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Getting USB to boot

Most things just seem to work on my new Lenovo Thinkpad E145 laptop - but, as always, some things just do not work out of the box. Problems with WIFI are almost expected, but not being able to boot from USB is plain weird.

After some tuning I got the hard disk to boot without too much trouble. I thought this would make it possible use a boot able USB stick as well. I did not immediately need this, but when writing down the procedure to use the hard disk I wanted to try this for good measure. It did not work. So I turned back to the BIOS and tried about all combinations of boot and USB settings. It just will not work.

I tried two different USB sticks. I tried Linux rescue disks and even the Lenovo bootable BIOS upgrade disk, but it continues to fail to boot. It recognizes the USB sticks, puts them in the boot menu, but when you select them you are just returned to the boot menu.

This almost has to be some bug in the (UEFI) BIOS. Investigating this, it turns out BIOS version 2.02 (HSET57WW, 2014-02-04) is installed. The latest available version on the Lenovo site is older than that (2.01, HSET56WW, 2013-12-26). Perhaps a downgrade would solve this, but I will probably have to put back the original hard disk with Windows 8.0 on it to do that - not something I am looking forward to. And it might be tricky to return to the current BIOS version if there is no official release downloadable.

There is a slight chance that using a USB CD player will actually work, but I do not have one available at the moment. I will have to see if I can borrow one.

Blog_article | by Dr. Radut