VMware applications are some of the most popular for creating and managing virtual machines. However, it’s not uncommon to see users experience a variety of problems when operating them. For example, when booting a newly created virtual machine, it fails to load but then throws an error message that says the Operating system is not found.
VMware operating system not found
The VMware boot error is not exclusive to specific operating systems or installation media. You can get it when you attempt to install the operating system from a bad ISO file or when installing from physical storage without properly configuring VMware for it.
This error message pops up when working with different Windows editions. In this section, we’ll explore the various causes of the VMware boot error and look into the best ways to fix it, next.
- Your virtual machine files are corrupted.
- When creating the virtual machine, you didn’t instruct VMware to read from a physical storage media.
- The ISO file from which you want to create the virtual machine is not a bootable one.
- The PXE boot delay period is too brief.
How to fix this VMware boot error
Here, I’ll show you the general methods used to fix the VMware boot problem. If VMware is unable to find your operating system, you should go over the causes of the issue outlined in the above section.
From those, you can likely nail the exact cause and pick the troubleshooting technique that applies to your case.
- Confirm that the ISO is bootable.
- Re-make the virtual machine with BIOS.
- If installing from a physical drive, let VMware know.
- Increase the PXE boot delay period.
If you’re not sure how to carry out the above operations, then continue reading this guide. Below are detailed explanations for these solutions.
1] Confirm that the ISO is bootable
You need to mount an ISO file on your virtual machine, and this ISO has to be a bootable OS to work. However, not every ISO files are bootable. Some of them are actually operating system updates.
Therefore, before going into more complex troubleshooting techniques for the VMware boot error, first, confirm that the ISO is bootable. If the ISO is not bootable, then you have to get a bootable one. On the other hand, if you find that the ISO is bootable, you can then begin the repair.
2] Re-create the virtual machine with different settings
If you’re using a bootable ISO, and VMWare cannot find your operating system, a second suspect it that the machine isn’t configured with UEFI. In the course of creating the VM, if you selected UEFI, you are likely to run into these boot errors. You need to go back, create a new virtual machine, and set it to BIOS and not UEFI. Here’s what to do:
Launch VMware and from the left-hand menu, go to Home. Select New Virtual Machine from the right section and hit Next.
Choose the installation source and then hit the Next button. If you use VM Fusion or VMware workstation, unmark the Easy Install checkbox.
Select your preferred type of virtual machine based on the hardware of the host operating system. Now, select Custom from the next page where you are asked to choose between Typical and Custom.
Name the new virtual machine and select the directory to save it.
Modify the maximum disk size and select how you want to store the virtual disk. Click the Next button.
You can configure the hardware settings any way you seem fit or leave the default settings. Finally, click on the Finish button.
At this point, you can run the new virtual machine to check that the boot error no longer shows up.
3] If installing from a physical drive, let VMware know
Many users who install operating systems from a bootable disk run into the Operating system not found boot error because they didn’t point out the drive from which to boot. To prevent this problem, VMware should be aware that you’re installing it from that specific drive.
Launch the VMware application. Right-click on the problematic virtual machine and click on Settings.
Navigate to the Hardware tab and select CD/DVD (SATA) from the list of devices.
Change the Connection to Use physical drive.
Click on the dropdown menu and choose the drive that contains the ISO file. Strike the OK button to save your settings.
4] Increase the PXE boot delay period
The configuration of your virtual machine could cause VMware to attempt to PXE boot. This could be the root of the boot error you’re experiencing because you may not be able to get into the Windows Installer screen fast enough.
VMware allows you only a brief window to press any key to boot into Windows Installer. Therefore, a great way to tackle this issue is to increase the boot delay to 6 seconds or more.
First, shut down all open virtual machines and then close the VMware application.
Launch File Explorer and go to the following directory:
C:\Users\[your username}\Documents\Virtual Machines
Remember to replace the [your username] part in the path above to your actual user account name.
In this directory, double-click on the folder of the specific machine that’s giving issues and find its .VMX file. Open this file with a smart text editor (such as Notepad ++).
This guide will help you show file extensions in the folder if you do not see them.
In the open document, go to the bottom end of the text and then paste the code below:
bios.bootDelay = "6000"
Save the document now and close your text editor.
Let us know if this worked for you.
Related: What is syswow64 vmnat.exe process?