I cannot install an operating system in my virtual machine

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Note: this article only applies to Intel-based Macs. To install a virtual machine on a Mac with Apple M1 chip, please refer to KB 125375.




Before checking the solutions to the most frequent virtual machine installation issues below, please make sure the operating system installation media is suitable for virtual machine installation:

  1. If you are using a CD/DVD to install a virtual machine, make sure it is bootable and in working condition. Working condition means that you can use the disk to install the operating system on any other physical PC.

  2. Try another installation CD/DVD, or use an .iso image to install a virtual machine. To learn more about .iso disk images, see KB 4917.

  3. If you are installing a Windows virtual machine, make sure you own a valid license to activate the virtual machine. A Windows virtual machine is considered a Windows installation and requires a valid license key just as a physical Windows PC does.

If the steps above don't resolve the issue, see the solutions below.

I can't install a Windows virtual machine: possible issues and solutions

I can't install a Mac OS X or Linux virtual machine

I can't install an operating system downloaded from Parallels Desktop

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