Windows 10 Installation: Missing Media Driver

Posted on | 311 words | ~2 mins

I had a strange problem when I tried to install Windows 10 on a new machine yesterday:

I downloaded the Windows 10 ISO from the Microsoft website and used dd to create a bootable USB stick. I could actually boot from the stick but got a weird error message when starting the installation:

A media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB or Hard disk driver. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now.

Note: If the installation media for Windows is in the DVD drive or on a USB drive, you can safely remove it for this step.

It did not say which driver other than which class of device a driver is missing, so I tried all chipset drivers on my motherbord CD (to no avail).

I googled for possible solutions and found several hints (1 ,2 ) that this might be caused by a defective USB stick or a “wrong” USB port.

But the cause of the problem was rather easy: just dd-ing the ISO on the USB drive was not the right way to go. I assume that some parts necessary for a UEFI-boot were missing. Using the same stick and the Media Creation Tool on a Windows PC instantly created a bootable stick which did not show the message above.

It also changed the mode in which the stick was booted to UEFI (which I assumed I would be using all along). The boot animation changed and the installer started in a visibly higher display resolution.

Since many boot medium creation tools for Linux just use dd under the hood (e.g. MX Linux' boot stick tool), I’d recommend using Windows to create a Windows boot medium.

Oh the irony - you obviously have to run Windows to install Windows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