Windows – a virtual optical disk file and how do you create one

notepadvirtual machinevirtual-diskvirtualboxwindows xp

I am trying to create a virtual machine using virtualBox and I have finished the whole process of specifying the size, the name, etc. However, when I try to power on the machine it tells me:

Please select a virtual optical disk file or a physical optical drive
containing a disk to start your new virtual machine from.

The disk should be suitable for starting a computer from and should contain the operating system you wish to install on the virtual machine if you want to do that now. The disk will be ejected from the virtual drive automatically next time you switch the virtual machine off, but you can also do this yourself if needed using the Devices menu.

I am planning to run notepad++ on my new windows virtual machine but I don't know what a virtual optical disk file is or how to make one. Can someone please help me?

Best Answer

  • By "Virtual optical disk file" it means an .iso image – a complete copy of a CD's or DVD's contents. (That is, not just the files, but also the complete structure.)

    In other words, you created a blank VM, and now it's asking you to insert an installation disc so that you could install Windows (or Linux, or…) on it.

    If you have an actual CD with Windows on it (or can buy one), you can use various tools to make an .iso image of it (like ImgBurn on Windows, Disk Utility on OS X, or the cp, pv, dd commands on Linux/BSD/OSX).

    If you don't have a CD, download the .iso image from the net – all Linux & BSD distros come in .iso form, and for Windows there are both legal & illegal places to obtain those (e.g. MSDN).