Just now while installing Windows 7 from a bootable USB which wasn't successfully because of some bizarre Select driver to be installed. issue, before the setup had even started, after which I thought of connecting my passport drive which has Ubuntu on it to check what was wrong, which too didn't boot because of this. (No the Ubuntu wasn't corrupted I checked it elsewhere, worked fine).

The main question:

After connecting my passport drive it occurred to me, what if I hadn't taken out my Windows 7 bootable USB. Which one of the two bootable would have taken priority over the other? And why? After all in the BIOS we only specify USB as the first boot priority not the USB port priority.

Bonus question:

What on earth do you think is wrong with this machine I am trying install Windows 7 on? I have tried all the drivers at my disposal.


Which one of the two bootable would have taken priority over the other?

This entirely depends on the boot order configured in BIOS/UEFI.

  • USB is USB to many systems. I've seen a fewer newer BIOS/UEFI implementations that on the boot menu let you select USB devices individually, e.g. might say "USB: Sandisk Cruzer" or something similar", allowing you to differentiate if you have multiple devices attached. – ernie Sep 20 '13 at 18:07

If the BIOS only offers one choice, it would probably be the first one it finds, which is probably going to be determined by which socket it is plugged into.

  • as stated on my answer: plug in only the desiered installation media. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 20 '13 at 18:02
  • @LorenzoVonMatterhorn, that utterly fails to answer the question by dismissing the situation that gave rise to it. – psusi Sep 20 '13 at 18:38
  • then how does your answer successfuly answer it? – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 20 '13 at 18:39
  • @LorenzoVonMatterhorn, umm... by answering it. Do you not understand the question? It is which of the two devices will the system boot from. – psusi Sep 20 '13 at 18:42
  • and HOW does it perform the action of finding? does it have ID's? please use details and sources. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 20 '13 at 18:43

When doing sensitive tasks, always do your best to have a clean environment suitable for your task. In this case, if you dont need it, unplug it.

Leave only the desired installation media plugged-in.

note: make sure you use a usb 2.0 port and not 3.0 port.

note2: the problem with your passport probably relies on your fstab. recheck your UUID's mounted there and corresponding partitions.

As it seems unclear why i asked to take preference for an usb 2.0 port, here is the reason.

  • 2
    How does this answer either of the author's questions? – Ramhound Sep 20 '13 at 18:01
  • @Ramhound using usb 2.0 over 3.0 addresses the driver issue. plugging in only ONE usb addresses the fact his BIOS only allows "USB" to be selected as boot, not a specific usb media. the fstab issue addresses the failing to mount by UUID episode. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 20 '13 at 18:04
  • He already tried to use one device though and it didn't work. – Ramhound Sep 20 '13 at 18:13
  • I had done it in the same manner you pointed out. My question is what if someone did? Be it intentionally. And since computers are largely deterministic how would it determine which one to choose from? Your answer to the bonus question is very well deserved here, as mentioned above. – Bleeding Fingers Sep 20 '13 at 18:19
  • i provided a link to another SU answer that answers the driver issue. also, keep in mind if you changed the fstab on another machine, it MAY expect other UUID not present on your current machine, thus causing the error you experienced. – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Sep 20 '13 at 18:23

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