Are you bothered by VMware operating system not found when you want to install the VMware OS using an ISO file or a physical drive? Do you know how to fix this issue? If no, you can read this post because MiniTool Software will show you the main causes and how to fix this issue in different cases.

If you are a user of VMware Workstation or VMware Player, you may encounter the issue of VMware operating system not found. This issue always happens when you are trying to install an OS from a physical installation driver or an ISO file.

When VMware OS not found, you will go to a black screen with an error message saying Operating System not found. The following screenshot message is an example.

VMware operating system not found

Tip: Operating System Not Found can also happen on different versions of Windows like Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 7. You can refer to this article to solve the issue: Here Are 5 Perfect Solutions to Missing Operating System.

Reasons for Operating System Not Found VMware

Why does this issue happen? Here, we will show you some main causes.

The ISO File Is Unbootable

This is a very common reason. The issue happens when you want to use an ISO file that is not bootable. In a situation like this, you need to use another copy of the ISO file that is bootable to install OS on your VMware Workstation or VMware Player.

Your VMware Is Not Set to Boot from the Physical Drive

If you are trying to install OS using a physical drive, you need to set your VMware to boot from that drive. If not, VMware operating system not found can happen. So, you need to shut down your VMware and then boot it from that drive to have a try.

The VM Files Are Corrupted

Some VM files that are involving in OS startup may be corrupted, causing the issue of operating system not found VMware. You need to recreate the virtual machine to have a try.

PXE Boot Period Is Too Short

If the PXE sequence is over before the screen is asking for user interaction is shown, you can also encounter this issue. If so, you need to modify the .vmx file with a boot delay to solve this issue.

Now, we will show you how to solve this issue in different situations.

#1. Check Whether the ISO File Is Bootable

If you want to install the VMware OS using an ISO file, you need to make sure that the ISO file is bootable. Perhaps, sometimes, the file you use just contains a package of some update that is not bootable. So, you can just make a confirmation to rule out this possibility.

#2. Set Your VMware to Boot from the Target Physical Drive

If you want to install the VMware OS from a physical drive, you need to make your VMware boot from that drive. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open your VMware Workstation or VMware player.
  2. You can see the main menu. Then, right-click the faulty machine and select Settings.
  3. In Virtual Machine Settings, select Hardware.
  4. Click CD/DVD (SATA).
  5. Move the cursor to the right panel and then select Use physical drive under Connection.
  6. Unfold its option and then select the physical drive you want to boot from.
  7. Click OK to save the change.
  8. Reboot your VMware again to see whether it is bootable now.

#3. Recreate the VMware Machine

Some users reported that they solve the issue (especially the VMware fusion operating system not found issue) by recreating the VMware machine. You can also use this method to have a try.

  1. Open your VMware application and then click Home from the left menu.
  2. Click Create a New Virtual Machine. Here, if you are using VM Fusion or VMware workstation, you need to make sure that the Easy install option is not selected.
  3. Set a name and select a location for your virtual machine on the next page.
  4. Set the maximum disk size and select the way you want to save the virtual disk.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Set the hardware according to your requirements.
  7. Click Finish.
  8. Try the newly created VMware machine and see whether it can work normally.

#4. Check Whether You Can See the Windows Installer Screen

If the PXE boot period is too short, you may not see the Windows installer screen and select the drive you want to boot from during the startup process. But, you can manually set a boot delay of 6 seconds or even longer to make you have time to press any key to boot into the Windows installer.

Here is the thing you need to do:

  1. Close your virtual machine and the main VMware application.
  2. Open the File Explorer and then go to C:\Users\*YourUser*\Documents\Virtual Machines. Here, YourUser means your Windows user account.
  3. Open the folder that is related to the faulty virtual machine.
  4. Find the .vmx file and right-click it. Then, select Edit with Notepad++. If you can’t see the file’s extension, you can make it show.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the file. Then, copy and paste the following code to the bottom: bootDelay = “6000”.
  6. Click File on the top menu and click Save to save the file.

After this setting, you can reboot your VMware machine to see whether the VMware operating system not found issue is solved.

We hope these solutions can help you solve the issue you are facing. If you are facing some related issues, you can let us know in the comment.

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