Windows 7 Won’t Install: “A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing”

Several users are experiencing an issue in which Windows 7 will not install, delivering the error message

“Load Driver A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now. Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.”

This problem generally occurs right after pressing the “Install Now” button.

Fixes

Change BIOS boot order The most successful fix for this issue is to set the optical (DVD) drive as the first boot device in the BIOS. To do this, first enter BIOS mode as follows:

Enter your system’s BIOS mode. This is accomplished by pressing a specific key repeatedly as soon as your computer is turned on (or right after it is restarted). For many computers, the key is F8, but it may be F1, F2, F10, the Delete (del) key or the Escape (ESC) key. Consult your computer or motherboard’s manual or try different keys until you find the right one.

Find the screen or option for changing the boot order. Follow the instructions for changing the boot order. This is sometimes accomplished by using the + or – buttons.

Update ITE ATA driver Failing the above, try booting back into Windows Vista or XP. Launch Windows Update and install the ITE ATA driver update before attempting the upgrade. The upgrade advisor may not find this driver.

Switch from SATA to AHCI Follow the aforementioned instructions for booting into your computer’s BIOS, then check your HDD or storage settings. Turn off SATA, switching to AHCI, and reboot normally, then re-attempt installation of Windows 7.

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For other installation problem fixes, see our previous post “The 7 Biggest Windows 7 RC1 Problems (and Fixes)”

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