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Creating a Fusion virtual machine with a disk image (1015406)

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  • You cannot install Windows on a newly created virtual machine.
  • You see a message about a network boot when the virtual machine starts.
  • A newly created virtual machine does not recognize Windows installation media when booting.
  • Fusion displays a dialog box with the error:

    No bootable device was detected.

  • You are installing from an external (USB or FireWire) CD/DVD drive.
  • Unable to boot the virtual machine from the CD/DVD-ROM drive.
  • Cannot start the guest operating system installation process.
  • When attempting to install Windows, Fusion presents the error:

    Unexpected error: signal 8

  • When you attempt to install Mac OS Leopard Server from a physical disk, you see the error:

    Install Failed. Mac OS X could not be installed on your computer. The Installer could not install some files in "/Volumes/Macintosh HD". Contact the software manufacturer for assistance.

    Click Restart to restart your computer and try installing again.


Some Mac models ship with a special build of Mac OS 10.6 that may prevent Fusion from properly communicating with the Mac's optical drive. If possible, run a Software Update (from the Apple menu) and install a Mac OS X Update.

If the issue persists, create a disk image (a .cdr, like a virtual CD/DVD) and use that to install the operating system into your virtual machine.

To use Apple's built-in Disk Utility to create a .cdr image of the install disk:

  1. Use Finder to launch Disk Utility (located in /Applications/Utilities ).
  2. Insert the Windows install disk.
  3. In the left column, click the Apple Super Drive, then click New Image.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select DVD/CD Master.
  5. Take note of where the document is being saved, then click Save. The CD/DVD begins to convert. This can take several minutes depending on the size of the disk. A progress indicator displays the progress.
  6. When the process completes, quit Disk Utility.

To create a new virtual machine with the disk image:

Note: The disk image must be created on a Mac with a CD/DVD drive; Fusion 3.x and earlier do not support Apple's Remote Disk feature. For more information, see Using the Macbook Air's and Mac Mini's Remote Disc feature with Fusion (1013659).

  1. In Fusion, create a new virtual machine. Go to File > New
  2. For Fusion 6.x and above:

    1. Click Install from disc or image.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. Click Use another disc or disc image.

    For Fusion 5.x:

    1. Click Continue without disk.
    2. Click Choose a disk or disk image.

  3. Choose the newly created .cdr or downloaded .iso, and click Continue.
  4. Choose the operating system. Ensure that it matches what you are trying to install.
  5. Enter the desired user name, password and Windows Installation Key, then click Continue.
  6. Confirm the virtual machine settings and click Finish.
  7. When Fusion asks where to save the newly created virtual machine, click Save to accept the default location, or choose a location and click Save.

    The installation begins.

Additional Information

For more information on installing Windows in a virtual machine, see the video VMware Fusion 3 Install Microsoft Windows on Your Mac.

For more information about the special OS X builds that ship with new Macs, see these Apple articles:

Note: The preceding links were correct as of September 9, 2013. If you find a link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.


install-fails install-os unable-to-boot

See Also

Update History

05/05/2010 - Updated title; Expanded symptoms; Added link to video for Windows installation. 06/11/2010 - Added additional Symptoms. 08/23/2012 - Added Fusion 5.x to Product Versions 03/23/2010 - Added links to Apple articles about model-specific OS versions. 3/15/2012 - Clarified that the Super Drive must be selected and added Leopard server error. 09/09/2013 - Added VMware Fusion 6.x to Product Versions.

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