How To Choose A Boot From A USB Drive On A Laptop

Configuring boot from a USB flash drive in AMI BIOS

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Please note that in order to perform all the described actions, the flash drive must be connected to the computer in advance, before entering the BIOS. In order to set boot from a USB flash drive in AMI BIOS:

  • From the top menu, press the right key to select Boot.
  • After that, select the item “Hard Disk Drives” and in the menu that appears, press Enter on “1st Drive”
  • In the list, select the name of the flash drive. in the second picture, for example, this is Kingmax USB 2.0 Flash Disk. Press Enter, then Esc.

If booting from CD is required, specify the DVD-ROM drive. Press Esc, in the menu above from the Boot item, move to the Exit item and select “Save changes and exit” or “Exit saving changes”. when asked if you are sure that you want to save the changes made, you will need to select Yes or type “Y” from the keyboard, then press Enter. After that, the computer will reboot and start using the flash drive, disk or other device of your choice for loading.

Booting from a USB flash drive to BIOS

When installing Windows from a USB flash drive, you need to boot the computer from a CD, and in many other cases, you need to configure the BIOS so that the computer boots from the desired media. This article will focus on how to set boot from a USB flash drive to BIOS. Also useful: How to put boot from DVD and CD in BIOS.

Update 2016: the guide added ways to put boot from a USB flash drive to UEFI and BIOS on new computers with Windows 8, 8.1 (which will work for Windows 10 as well). In addition, two methods have been added to boot from a USB drive without changing the BIOS settings. Options for changing the order of boot devices for older motherboards are also present in the instructions. And one more important point: if booting from a USB flash drive on a computer with UEFI does not work, try disabling Secure Boot.

Note: The end also describes what to do if you are unable to access BIOS or UEFI software on modern PCs and laptops. You can read how to create bootable USB drives here:

Boot from USB without entering BIOS (Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 with UEFI only)

If your computer has one of the latest versions of Windows installed, and the motherboard has UEFI software, then you can boot from a USB flash drive without even entering the BIOS settings.

To do this: go to options. change computer settings (through the case panel in Windows 8 and 8.1), then open “Update and Recovery”. “Recovery” and click the “Restart” button in the “Special boot options”.

On the Select Action screen that appears, select Use Device. USB device, network connection or DVD drive “.

On the next screen, you will see a list of devices from which you can boot, among which there should be your flash drive. If suddenly it is not there. click “View other devices”. After selection, the computer will reboot from the USB drive you specified.

Configuring boot from external media in H2O BIOS

To boot from a USB flash drive into the InsydeH20 BIOS, which is found on many laptops, in the main menu, use the “right” key to reach the “Boot” item. Set External Device Boot to Enabled. Below, in the Boot Priority section, use the F5 and F6 keys to set the External Device to the first position. If you need to boot from DVD or CD, select Internal Optic Disc Drive (Internal Optical Drive).

Then go to the Exit item in the top menu and select “Save and Exit Setup”. The computer will reboot from the correct media.

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How to get into BIOS to select boot options

In different cases, in order to get into the BIOS setup utility, you need to perform, in fact, the same action: immediately after turning on the computer, when the first black screen appears with information about the installed memory or the logo of the computer or motherboard manufacturer, press the desired keyboard button. The most common options are Delete and F2.

Press Del key to enter BIOS

Usually, this information is located at the bottom of the initial screen: “Press Del to enter Setup”, “Press F2 for Settings” and similar. By pressing the right button at the right time (the sooner the better. this must be done before the operating system starts loading) you will be taken to the settings menu. BIOS Setup Utility. The appearance of this menu may differ, consider a few of the most common options.

Booting from a USB flash drive to BIOS AWARD or Phoenix

In order to select a device to boot into the Award BIOS, in the main settings menu, select “Advanced BIOS Features”, then with the First Boot Device selected, press Enter.

A list of devices from which you can boot will appear. HDD-0, HDD-1, etc., CD-ROM, USB-HDD and others. To boot from a USB flash drive, you need to install a USB-HDD or USB-Flash. For booting from a DVD or CD. CD. ROM. After that, go up one level by pressing Esc, and select the menu item “Save Exit Setup” (Save and exit).

Using the Boot Menu to boot from a USB flash drive

In most cases, installing a boot from a USB flash drive in the BIOS is required for some one-time task: installing Windows, checking the computer for viruses using the LiveCD, resetting the Windows password.

