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I can't boot from USB even though the BIOS is set to boot from USB first. Windows Boot manager somehow seems to be taking precedence. I have Windows 7, Linux Mint and Ubuntu installed on my hard-drive. When I boot-up those are the only options, despite having a USB stick plugged in then going into the BIOS and setting the UEFI USB stick as the primary boot device.

--the USB device is fine as I can see it in windows/linux and can read the files. I made it bootable (in theory) by using linuxlive and/or pendrive with no success (though I've had success with both in the past).

Any suggestions??

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Did you try another USB port ? Did you try the stick in another machine? –  Ofiris May 31 '13 at 12:41
Don't have another machine. I have tried all three ports. The drive stick worked before, but that was before I had installed Linux on the hdd and had to use windows boot manager. –  newb May 31 '13 at 13:04
I would try and remove the HDD from the Boot devices. If there is a problem with the USB device, it would tell you no OS was found. It sounds like currently, it tries to boot from USB and skips to HDD. –  Ofiris May 31 '13 at 13:11
What's on the USB stick? Which BIOS do you have? I assume you're using Grub 2 for multi-booting at present? –  Karan Jun 1 '13 at 6:35
Maybe your motherboard just don't support USB boot, it's totally possible, I have a few old PC that just don't boot on USB sticks... –  Stakhanov Nov 20 '13 at 14:27

6 Answers 6

Your USB must have UEFI boot enabled. To do so, burn your ISO image to stick using Rufus (download here: http://rufus.akeo.ie/downloads/. Select 'Rufus V1.3.4'and download it. Open the tool and under partitioning Options select 'GPT Partition Scheme for UEFI computer'. Select your ISO from the small CD Drive Icon under format options. Click start. When finished reboot your computer and select the UEFI USB options from the manufacturer's boot options.

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You need to enable booting from non-EFI devices. This option can be found in most BIOSs called the Compatibility Support Module or CSM. This option is sometimes hidden until you disable Secure Boot. I've also seen it hidden until Fast Boot is disabled. Once you enable the CSM module and set it to boot EFI + Legacy boot devices you shouldn't have any trouble booting your USB device.

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In order to boot from a USB drive UEFI, you have to have legacy boot enabled OR the drive has to be formatted in GPT.

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Either the USB stick isn't bootable, or you have EFI secure boot enabled, and the stick isn't secure boot enabled.

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If he had Secure Boot enabled how would he be able to boot into Win7? –  Karan Jun 1 '13 at 6:33
@Karan, doesn't Windows 7 support secure boot? –  psusi Jun 1 '13 at 16:48
If you turn on Secure Boot Win7 won't boot. –  Karan Jun 1 '13 at 22:10

I came across this post since eI had similar problem. i.e. my boot sequence in bios was set to: Removable device, CD and HDD. I had my Win7 installation on a bootable USB sticked in, (No cd), but still it would boot in the os from HDD.

Solution in my case: The 16gb USB stick I was using was not considered as removable device. In the bios settings, I found that the problem was in the Hard Drive setting sections, so I changed HDD setting from SATA... to Sandisk.... Bios setting was still Removable, CD and HDD, and this time it booted from the USB.

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I have an old computer and I've had the same problem, and I found a new solution for it:

  1. Go to this website and download the latest stable package (Plop Boot Manager).
  2. Write the iso file into a blank CD
  3. Boot the computer from the CD drive
  4. Choose the USB option from the list

Usb boot solution

Hope this helps.

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