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Booting a Windows 10 Desktop from a USB Drive

Jun 1, 2020 | Windows 10

Sandisk Thumb Drive

After a recent Windows 10 Feature update I quickly found my computer to be, frankly, unusable. It was only a matter of a few minutes before I realised I was going to have to restore my C: drive to an earlier image file pre-update.

Fortunately I use a piece of software called O&O DiskImage to regularly take backup images of my C: drive just in case of problems.

I dug out a spare SanDisk 32GB USB stick and made a BootImage Medium in the O&O software.

All was going well until I stuck the USB drive into the USB port on the side of my computer (a Dell Inspiron All-In-One in case you were wondering), restarted the computer and rapidly hit the F12 function key to get in to the BIOS Boot menu.

No SanDisk USB listed as a boot option.


After several random thoughts (not ones necessarily worth repeating here) I moved the SanDisk drive from said USB port on the side of my computer to one on the back of my computer. To all intents and purposes, EXACTLY THE SAME TYPE OF PORT.

Restarted the computer, tapping F12 to go in to the Boot menu. And whaddya know? There is the SanDisk USB!

Ha. So I am able to boot from the USB drive, and go on to easily restore my C: drive through O&O DiskImage.

A short while later my computer is back in business and I remind myself to always google the question “Windows Feature Update XXXX problems” whenever I get the urge to check for updates and before hitting that all-important “Update” button!

Oh and yes, I do highly recommend taking a regular backup because you just never know when you might need one.

Mandy Bungey BSc. MICB PM.Dip

Mandy Bungey is an I.T.Consultant with over 25 years in the industry. Since learning her trade for the launch of Microsoft Windows 95 she has supported end users with technology in a friendly way without resorting to technical jargon or geek speak. Mandy lives in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside on the England/Wales border.