How to Tell if Your Computer Is Bootable With USB

By Ruri Ranbe

With a USB drive, you can install an OS and boot your computer.
i 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.

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

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

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

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.