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Dell Laptop USB Boot Not Working

You’ve placed your bootable USB device into your Dell laptop port, hoping to save or overwrite your corrupted system, but it doesn’t work. While that might seem devastating at first, you don’t need to let it ruin your day. There are several reasons your Dell laptop USB boot isn’t working, and many of the solutions are simple fixes. Here’s some information on why you might be having issues and what you can do to get your laptop up and running right away. 

If your Dell laptop USB boot is not working, it could be because something’s amiss with the USB port on your computer. There could also be a chance that your USB isn’t as bootable as you think. Furthermore, not all systems support USB port options. We’ll go through different processes to try.

Black USB on the Laptop

Dell Laptop USB Boot Not Working

You’re probably excited about getting your computer up and running with the USB boot, but an issue might be hindering your progress. Fortunately, it might not be that difficult to solve. 

If your Dell laptop USB boot is not working, it may be due to an incompatibility issue. Models like some of the Inspirions will not boot a GPT partitioned flash drive. A quick way to check to see if it’s a compatibility or configuration issue with your computer is to insert the USB elsewhere. 

If you have another computer in your home, you can insert the bootable USB device into that computer and try to start it. Your other computer likely doesn’t support USB booting if it works. 

You could also have a misconfiguration, formatting issue, boot mode, or booting order discrepancy. You may be able to rectify those issues, which will allow your laptop to boot the USB. 

Manually Changing the Boot Priority

Your computer might be configured to boot from another drive first automatically. For example, it may prioritize your C drive. If that’s the case, you’ll need to change the boot order. To begin, leave the USB device inside your computer and restart it. Press the appropriate key to get to the BIOS screen. That may be F11 or F12 for your laptop.

Once you get into the BIOS setup utility’s “boot” options, look at your hard drive choices and select the USB drive as the “1st drive.” That will cause your computer to automatically try to boot from the USB when you restart it. 

Reformatting the USB Drive

Your entire USB drive may need to be formatted to match the appropriate boot mode. For example, you’ll need to format your USB with the FAT32 system if your laptop’s boot mode is UEFI. Alternatively, you can format your USB with the NTFS system if your laptop uses Legacy boot mode.

Try pressing Windows + E and then right-clicking your mouse on the USB drive to reformat your USB. You should see the option to format it. Select the appropriate formatting option and then click “Start.”Try booting it again when that process is complete. 

Changing the Boot Mode

An improper boot mode could also be why your USB will not boot the laptop for you. Thus, you may need to switch to Legacy BIOS mode or UEFI. Enter your BIOS screen using the methods mentioned above and then find boot mode selection options in the boot menu. Change the boot mode to the one you need for your USB, and then try booting it again. 

Dell Laptop Not Booting From USB

frustrated woman looking at her laptop

Is your Dell laptop still not booting from the USB? Hardware issues can cause that to happen, too. 

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on April 12, 2022.

The problem with your Dell laptop not booting from your USB could be due to the USB port, for example. In that case, you can try a few easy fixes to see if they resolve the problem. First, try placing your USB into a different port to see if it boots. 

If it works, you’ll know that you have an issue with the first USB port you put the device into, and you need to have someone check it out. 

Your USB port could also be dusty, and you might only need to blow it out or use a can of air to clean the area. Remove your USB device, try those cleaning tactics, and see if they make a difference. 

Next, try placing your USB device into a different computer if you haven’t done that already. The USB device is likely corrupted or damaged if you have the same issue inside more than one laptop.

Dell Laptop Not Showing USB Option

frustrated woman looking at her laptop

Are you not seeing your USB device show up at all as a booting option? 

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on April 12, 2022.

If your Dell laptop is not showing a USB boot option, you may need to disable your fast boot setting. This process is simple if you can still boot your laptop from your local disk. First, start your computer normally with the USB drive disconnected. 

Press the W and I buttons to get to the settings for your Windows program. You’ll then need to navigate to “System,” “Power & Sleep,” and then “Additional Power Settings.” You’ll see a popup window that will show options that allow you to choose what the power buttons do and change currently unavailable settings. Look for where it says “Turn on Fast Startup” and ensure that you uncheck it. You can try to boot your USB once you’ve done that to see if it works. 

Dell Laptop Not Detecting Bootable USB

USB thumb drive plugged into laptop

Not having your laptop detect your bootable USB could seem like a severe issue, but you can usually resolve it in a few short minutes. 

If your Dell laptop does not detect your bootable USB, it could be due to an issue with the USB device, the USB port, or a driver. To update your USB driver, you can use one of three methods. Using your computer’s device manager is the quickest and most convenient way. 

Visit your taskbar and right-click the Windows icon. Choose the “Device Manager” from your options and then expand that menu until you see “Universal Serial Bus Controllers.” Right-click your first USB Root Hub and then choose the option to update your driver. You can repeat the process for all your USB controllers if you desire. 

In rare cases, using the device manager will not get you the latest update. Thus, you’d need to visit the manufacturer’s website to find the right driver for your USB. The third option is to use third-party software like Auslogics Driver Updater or an alternative to install your drivers automatically. 

How to Boot Windows From USB in a Dell Laptop

frustrated woman looking at her laptop

If you haven’t done it yet, here’s some information on booting Windows from USB on a Dell laptop. 

Booting Windows from a USB on a Dell laptop is relatively simple. What you’ll need to do first is insert the USB device into the port on the laptop. Then, turn your unit on and hit F12 when you see the Dell logo. You’ll then see a one-time boot menu, and you can select the USB device that way. 

How To Boot Linux/Ubuntu From USB in Dell Laptop

frustrated man looking at her laptop

Some people have issues booting their Dell laptops on a USB that has Linux or Ubunto installed. Here’s how you can rectify that situation if you’re experiencing such issues. 

If you are having problems booting Linux or Ubuntu from your USB in a Dell laptop, you will most likely have to disable the “Secure Boot” option. You will need to turn your unit off and then back on to do that. Press F2 when you see the Dell logo to get to the device’s UEFI BIOS setup. 

Navigate to where it says “Secure Boot” and disable the feature. Another tip is to visit the advanced boot options and enable the legacy ROMs. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on April 12, 2022.

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