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Booting Windows from USB

Booting Windows from USB

Ever tried booting Windows from USB? Have you struggled because your computer doesn’t see the USB drive. Re-ordering the boot order doesn’t make any difference because the USB thumb simply isn’t listed.

To update or not to update

Anyone who runs a Windows computer will know how often Updates are rolled out. And never at a convenient time. (Yes, I know you can amend when Windows installs Updates but we’ll leave that to one side for now!)

But what happens when updating doesn’t go to plan?

A Disastrous Windows Update

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 that 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.

You stick your left foot in

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 5475), restarted the computer and rapidly tapped the F12 function key to get in to the BIOS Boot Menu.

No SanDisk USB listed as a boot option.


Would you believe it?

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

Restarted the computer, tapped F12 to go in to the Boot Menu. And whaddya know? There is the SanDisk USB stick!

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

Back in business

A short while later my computer is back in business and I remind myself to always Google the question “Windows Feature Update XXX 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 regular backups because you just never know when you might need one.

Headshot of Mandy Bungey

Mandy Bungey BSc. MICB PM.Dip

As an IT Consultant I have over 25 years sole trader experience. Since learning my trade for the launch of Microsoft Windows 95, I have supported end users with their technology in a friendly way ever since, without having to resort to technical jargon or geek speak! I live with my husband in the beautiful rural Herefordshire countryside on the England and Wales Borders. You can read more about me here.