Booting from a USB drive

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Booting from a USB drive

Here we can see, “Booting from a USB drive”

If you have a new computer model with UEFI/EFI, be sure to read UEFI/EFI configuration before moving on to How to boot from a USB flash drive.

If you want to boot from a CD or DVD instead, see the Booting from a CD or DVD guide.

How to start your computer from a USB flash drive

You must ensure the following for your computer to boot from a USB flash drive:

The USB flash drive can be used to start a computer.

The USB flash drive is prioritised in your BIOS/UEFI panel’s Boot devices menu. Go to To access BIOS/UEFI for more details.

You’ll need to disable quick boot on certain computer models (mainly ultrabooks) before you can boot from a USB drive.

Also See:  bootsect.exe

Instructions

Method 1 – To boot from a USB drive, follow these steps:

  1. Place the USB flash drive in the slot. All other disks, memory cards, printers, scanners, and other devices should be removed.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. If you are prompted to boot from an external media, press any key.

Method 2 – If you are not prompted with this type of message, you should be prompted to select a device to boot from by pressing a specific combination of keys:

Place the USB flash drive in the slot. Remove all other disks, memory cards, printers, and other devices described above.

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. To do so, go to the Boot Menu.
  3. To enter Boot Menu to locate the key combination for your specific PC maker.
  4. Select the USB device and press Enter.

Multiple names in the Boot Menu might refer to the external media:

1. +Removable Devices
2. +Hard Drive
3. CD-ROM Drive

Method 3 – If none of the preceding methods works, ensure that the BIOS/UEFI settings are accurate and that the USB item in the Boot Device Select Menu may be “moved” to the top of the list.

You’ll be causing your computer to always boot from a USB flash drive first, then from your hard disk, using this method. If you don’t have a USB drive, the computer will start from the hard drive.

The flash drive you’re looking for is usually labelled “Removable Devices” or “USB-HDD.”

The following is an example of a list:

1st Drive [SATA]
2nd Drive [USB:Flash Drive]

You can press Enter on the 1st Drive option to open the menu and select the USB drive item instead, depending on your computer model and BIOS version.

If you follow these instructions, the list above will look like this:

1st Drive [USB:Flash Drive]
2nd Drive [SATA]

Before you leave, make sure you save your modifications.

Shortcut keys

To enter the Boot Menu or the BIOS/UEFI menu, you must hit a particular key or combination of keys, depending on the PC manufacturer.

The Boot Menu is a Windows menu that allows you to choose which device to boot from HDD, USB, CD-ROM, and so on.

If the Boot Menu isn’t available, you can configure your BIOS/UEFI settings to compel your computer to boot from an external and removable media (such as a USB flash drive, CD, or DVD).

The legacy mode must be enabled on newer computer models with UEFI/EFI (or disabling the secure boot). Go to UEFI/EFI configuration if you have a PC with UEFI/EFI.

If your USB flash drive isn’t bootable, you won’t be able to use it. To learn how to boot from a USB flash drive, go to How to Boot from a USB Flash Drive.

To access Boot Menu

Find your PC maker below to learn what combination of keys you’ll need to get to the Boot Menu:

  • Acer: Esc, F12 or F9. Most computers models from Acer should work with the F12 key.
  • Asus: F8 or Esc
  • Compaq: Esc or F9
  • Dell: F12
  • eMachines: F12
  • Fujitsu: F12
  • HP: Esc or F9. If Esc works, you may need to press F9 afterwards: Esc + F9.
  • Lenovo: F8, F10 or F12. On computer models with the Novo button, try pressing the Novo button. Other key combinations: Fn + F11.
  • Samsung: F2 or F12. Esc, F2 or F12. Before booting from a USB device, users of Samsung ultrabooks should disable the rapid boot option in BIOS/UEFI. To turn off the quick boot, go to To access BIOS/UEFI > Samsung and look for the combination of keys you need to enter.
  • VAIO: Esc, F10 or F11. On some Sony VAIO computers models you may need to press the Assist button.
  • Toshiba: F12

To access BIOS/UEFI

Find your PC manufacturer below to learn what key combinations you’ll need to get into the BIOS/UEFI:

  • Acer: Use the Del or F2 keys. The F2 key should work with most models.
  • Asus: Press the Delete or Del keys.
  • Compaq: F10
  • Dell: F2
  • eMachines: Tab or Del
  • Fujitsu: F2
  • HP: F10, F11, Esc. You may need to hit F1 instead on some Pavilion models.
  • Lenovo: F1 or F2. If your computer is a laptop from Lenovo, try searching for a small button next to the Power button instead.
  • Samsung: F2. On some ultrabooks models, you may need to press F10.
  • VAIO: F1, F2, F3. On models with the Assist button, press Assist.
  • Toshiba: F1, F2, F12 or Esc.
Also See:  Installing Windows from USB

UEFI/EFI configuration

Before you can boot from a USB flash drive, Windows 8 and Windows 10 systems normally feature the new UEFI/EFI, which requires some preparation.

Go to To access BIOS/UEFI instructions if you don’t know how to access UEFI/EFI.

The secure boot option must be disabled. Then, depending on your computer model, you can use any of the following alternative names:

  • Legacy Support. If you have Legacy Support listed, make sure it’s On or Enabled.
  • Legal CSM. If you have Legacy CSM listed, make sure it’s On or Enabled.
  • Launch CSM. If you have Launch CSM listed, make sure it’s On or Enabled.
  • CSM. If you have CSM, make sure it’s On or Enabled.
  • UEFI/Legacy Boot. If you have a UEFI/Legacy Boot option, make sure it’s selected as Both or Legacy Only.
  • Boot Mode. If you have a Boot Mode option listed, make sure Legacy Support is selected.
  • Boot Option Filter. If you have a Boot Option Filter option listed, make sure you select

After you’ve made the adjustments to disable secure boot (or enable legacy mode), remember to save them.

Normally, this is accomplished by pressing the F10 key.

Troubleshoot

The HDD is visible, but the USB port is not

  • If the HDD choice is available at the Boot Menu but not the USB drive, attempt the following steps and restart your computer:
  • If your computer has multiple USB ports, plug and unplug the flash drive in a new port each time you boot.
  • If your computer has USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, utilize the USB 2.0 port for the flash drive.
  • Ensure you have all of the essential drivers for the Windows version you’re using from the PC makers.

The USB drive will not boot

If the USB doesn’t boot, check to see if:

  1. That the USB can be booted.
  2. You can choose the USB drive from the Boot Device list or set BIOS/UEFI to always boot from a USB drive before moving on to the hard drive.

You should also be aware of the following on new computer models with UEFI/EFI:

  • It is necessary to enable the legacy mode (alternative names are: disabling secure boot).

If your ultrabook has a Fast Boot option, you can do the following:

  • First, disable the rapid boot feature.

Conclusion

I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any queries or comments.

User Questions

1. Is it possible to utilize a USB drive as a boot disk?

You can boot your Windows 10 PC from a bootable USB device if you have one. The simplest approach to boot from USB is to press the Shift key when selecting the Restart option in the Start menu to bring up the Advanced Startup Options.

2. Why won’t my computer boot from a USB drive?

If the USB doesn’t boot, check to see if it’s bootable. You can choose the USB drive from the Boot Device list or set BIOS/UEFI to always boot from a USB drive before moving on to the hard drive.

3. Is it possible for all machines to boot from a USB drive?

However, USB booting is not supported by all PCs. Most modern computers support it, but not all of them. As a result, you should examine your computer. To complete this task, you must first examine the BIOS configuration.

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