A media driver your computer needs is missing

Microsoft has been trying to reduce the dependency of users on installation media like CD, DVD, USB, etc. and rather most users upgraded to Windows 10 directly through a system update. However, as wise as the intent of the company was, some users still prefer to install their operating system through installation media.

A media driver your computer needs is missing

While trying to install Windows 10/8.1/8 (and a few earlier versions) through installation media, many users have reported the error:

A media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB, or Hard disk driver. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now.A media driver your computer needs is missing

Windows 7 users would get the following error instead:

A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now.

The statement of the error makes it clear that the installation media is missing one or more crucial drivers and thus the system has halted the installation process.

Microsoft suggests the following possible causes for the issue:

  1. The installation media was ejected while the installation was in progress. It was supposed to remain inside till the installation was complete.
  2. A low-quality installation media might have been used to install the operating system. In this case, it might not be able to transfer the information completely.
  3. The speed of burning the installation media was to fast. The system was unable to read the drivers properly.
  4. The ISO file inside the installation media was corrupt and thus the files containing the drivers missed.

Basically, the system was unable to read the ISO file properly. In this case, you can try the following suggestions.

1] Plug the USB drive into another port.

Seemingly an easy fix, click on cancel upon getting the error and remove the USB drive which is being used as the installation media safely. Plug it in another USB port and repeat the installation process. Many users have reported that this fix works.

Also if it is an old system, avoid using the USB 1.0 port for installing Windows 10, if at all the system is in a position to support the installation.

2] Check the hardware requirements of the system

Ensure that your system’s parameters are well more than the minimum requirements. Eg. While Microsoft recommends 2GB of RAM for a 64-bit Windows 10 system, it usually needs 4GB or more for proper installation and functioning.

3] Check the installation media

It might be possible that the ISO file is incomplete/corrupt on the installation disk. To verify this condition, insert the installation disk on any system and right-click on the CD/DVD drive and then select Properties. Ensure that the size of the installation media and compare it with the size stated on Microsoft’s website. The size of the media changes with every update, so we cannot give any fixed number here.

Anyway, we could download the latest installation file from Microsoft’s website here and make another installation media out of the same. Try doing it with a high-quality media drive of a reputable brand this time. The license key would be the same as you received with the original installation media but could be used on the same or multiple systems depending upon the version you bought.

4] Check BIOS settings

If everything else has failed, the issue could probably with the settings of the BIOS itself. Check that the USB 3.0 settings in the BIOS should be set to auto and the Legacy USB and Legacy BIOS settings should be disabled in the BIOS.

Hope this guide helps you fix the issue.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.