In all THESE cases, it is not necessary to change the BIOS or UEFI settings, just call the Boot Menu when you turn on the computer and select the USB flash drive as the boot device once.

For example, when installing Windows, you press the desired key, select the connected USB drive with the system distribution kit, start the installation. configuration, copying files, etc., and after the first reboot, the computer will boot itself from the hard drive and continue the installation process in the standard mode.

I wrote in great detail about entering this menu on laptops and computers of various brands in the article How to enter the Boot Menu (there is also a video instruction there).

Changing boot order in UEFI BIOS

On modern motherboards, the BIOS interface, or more precisely, the UEFI software, is usually graphical and, perhaps, more understandable in terms of changing the order of boot devices.

In most variants, for example, on Gigabyte (not all) or Asus motherboards, you can change the boot order by simply dragging and dropping the disk images with the mouse.

If this is possible, look in the BIOS Features section, in the Boot Options item (the last item may be located in a different place, but the boot order is set there).

What to do if you can’t enter the BIOS to boot from a USB flash drive

Due to the fact that modern operating systems use fast boot technologies, it may turn out that you simply cannot enter the BIOS in order to somehow change the settings and boot from the desired device. In this case, I can offer two solutions.

The first is to enter the UEFI software (BIOS) using the Windows 10 specific boot options (see How to enter Windows 10 BIOS or UEFI) or Windows 8 and 8.1. I described in detail how to do this here: how to enter BIOS in Windows 8.1 and 8

The second is to try to disable fast boot of Windows, and then enter the BIOS in the usual way, using the Del or F2 key. To disable Fast Boot, go to Control Panel. Power. In the list on the left, select “Actions for the power buttons”.

And in the next window, remove the item “Enable Fast Startup”. this should help in using the keys after turning on the computer.

As far as I can tell, I described all the typical options: one of them should definitely help, provided that the boot drive itself is in order. If suddenly something does not work out.

Disable Secure Boot

If the laptop does not boot from a USB flash drive, and this is a laptop with UEFI BIOS, the problem may be the activity of the Secure Boot function. a secure boot mechanism that does NOT skip booting from devices based on unsigned software, which are many Live disks, some Linux distributions and installation processes of older versions of Windows. Learn more about Secure Boot and how to disable this feature in this article.

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How to get into BIOS or UEFI

To get into the BIOS or UEFI, immediately after turning on the computer, press and hold the Del, F2, or Esc button. Which button should be used to enter BIOS / UEFI in your model of desktop or laptop should be indicated in the supplied user manual. However, on newer Windows 8.1 computers, this can be problematic. If fast boot technology is activated in the system, you simply will not have time to press Del or F2 in time. In this case, follow these steps:

Open Options. Change computer settings. Updating and restoring. Recovery. Special download options, then click Restart Now. After rebooting, you will be taken to the Select Action window. Click Diagnostics. Extra options. UEFI firmware options. The computer will reboot and you will be taken directly to the UEFI interface.

Determining which interface your computer is using is very simple. To do this, you need to press Win R and in the window that opens, execute the command msinfo32, and then in the system information window, find the item “BIOS mode”. The old version of the I / O system will be marked “obsolete”, the new one. “UEFI”.

Configuring boot from CD / DVD / USB stick to UEFI

Setting boot priority in UEFI is easier, and not just because you can use a mouse. Most UEFIs have a Boot Priority panel at the bottom of the window that displays all devices connected to the computer, including flash drives and removable HDDs. To install a boot from a particular device, just drag it with the mouse to the beginning of the panel, and then save the new settings when exiting UEFI.

You can also click the “Exit / Advanced mode” button, go to the Boot tab in the window that opens, select “Boot Option # 1” in the Boot Option Priorities list and set a USB flash drive, hard drive, CD-ROM or other connected to computer device.

New settings are saved when exiting UEFI or by pressing F10.

One-time boot from USB stick

Depending on the manufacturer of the laptop or the motherboard of the desktop computer, different keys may be responsible for calling the boot menu. Most often it is F8, F10, F11, F12 or Esc. Look for a prompt on the screen when booting up your computer. It usually sounds like Boot Menu or Press. To select boot device:

In the Boot Menu, select USB-HDD:

If it fails to boot from the flash drive, enter the BIOS settings and set the following parameter values:

USB-HDD: Enabled USB-Floppy: Enabled Legacy support: Enabled External device Boot: Enabled Secure Boot: Disabled

Different BIOSes from different manufacturers have different specifications. Do not assume that all these parameters will necessarily be found on one computer. We just listed the names of all possible parameters that can affect booting from USB flash.

