Creating a custom virtual machine in VMware Fusion
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Creating a custom virtual machine in VMware Fusion


Article ID: 328879


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


  • When creating a new virtual machine by installing an operating system from CD/DVD, errors about Unbootable disks or requests for valid boot disks or install CDs are displayed.
  • When installing a full version of Windows (not an upgrade version), the Windows installer incorrectly reports that an existing copy of Windows needs to be present.
  • When performing an Easy Install, Windows does not recognize your license key.


VMware Fusion 5.x
VMware Fusion 2.x
VMware Fusion 10.x
VMware Fusion 8.x
VMware Fusion Pro 11.x
VMware Fusion 11.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Fusion 3.x
VMware Fusion Pro 10.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion 4.x


To resolve this issue, instead of creating a virtual machine by using Fusion's built-in Easy Install options, create a custom virtual machine, then install the operating system as if the virtual machine were a physical PC.
To create the custom virtual machine, and then install the operating system:
  1. From Fusion's menu bar, go to File > New.
  2. For Fusion 8.x, 7.x and 6.x:
    1. Click More options.
    2. Click Continue.
    3. Select Create a custom virtual machine.

    For Fusion 10.x:
    1. Click create a custom virtual machine in the Select the Installation method.

    For Fusion 5.x:

    1. Click Continue without disk.
    2. Select the option Create a custom virtual machine.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Select the Create a custom virtual machine option and click Continue.
  5. Select the correct operating system and version and click Continue.
  6. Customize any settings if required. For more information, see the VMware community page Choosing the Right Virtual Machine Settings.
  7. Click Finish and save the virtual machine file.

    Note: If the virtual machine starts automatically, close any No Operating System was found errors, shut down the virtual machine, and continue to Step 8.
  8. From Fusion's menu bar, click Virtual Machine > CD/DVD > CD/DVD Settings.
  9. Ensure that the switch beside Enable CD/DVD Drive is ON (Fusion 4.x and later) or that Connected is selected (Fusion 3.x and earlier).
  10. Choose SuperDrive (Fusion 4.x and later) or Specify physical CD/DVD drive (Fusion 3.x and earlier) and select the drive containing the install disc.
  11. Close the Settings pane.
  12. Start (or restart) the virtual machine.
  13. Proceed normally with the operating system installation.

Additional Information

If you are still unable to successfully install Windows in a virtual machine, you may need to create a disk image and use that to complete the installation. For details, see Creating a Fusion virtual machine with a disk image (1015406).Creating a Fusion virtual machine with a disk image