Installation Media may not be recognized when you try to install Windows Vista from the CD or DVD

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Article ID: 928633 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to use a Windows Vista CD or DVD to install Windows Vista, one or more of the following issues may occur:
  • The disc is not recognized by the computer.
  • When you view the contents of the disc in Windows Explorer, the disc appears to be empty.
  • The disc is in the CD or DVD drive when you start the computer. However, you are not prompted with the following message as expected:
    Press any key to boot from CD

CAUSE

These issues may occur if one or more of the following conditions are true:
  • You insert a Windows Vista DVD in a CD drive.
  • The disc is defective or damaged.
  • The CD or DVD drive is not configured as a startup device in the BIOS.
  • The disc is recognized as invalid media. For example, it is a copy of a disc.
  • There is an issue that is caused by the firmware of the CD or DVD drive.
  • There is a media compatibility issue.

RESOLUTION

To troubleshoot these issues, follow these steps:
  1. Make sure that you have inserted the Windows Vista disc in the correct type of drive. CD media can be read by either a CD drive or a DVD drive. However, DVD media can only be read by a DVD drive. Make sure that you have not inserted a DVD in a CD drive. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 2.
  2. Inspect the Windows Vista disc for physical damage, such as for scratches or for other visible defects. If the media is defective, obtain replacement media from the place of purchase or by contacting Microsoft. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 3.
  3. Make sure that the CD or DVD drive is configured as a startup device in the BIOS. To configure the computer to start from the CD or DVD drive, view the documentation that is included with the computer, or contact the computer manufacturer. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 4.
  4. Make sure that the Windows Vista disc is genuine. Genuine Windows Vista discs have a hologram printed on them that says “genuine media.” Obtain a genuine Windows Vista disc, and then try the installation again. If you have a genuine disc, go to step 5.
  5. Insert a different startup disc in the CD or DVD drive, and then use that disc to start the computer. For example, try a Microsoft Windows XP CD, or try a disc that was provided by the computer manufacturer for reinstalling the operating system. If you can use a different disc to start the computer, the Windows Vista disc may be defective or damaged. If you cannot use a different disc to start the computer from the CD or DVD drive, go to step 6.
  6. The CD or DVD drive may require a firmware update before the Windows Vista disc can be read correctly. Contact the manufacturer of the CD or DVD drive to obtain updates for the specific device model. If updates are available, download the update, and then upgrade the firmware on the CD or DVD drive. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 7.
  7. If it is practical, try to install Windows Vista from a different CD or DVD drive. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 8.
  8. Other media compatibility issues may prevent the computer from starting from the Windows Vista disc. If the disc can be accessed from an operating system that is already installed on the computer, copy the contents of the DVD or CD to a folder on the hard disk, and then try a flat installation.

    Note A flat installation is a software installation that is performed from files that have been copied to a hard disk instead of from other installation media, such as a disc. You must have an additional 3 gigabytes (GB) of free disk space on the hard disk to install Windows Vista from a flat.

    To install Windows Vista from a flat on the hard disk, follow these steps:
    1. Right -click Start, and then click Explore.
    2. Locate and then click the CD or DVD drive that contains the Windows Vista disc.
    3. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
    4. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
    5. On the hard disk, open the folder in which you want to create the flat.
    6. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
    7. Type Windows Vista Flat, and then press ENTER.
    8. Double-click Windows Vista Flat, and then on the Edit menu, click Paste.
    9. After the files are copied from the Windows Vista disc to the "Windows Vista Flat" folder, double-click Setup.exe.
    10. Follow the steps in the Windows Setup Wizard to complete the installation.
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

MORE INFORMATION

For help with CD or DVD drive problems in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft web page:
Fix problems in which your CD or DVD drive cannot read or write media in Windows

Properties

Article ID: 928633 - Last Review: March 15, 2007 - Revision: 1.8
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
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