How to Tell if Your Computer Is Bootable With USB

by Ruri Ranbe
Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Universal serial bus flash drives and external drives work like CDs and DVDs. They are also convenient to use -- but not all motherboards support bootable USB devices. Modern computers can boot from hard drives, disc drives, network drives and USB drives, but PCs created before the development of USB drives don't support booting from USB. To discover whether you computer can load from a bootable USB drive, check the settings in the basic input/output system to see which boot devices the PC supports.

Step 1

Look up your computer model to determine which keyboard command to use to access the BIOS Setup Utility.

Step 2

Restart or turn on the PC. Press the appropriate keyboard command to go to the BIOS.

Step 3

Use the directional keys to go to the "Boot," then "Advanced Boot Options" or "Advanced BIOS Features" menu. Press "Enter."

Step 4

Go to the "Boot Device Priority" or "First Boot Device" option. Press "Enter."

Press the up- and down-arrow keys to scroll through the list of boot devices. If the USB is provided as one available option, the computer can boot from the USB device.


  • The BIOS varies from PC to PC. Review your computer's manual if you need further assistance navigating the BIOS Setup Utility.

Photo Credits

  • Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.

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