Having an about 10 year old i7 machine, I want to re-install Windows 10 Pro over the existing Win10 Education installation using a USB stick. But when booting the Win10 iso, I only get a black screen with blinking cursor. Nothing happens, even not after waiting for a longer time. The used ISO file was generated using Microsofts Media Creation Tool.

Hardware details

  • AMIBIOS v02.63 (R01-A2) from 12/09/2008
  • Mainboard from Acer aspire m7720
  • i7 920 @ 2.66 GHz

Non-working things I already tried

  • Easy2Boot
  • Rufus with different options (FAT32, NTFS, UEFI, BIOS)
  • Re-Download the ISO file
  • Using different USB ports (front/back)
  • Changing the current boot order temporarily (F12) and permanently using BIOS (ENTF)
  • Searching in the BIOS for settings that could affect the boot behavior
  • Checking Fix for older BIOS in the extended RUFUS options shows the window logo after booting (instead of black screen) but now it hangs there
  • Put the SSD in another pc for installing Win10 and put it back afterwards
  • Installing Windows 8.1 with latest updates and upgrade to Win10

Working things

  • Use the same USB stick on a newer HP notebook: The Win10 installer starts without any issues
  • Also on a non OEM 1366 board (same socket) I can boot and install Win10 easily
  • Booting Ubuntu installer from the stick: Works, but sadly I need Win10 for some games
  • Flashing Windows 8.1 x64 ISO image from MS with MBR for BIOS

According to the documentation of m7720 we don't have any UEFI here. So MBR for a simple BIOS should be enough and I can't understand why it's not working.

  • 1
    The laptop is not the problem, but the preparation of the USB flash drive for use with Win10. Do I understand correctly that you have both the Win10 installer and Ubuntu on the same LiveUSB? And, is your laptop not UEFI-compatible? – K7AAY Oct 30 '18 at 16:30
  • What is the size of the USB stick in question? Is it bigger than 16 GB? – patkim Oct 30 '18 at 17:00
  • I have two sticks: #1 with Easy2Boot containing various Linux distributions and Win10. Here Ubuntu is bootable from the Acer machine, but not Win10. Stick #2 only contain Win10 and was created with Rufus. The HP laptop has a InsydeH20 Rev 3.7 Bios but with Legacy support enabled, so I think it should behave similar to an non UEFI one. – Lion Oct 30 '18 at 17:03
  • @pat2015 Yes, Stick #1 is a 64GB one and #2 has 32GB capacity. Do I need a smaller one for the old machine? – Lion Oct 30 '18 at 17:04
  • No, 32gb is more than enough. – Ultrasonic54321 Oct 30 '18 at 17:06

TLDR: Windows 10 contains a bug since months that result in non booting systems and installers when VT-d is enabled in BIOS.

enter image description here

This bug exist since 1803 and altough many users seems to have trouble with it, Microsoft doesn't care about fixing this issue for several months.

What can we do?

Not much. The best thing would be not using Windows, since Windows 10 contains forced updates. So even when you use tricks to install an older release, Microsoft will update it very soon without asking you. When you're in the situation like me that you're forced to use the Windows installation (yet), it seems that you must live without VT-d.

History: How I get to this problem (total about 2 days work)

Found out that it works with older Win10 versions, so it seems that Microsoft break something:


  • 1709

Not working

  • 1803
  • 1809

HeiDoc was quite usefull here, since downloading special versions is a big mess on Microsofts side: The current official Media Creation tool didn't let me choose any parameters about the version. Even when using an older version of the tool itself, it doesn't start and force me to download the latest version.

I tried installing 1709 on USB stick which works perfectly. Since Win10 has forced updates, I'm surprised if the system is working after installing the latest auto-updates, which bring the system up to 1803.

| improve this answer | |

I had a similar problem a few hours ago (black screen w/cursor after trying to boot from USB on an old computer, despite that same USB working on newer ones), and user Igb suggested that I try using a program that "helps you boot from a number of sources", called Plop Boot Manager: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html.

You'd have to burn the downloaded ISO onto a CD/DVD (or another flash drive) and boot from the disc, then select the USB drive and try to boot from it. It worked perfectly well for me, so might be worth to go for it and see what happens.

| improve this answer | |
  • I flashed Plob on a third USB stick (4GB size) using MBR for Bios and got the same behavior like from Win10: Black screen and blinking cursor. But strangely booting works with Win8.1 (standalone, generated with Rufus). Can't explain why but since that seems the only way to boot Windows, I'll try installing 8.1 and upgrading to 10. Already wasted over 1/2 day with this issue :/ – Lion Oct 30 '18 at 17:38

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