USB Windows 10 Clean Install – A Media Driver Your Computer Needs is Missing [SOLVED]

Missing media drivers is a common error encountered during Windows 10 installation. This error is mainly due to a lack of the required USB drivers to enable your USB and your hard disk to “interact” for Windows installation. A similar error also happens with Windows 7 installation. It would say A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. Below are three possible ways to resolve this problem in Windows 10.

SOLUTION 1: Change to Another USB Port

Here all you need to do is to change your USB stick to another USB port on your laptop. So basically you should first terminate the installation process, detach your USB stick from the port you had connected it to, attach it to another USB port on your computer and try the process over again. If you still get the same error from that port, try another port until you find a working port. Or better still if your USB ports are visibly marked, talking about the 2.0 and 3.0 standards, then if the previous port giving the error is a 3.0 port, switch to a 2.0 port and see if that works for you.

There are different elements at play when trying to install Windows from a USB drive, for instance the partition scheme of the USB, the firmware standard of your target system (in this case the computer and hard drive where you are trying to install Windows), the file system format (NTFS vs FAT32), and the USB standards. Another key element here is the manufacturer’s configuration of the USB ports. Some manufacturers configure only one or two USB ports to be active and operational from your BIOS while the other ports get activated after installing your Windows and updating your drivers. So clearly there are quite a number of factors in play, and sometimes a mismatch in one or two of these standards can hinder your Windows installation or even prevent your computer from discovering the USB with your Windows installation files.

SOLUTION 2: Install Intel Rapid Storage Technology User Interface Drivers
Here you need to download the Intel Rapid Storage technology User Interface and Driver and install it during the Windows installation. On Google, search Intel Rapid Storage Technology.

Click on the first result from intel.com and scroll down to where it says “Download intel Rapid Storage Technology” and Click on it.

Then on the page that follows, select drivers and choose your operating system, (e.g. Windows 10 64-bits.)

Then it displays the latest driver of your chosen specifications. Here click on the link in the result; it should take you to this download page below.

Here you want to download the last two drivers for both the 64 and 32-bit editions. Go to the location you downloaded these files and unzip them into separate folders by creating two folders x86 and x64, then move the two files into the respective folders, unzip them and copy the folders to a known location on the USB stick with your Windows 10 installation files. Eject the USB and try the installation process again.

During the installation, at the point where you get this error, choose the browse option, and then locate the folder where you save the drivers, and click ok. On the page that follows, uncheck hide the drivers that aren’t compatible with this computers’ hardware

Then here you will need to do a bit of research to figure out the chipset of your computer, select it and hit next.

That should install the required driver and proceed with the rest of the installation process.

SOLUTION 3: Check Your BIOS For UEFI vs Legacy USB Mode

Again, this is another factor that could hinder Windows installation when a mismatch occurs. The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) mode is the newer, more secure and better-provisioned mode than the legacy mode. So when possible always choose the UEFI mode. However, you may have a disk that is already preformatted for one of these two modes i.e. Preformatting with the GPT file format gets your disk ready for UEFI mode while preformatting with MBR file format gets your disk ready for legacy BIOS mode. So when you try to install Windows and for some reason your BIOS boots into the wrong mode, then you will likely get this kind of error that prevents the continuation of your Windows installation.

For this scenario, simply restart your PC, use the corresponding function key or combination of function and Esc or Delete keys to boot into your BIOS. If you can’t get into your BIOS even though you are pressing the right BIOS key, here is how to force your computer to get into the BIOS.

Then from your BIOS, try to find Boot Mode, or UEFI/LEgacy Boot or some related term, the exact term depends your manufacturer and how your BIOS is designed. It could be under a sub-menu like Advanced or Startup as  shown in the images below:

From here select the boot mode option and change it to match your disk configuration.

If you are not sure of the correct firmware mode for your disk, and you happen to have a third option Both, as in the case above then selecting that could be more reassuring as it will then boot up for both UEFI and legacy modes. But if you have only the two options, as in the case below then simple toggling from the current mode to another mode could be the way to go.

Remember to save your new settings using the F10 key after every change. Hopefully one of these resolves the issue.

Please share your comments, questions and feedback in the comment section below. 

The following video demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.

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