Why is there a fatal error when I try to launch Windows XP in VirtualBox on my Mac?

Sindri Valþórsson July 12, 2011

I was trying to run VirtualBox on my Mac, and when I started it as Windows XP, all that came up was “FATAL: No bootable medium found! System halted.”

Does anyone know what the thing wants me to do?

  1. GG
    December 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I had the exact same problem. My solution was to copy the ISO of the guest operating system (XP) to my Mac desktop, and then in the VM 'First Run Wizard', choose that instead of the CD/DVD that I'd burned. This worked! (Newer versions of Virtual Box allow you to boot from an ISO stored anywhere, without the need for a physical disk). Here's how, from the VM manual:

    'If you have downloaded installation media from the Internet in
    the form of an ISO image file (most probably in the case of a Linux
    distribution), you would normally burn this file to an empty CD or
    DVD and proceed as just described. With VirtualBox however, you can
    skip this step and mount the ISO file directly. VirtualBox will then
    present this file as a CD or DVD-ROM drive to the virtual machine,
    much like it does with virtual hard disk images.For this case, the wizard's drop-down list contains a list of
    installation media that were previously used with VirtualBox.If your medium is not in the list (especially if you are using
    VirtualBox for the first time), select the small folder icon next to
    the drop-down list to bring up a standard file dialog, with which
    you can pick the image file on your host disks'.

  2. Tina
    July 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm


    were you able to solve the problem with Virtual Box and Windows XP? Please let us know whether or not you need more help. Thank you!

  3. Mike
    July 13, 2011 at 12:13 am

    The message is self-explained: No bootable medium.
    If you haven't installed Windows XP yet you either haven't selected the CD/DVD-Drive with the installation CD or the ISO properly.If you have already installed Windows XP in the Virtual Machine you either have removed the Virtual Hard Disk from the VM configuration or deleted it completely.

    One other option would be if you have changed the VM configuration ~ this could also happen if you switched from virtual IDE to SCSI. If you have done that either switch it back to it's previous state or reinstall it.