How to boot from a flash drive or disk

In previous articles, it was described in detail how you can get into the BIOS on different models of laptops and computers. But for what purpose is it necessary? In most situations, entering BIOS is required to change the default boot disk. In this text, the method of booting from a disk or flash drive to several versions of computers is analyzed. The same principle works on different devices. over, its observance requires only a minimum of logic and care. In the first option, it is proposed to put in SETUP (aka BIOS) the desired device to boot by default. In practice, it will look like this: any time the computer is turned on, it will start from the specified hardware. In the event that the device is unavailable or not suitable for loading, the system will try to do this from the next one on the list, which can also be designated. If that doesn’t work, the computer will go to the third device, and so on.

The next method is supported by almost all modern laptops or stationary solutions. It is enough at the start of the computer to turn on the menu to select the boot. Thus, the device is determined from which the starting system will be only once. This is a more convenient method in a situation where you need to boot the system from a USB flash drive one time.

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When using the first method to select a boot device in the BIOS, go into it and see the available interface. If you are greeted by blue windows, then in front of you is an Award, the gray one is AMI, and the graphic design indicates UEFI. There are others. To determine, just look at the screenshots and compare with your interface.

Boot priority setting in the hard drive selection menu

The inability to prioritize the BIOS flash drive boot is a problem not only for laptops, but also for PCs, and usually it is due to the fact that many programs for writing bootable media create a bootable USB flash drive according to the principle of arranging a hard drive. In such cases, the flash drive does not appear in the general list of prioritizing boot devices, it must be looked for in a separate menu, where the priority hard drive is determined. In this menu, USB plug-in drives are listed as hard drives along with the laptop‘s internal storage devices. HDD or SSD. But even users who have previously encountered this nuance may NOT remember it, since they may be misled by the fact that in the BIOS a UEFI flash drive is listed as a UEFI boot device (with an addendum in front of “UEFI”). It appears, but in fact the laptop does not boot from such a flash drive. If the bootable USB flash drive is NOT UEFI or we are dealing with a laptop based on a regular BIOS, the flash drive must be set in the hard drive priority menu. For example, in the tested Asus laptop, you need to go to the “Boot” section, in the “Boot Option # 1” column will install the hard drive.

  • Then it will go down to the column “Hard Drive BBS Priorities”.
  • And choose a flash drive.
  • In the general list of boot devices, the flash drive will NOT be listed as a UEFI device, and it will boot from it.
  • But it will come true if the Legacy compatibility mode is active.

Booting from a USB flash drive to BIOS AWARD or Phoenix

How to put boot from USB-10 in BIOS

In order to select a device to boot into the Award BIOS, in the main settings menu, select Advanced BIOS Features, then with the First Boot Device selected, press Enter.

How to put boot from USB-11 in BIOS

A list of devices from which you can boot will appear. HDD-0, HDD-1, etc., CD-ROM, USB-HDD and others. To boot from a USB flash drive, you need to install a USB-HDD or USB-Flash. For booting from a DVD or CD. CD. ROM. After that, go up one level by pressing Esc, and select the menu item “Save Exit Setup” (Save and exit).

Changing boot order in UEFI BIOS

On modern motherboards, the BIOS interface, or more precisely, the UEFI software, is usually graphical and, perhaps, more understandable in terms of changing the order of boot devices.

How to put boot from USB-04 in BIOS

In most variants, for example, on Gigabyte (not all) or Asus motherboards, you can change the boot order by simply dragging and dropping the disk images with the mouse.

How to put boot from USB-05 in BIOS

If this is possible, look in the BIOS Features section, in the Boot Options item (the last item may be located in a different place, but the boot order is set there).

Configuring boot from external media in h3O BIOS

How to put boot from USB-12 in BIOS

To boot from a USB flash drive into the Insydeh30 BIOS, which is found on many laptops, in the main menu, using the “right” key, you need to reach the “Boot” item. Set External Device Boot to Enabled. Below, in the Boot Priority section, use the F5 and F6 keys to set the External Device to the first position. If you need to boot from DVD or CD, select Internal Optic Disc Drive (Internal Optical Drive).

Then go to the Exit item in the top menu and select “Save and Exit Setup”. The computer will reboot from the correct media.