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Cannot boot from USB

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Tried to boot from a USB drive but it didn't work?

Booting from USBEdit

If your USB device does not appear in the F12 boot selection list, there are a few possible causes:

  • Ensure that USB Emulation is enabled in the BIOS.  This is the factory default setting, but when USB emulation is enabled, it is not possible to navigate the BIOS interface using an external USB keyboard, so if you disabled it to gain that functionality, you'll need to re-enable it to boot from a USB device.
  • Ensure that the boot device is attached directly to the system's USB ports (i.e. not attached to a USB hub) and ensure that no other USB devices are attached.  Some USB devices that contain hubs have been known to interfere with boot device detection when they are attached, even if the boot device itself is attached directly to the system.
  • Ensure that the bootable software on your device has a boot method compatible with your BIOS settings, i.e. UEFI or Legacy.  If your BIOS is in UEFI mode and Legacy Option ROMs are disabled, you will only see boot options if a UEFI-compatible boot environment is detected on external media.  If your BIOS is in UEFI mode and Legacy Option ROMs are enabled, you will see both UEFI and Legacy boot options, separated into categories.  And if your BIOS is in Legacy mode, you will only see Legacy boot options.  NOTE: If you are booting into an operating system installation environment, the type of boot environment you choose affects how the OS is installed!!  Therefore if you wish to install Windows in UEFI mode, for example, ensure that your bootable media supports the UEFI boot method and that you select the UEFI instance of your boot device in the F12 boot menu.  More information here.
  • Try using the single USB 2.0 port on the system.  One user mentioned having trouble booting from USB when using the USB 3.0 ports on the XPS, though booting from the USB 2.0 port worked fine.  However, others have sucecssfully booted using the USB 3.0 ports, so this could be an issue specific to certain devices and/or certain boot environments.

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