware", connect the bootable USB to the VM from the "Removable Devices" menu. Enter the EFI setup and go back to the EFI main menu and the "EFI USB" should appear as a boot choice.
The ' press any key to boot from CD/DVD' does not show at all. Just goes straight to the error. Haven't found the "Power on to Firmware" option. So what I've done is changed the firmware from UEFI to Bios and it worked. I'm curious though as to why that is coz i tried other window ISO images without doing any changes the to the Virtual machine and they would boot up fine.
The "Press any key ..." appears for ISOs downloaded from or distributed by Microsoft; probably has been like that since Windows Vista (possibly even earlier). So if you created the ISO from the bootable USB, it might have created different type of boot sector (thus not having the prompt and also not working for all VM scenarios).
As to the "Power on to Firmware", I assumed you are using Workstation Pro since you posted on the Workstation Pro subforum. It should be in the VM menu -> Power -> Power On to Firmware.
The "Power On to Firmware" is not available on Player. To be able to boot into firmware for Player, shut down the VM add either of the following lines to the vmx configuration file
bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"
which will power up the VM to firmware only once and next time it would power up normally.
bios.bootDelay = "7000"
This is in milliseconds, so it is 7 seconds. You can change the timing as needed to give you enough time to put focus on the VM and press F2 to enter the virtual BIOS/EFI.
The "Power on to Firmware" is from the VM menu and not the VM settings. This screenshot is from version 12.5.9 but should be the same for 14.x.
As to editing the vmx configuration file, every VMware VM has its own vmx configuration flle. The <VM name>.vmx is located in the folder/directory where the VM is located and can be edited using any text editor such as Notepad. It is best to shut down the VM before any edit. And since it seems to be the first time for you to edit a vmx configuration; I'd suggest you create a backup copy first. Manually editing vmx configuration files can lead to errors/VM unable to power up if you use the wrong editor such as Wordpad or make edit mistakes.
My bad, had missed that. Thanks for your help
The fact that your ISO boots from USB does not mean that it is also bootable from EFI-firmware.
I would suggest that you change the firmware of the VM from efi to bios.
Is what i said i did