A USB flash drive can be used to boot your computer in a multitude of conditions. Whether you need to install Windows on your PC or you want to try the most recent version of your favorite Linux distribution. Whatever your reason, here are three distinct methods for using a bootable USB flash drive to boot your machine. Getting your computer to boot from a USB drive can be game-changing, especially if you need to install a new operating system or fix bugging problems. In this step-by-step explanation, I’ll go over how to create a bootable USB drive and get your computer to boot from it. Follow along if you’re a tech rookie or just looking for a refresher, and I’ll make this journey simple.
1. How to boot from a USB drive using Windows 10’s Settings (without BIOS or UEFI)
1. Begin by connecting the bootable USB flash drive to your computer’s USB port. Then, go to Update & Security in the Settings app.
2. Select Recovery on the left, and then scroll down to the Advanced starting section on the right side of the window. Click or press the Restart Now button in it.
3. Windows 10 restarts and displays a screen with several options. You will see the option “Use a device” simply click on it.
4. After that, you will find a list of devices from which your computer can boot, including the USB flash drive you inserted. Click on “USB Drive” it.
5. Your computer then restarts and boots from the USB flash drive you chose.
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2. How to boot from a USB drive using Windows 11’s Settings (without BIOS or UEFI)
1. Connect the bootable USB flash drive to a USB port on your Windows 11 system first. Then, open Settings (Windows + I), make sure System is chosen on the left sidebar, and then click or tap Recovery on the right panel.
2. Locate the Advanced Startup option on the right side of the window as well. It briefly states, “Restart your device to change startup settings, including starting from a disc or USB drive.” On the right, press the Restart Now button.
3. Next, Windows 11 will notify you that it will restart your device, so save your work before it occurs. After that, from the dialog, click or tap the Restart Now button.
4. After that, your computer will reboot, and Windows 11 will load its recovery environment. Click the “Use a device” option.
5. Next to that, you’ll see a list of bootable devices that your computer can utilize. This includes the USB drive you inserted, so click on it.
6. Finally, your computer restarts and boots from the USB disk you previously selected.
3. How to boot from a USB drive using the UEFI/BIOS Boot Menu
To boot from a USB flash drive, regardless of the operating system installed on your PC, simply select the USB flash drive from the UEFI or BIOS Boot Menu. Check that your USB flash drive is bootable before inserting it into any USB port on your computer.
Next, turn on your computer (or restart it if it is already on). When the BIOS/UEFI screen comes immediately after turning it on, access the Boot Menu by pressing the appropriate key(s). Most computer manufacturers utilize the F8, F9, F10, or F11 keys for this, and many computers display the Boot Menu key(s) immediately after powering up. If you are unable to identify the correct one, consult the documentation for your computer’s motherboard or device manufacturer. The access key(s) to the Boot Menu should be mentioned in their user manuals.
When the Boot Menu displays, use it to select the USB flash drive from which you wish to boot and then hit Enter on your keyboard. It is important to note that the USB flash drive can have different names based on what the PC or motherboard manufacturer desires. Some refer to it as a removable device, while others refer to it as a USB-HDD, and so on.
Once you’ve pressed Enter, the computer should boot from the USB flash drive.
4. How to boot from a USB drive by modifying the UEFI/BIOS settings
Proceed by entering your BIOS/UEFI. You should be able to do so by pressing the appropriate key (combination) soon after turning on your computer. Although your PC or motherboard’s manufacturer can assign any key for this function, widely used keys are Delete, F1, F2, F10, and F12. If none of these work, the correct key to press can be found in the manual for your PC or motherboard.
After entering the BIOS/UEFI, look through the settings choices until you locate a page labeled Boot or something like that. Your computer’s boot order should be shown there. You must select the USB flash drive as the first device to boot from this list. Remember that the USB option on your PC may be titled differently: look for Removable Devices, USB-HDD, or similar names. Typically, the +, -, F5, or F6 keyboard shortcuts are used to move the USB flash drive to the top of the boot list.
After selecting the USB flash drive as the initial boot option, save your settings by hitting F10 on your keyboard and exit the BIOS/UEFI environment. Your computer will restart and then boot from the USB flash drive automatically.
If your computer utilizes UEFI, you may be unable to make the preceding changes. In that scenario, you must first temporarily disable the Secure Boot option. Depending on what the manufacturer wants, this option can also have several names: Legacy Boot or Legacy Support, CSM or Launch CSM, and so on. Select the alternatives that begin with Legacy or have CSM in their names.
In wrapping up, knowing how to boot from a USB drive is like having a superpower for your computer. It’s a skill that lets you take control when things get tricky or when you want to try something new. The step-by-step guide we’ve covered here is like your trusty map through the sometimes confusing world of BIOS and UEFI settings. Whether you’re a tech whiz or just someone who loves using their computer, being able to follow these steps means you can do cool things like fixing problems, installing new operating systems, or checking for issues.
So, why does this matter? Well, in today’s fast-paced tech world, having this skill is like having a key to unlock different possibilities for your computer. It’s not just about being savvy; it’s about having the confidence to explore and make the most out of your device. So, go ahead and master this process – it’s your ticket to a smoother, more personalized computing experience. In a nutshell, learning how to boot from a USB drive is not just a tech thing; it’s a practical and empowering skill that opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you and your computer.