How to fix the Windows 7 install error: ‘A required cd/dvd device driver is missing’. Note that this will also fix issues where your USB keyboard/mouse do not work in Windows 7 setup.
This is a frustrating problem when trying to install Windows 7, and there are various recommendations on the internet, some of which may or may not work. However, what follows is in my opinion the simplest way to resolve this issue.
The problem happens on a reasonably modern machine with USB 3 ports. One source of confusion is the lengthy post on the Microsoft answers forum here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/a-required-cddvd-device-driver-is-missing-usb/61eda679-66cc-4512-b175-d02871394461?auth=1, the top recommendation is to change USB ports half way through the installation. This will in fact work in some cases, but there is a simpler way to resolve this.
The problem stems from the fact that Windows 7 does not include USB 3 drivers on the installation media. So basically, if you try and use a USB 3.0 port to install Windows 7 with a bootable USB key, you will get this error.
The solution is as follows:
- Use a USB port that is not USB 3.0 (look inside the port, if the horizontal plastic strip in the middle is blue then it is 3.0, otherwise it is probably 2.0).
- Failing that, if all the ports are USB 3.0, you will need to change the BIOS setting to change your USB ports to 2.0. This varies by manufacturer, but on my Fujitsu E734 with Phoenix BIOS, this setting is in Advanced/Internal Device Configuration/USB3.0 (change to disabled).
Also see ‘How to Install Windows 7 with only USB 3.0 Ports’ <http://codeabitwiser.com/2014/03/how-to-install-windows-7-with-only-usb-3-0-ports/> – this details how to inject the drivers into the boot.wim file, but frankly either of the 2 methods above are easier. I couldn’t get the boot.wim method to work even with the correct drivers for one laptop, but this is worth a try if you have no USB 2.0 ports or BIOS setting for USB 2.0.