I just downloaded and tried to add new virtual machine, but it gives me an error. I couldn't find the solution. it seems that VM can not find the OS. I don't know how to resolve.

Error is:

FATAL: No bootable medium found! System Halted.

I have Vista and latest version of Sun VirtualBox.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 11 '09 at 21:20

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  • First get an MD5 sum of the ISO and check it against the md5 provided by ubuntu to make sure the ISO is not corrupt. You have the guest additions loaded as an IDE drive. Can you remove it in case it is trying to boot from it. – Paul Oct 28 '11 at 4:36
  • I just needed to remove an empty item in the list of connected storage devices, and after the ISO was right under the main hard disk drive, everything worked fine. – GDP2 Oct 24 '18 at 9:20

This is now working fine. The virtual machine should point to the .iso image of the OS. This can be done by following steps:

In the Virtual Machine window (where this error is appearing), go to "Devices" tab --> CD/DVD Devices --> More CD/DVD images --> select the location where the .iso image for this OS is stored.

Now Power off the machine and again start from the Virtual box. Your Machine should start.


Hi the Answer is simple.

Go to settings > Storage > Storage Tree

and mount your image/CD/DVD drive under Controller: IDE (Don't use SATA)

Either add a new CD/DVD device or use the existing one.

  • 2
    The important point is to use IDE as for some reason it does not work with SATA. – Chris Oct 23 '14 at 8:44
  • SATA works if it is the first controller. It won't work if the first controller is IDE. I don't know why, maybe someone is able to explain this strange behavior. – scai Sep 4 '16 at 9:49

The reason that VirtualBox can't find the OS is that there is no OS.

In order to boot a virtual machine to an OS, you have to install an OS first by mounting an ISO or physical CD with a bootable OS install (eg, an Windows or Linux installation disc)

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    Can you tell me whats wrong with my settings: screenshot I am trying to install it from ISO, but it is giving me "No bootable medium found error" when I boot up the VM in virtual box. – Mahesha999 May 7 '17 at 20:18

When you first create a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox, there is no OS installed on the HD image. You have to have the VM mount a bootable ISO image to install the OS from.


In my instance, I needed to have two .iso images attached as optical devices during an install. I found that after adding the second image to the IDE controller, VirtualBox ceased to recognize the first image as bootable.

After much trial and error, I was able to boot once again by choosing Settings > Storage, selecting the bootable .iso image and changing its attributes to IDE Primary Slave.

For what it's worth, I also had to change the attributes of the other .iso image device to IDE Secondary before the Primary Slave option was available for the bootable image. I imagine the order in which you add the images to the storage tree may determine which attributes are assigned to them.

  • This is essentially what my issue was. I had an empty item in the list, and the removal of it fixed the problem. – GDP2 Oct 24 '18 at 9:22

This is normal. You need to load a medium (normally, the ISO file of a bootable CD or DVD) into your virtual machine. Your DVD software might be able to create an ISO file of your Vista DVD. Otherwise, use a Linux distribution, for example Knoppix for a first boot.

  • 2
    An ISO isn't strictly necessary, since you can configure VBox to boot from the actual dvd drive. So if you have a bootable CD/DVD, you should be good. That said, installing from an ISO file is much quicker. – Joe Internet Nov 11 '09 at 23:47
  • Good to know! - – Pekka 웃 Nov 12 '09 at 1:34

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