No Bootable Medium Found Error in VirtualBox
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VirtualBox is a robust, open-source virtualization tool that enables users to operate various operating systems on a single physical device. It is widely used for testing and development, providing a versatile environment that supports various guest operating systems.

One common issue users may encounter is the “No Bootable Medium Found” error. This error occurs when the virtual machine cannot find a valid bootable medium, such as an ISO image or a virtual hard disk, preventing the system from starting.

Addressing this problem is essential for a smooth virtual machine experience, enabling users to test, create, and launch applications on different operating systems effectively. Fortunately, several solutions can help ensure your Oracle VirtualBox runs smoothly.

Causes of No Bootable Medium Found Error in VirtualBox

The “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox happens when the virtual machine can’t find a bootable OS to start from. VirtualBox, simulating a computer, can’t locate a suitable bootable disk or ISO image to load the OS. The VM is powered on but lacks instructions on what to do next due to missing boot files.

Common Scenarios Where This Error Occurs

  • Missing ISO Image: The most frequent cause is the absence of an attached ISO image containing the operating system installation files. The “VirtualBox no bootable medium found” error is commonly encountered when the virtual machine fails to locate a valid bootable device or ISO image.
  • Incorrect Boot Order: If the boot order in the VM’s settings is faulty, the system might be looking in the wrong place for the bootable medium. For example, it might try to boot from an empty virtual hard disk instead of the attached ISO image.
  • Corrupted ISO Image: If the ISO image is damaged or corrupted, VirtualBox will fail to read it as a bootable medium, resulting in an error.
  • Empty Virtual Hard Disk: When a new virtual hard disk is created but not yet set up with an operating system, VirtualBox cannot find any bootable files and thus throws the error.
  • Detached or Deleted Storage Device: If the storage device (like an ISO file or virtual hard disk) has been detached from the VM or deleted, VirtualBox will not find a bootable medium.

5 Methods to Fix No Bootable Medium Found

There are several solutions you can try to resolve the “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox. Here are five methods to fix it:

Incorrect Boot Order

If the boot order in the VM’s settings is incorrect, the system might be looking in the wrong place for the bootable medium. Follow these steps to correct it:

  1. Open VirtualBox and select the VM with the boot order issue.
  2. Select the “Settings” button or right-click on the VM and select “Settings”.
  3. Go to the “System” tab in the settings window.
  4. In the “Motherboard” tab under “System,” adjust the “Boot Order” section. Ensure the desired bootable device (e.g., an optical drive for an ISO image) is at the top of the list.
  5. Select “OK” to save the changes.

By setting the correct boot order, the VM will check the right devices for a bootable medium, allowing it to start the operating system successfully.

Missing ISO Image

The “Missing ISO Image” problem happens when a virtual machine (VM) lacks an attached ISO image. An ISO image is a file with all the installation data for an OS. Without it, the VM can’t load the OS, causing the “No Bootable Medium Found” error.

To resolve this issue, you need to attach the correct ISO image to the VM. Follow these steps:

  1. Open VirtualBox and select the VM that is having the issue.
  2. Select the “Settings” button or right-click on the VM and select “Settings”.
  3. Go to the “Storage” tab in the settings window.
  4. Click on the empty slot labeled “Empty” under “Controller: IDE” or “Controller: SATA“.
  5. Click on the small disk icon next to “Optical Drive” and click “Choose a disk file…”.
  6. Browse your computer and select the appropriate ISO image file.

A corrupted ISO image can occur due to an incomplete download or file corruption during storage. When VirtualBox tries to boot from a corrupted ISO image, it cannot read the necessary data to start the operating system, resulting in the “No Bootable Medium Found” error.

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Corrupted ISO Image

A corrupted ISO image can cause an error. Check the ISO image’s integrity by comparing its checksum with the source-provided one. If the checksums do not match, download a new copy of the ISO image from a reliable source and attach it to your VM.

To fix this issue, you should first verify the integrity of the ISO image. This can be done by comparing the checksum of your downloaded ISO file with the checksum provided by the source from which you downloaded it. If the checksums do not match, it indicates that the ISO is corrupted. In this case, you need to download a new copy of the ISO image from a reliable source. Once you have a verified, non-corrupted ISO file, go to VirtualBox, attach the new ISO to your VM, and attempt to boot again. This should resolve the error and allow the VM to boot properly.

Virtual Hard Disk

A virtual hard disk (VHD) can cause the “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox if it lacks an operating system or is empty. When you create a new VHD for a VM without installing an OS, the VM has no bootable files to start from, prompting the error message.

To fix this:

  • Install an operating system on the VHD.
  • Ensure the VHD is set up as a secondary storage device.
  • Attach a bootable device, like an ISO image, to the VM.

Proper configuration and OS installation on the VHD are vital for successful booting in VirtualBox. Regularly defragmenting VHD files can optimize storage use and enhance performance. Moreover, storing VHD files on well-managed storage systems with sufficient space and backup solutions can reduce the risk of data loss or corruption.

Detached or Deleted Storage Device

One common cause of the “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox is a missing or deleted storage device. This happens when the virtual machine’s configuration doesn’t point to a valid storage location. It can occur if the virtual hard disk (VHD) file has been moved, deleted, or renamed. It can also happen if a removable storage device, such as an ISO image or USB drive, that was previously attached is no longer accessible.

To fix this issue:

  1. Verify that all configured storage devices are present and correctly attached to the VM’s settings.
  2. Reattach the VHD or ISO image by going to the “Storage” settings in VirtualBox and selecting the correct files.

Ensuring that the VM’s storage configuration matches the current file paths and device attachments is crucial for a successful boot process.

If you’ve lost any VirtualBox files, contact our experts for professional assistance to keep your virtual environment stable and efficient. Our team is available 24/7 to help with any VirtualBox issues or questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

VirtualBox won’t boot from an ISO file if it is missing, corrupted, or not properly attached. Ensure the ISO image is correctly selected in the VM’s storage settings. If the ISO is corrupted, download a fresh copy from a reliable source. Also, make sure the boot order prioritizes the virtual CD/DVD drive to check the ISO image first.

To fix the “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox:

  • Check the VM’s boot order to ensure it prioritizes the correct device.
  • Attach a valid ISO image or ensure the virtual hard disk has an operating system installed.
  • If the ISO image is corrupted, download a fresh copy from a reliable source and reattach it.

These steps help the VM find a bootable medium and start successfully.

The “No Bootable Medium Found” error in VirtualBox can result from missing or corrupted ISO images, detached or deleted storage devices, incorrect boot order, or an empty virtual hard disk without an operating system.

If your VirtualBox VM doesn’t boot with a mounted ISO image, it may be due to incorrect boot order settings or a corrupted ISO. Ensure the virtual machine’s boot order prioritizes the virtual CD/DVD drive. If the ISO is corrupted, replace it with a valid copy. If the problem persists, it may be due to hardware or software conflicts requiring further troubleshooting. Consider seeking professional help.