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3 Posts

05-30-2021

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Help with usb boot problem

2021-05-30, 20:54 PM

Hi,

 

I have encountered this strange problem: I bought a Flex 5 2-in-1 14IIL05 (refurbished) from Microcenter. As a habit I always boot from a usb stick and make a whole-disk backup before going through the OOBE. However, the unit persistently refuse to boot from my USB sticks -- which have been booted on many other computers.

 

I was able to F2 to BIOS setup, disabled secure Boot, turned on "Legacy support" for Boot Mode, and selected "Disabled" for OS Optimized Defaults. Then I chose "Exit saving Changes". When the machine reboots, I was also able to F12 to the boot menu, my devices appears in it. So far so good.

 

Then, no matter what usb stick I choose (either legacy bootable  or UEFI bootable), the computer flashes the screen couple of times and then always boot into windows OOBE! More strangely, the screen becomes so dark that I can barely read anything, nevertheless I can hear Cortana's greetings normally. I can only press the power button once so that it goes to sleep, then press again - it comes back with normal screen brightness.

 

With frustration, I thought this unit may be defective, so I returned it and bought another identical model, only to find it has the exact same problem. So I guess this is by design, but I could figure out how to boot from usb -- if a device appear in the boot up menu, it should boot from it when selected, right?

 

Please help.

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1189 Posts

05-14-2020

United States of America

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Re:Help with usb boot problem

2021-05-31, 1:57 AM

To perform full system image backup on modern computers, Windows 10 provides this service directly.  So boot into Windows 10, plot through control panel screens and find the simple mouse click that activates creation of disk image....

 

Next perform ORDERLY shutdown of Windows 10.  so DON"T TOUCH THE POWER BUTTON to provoke a disorderly shutdown.  Use the mouse and windows power menu to select the "SHUTDOWN" command to place machine in orderly powered off status.  This status is registered in BIOS during shutdown procedure.   If you try to boot from USB after disorderly shutdown, disorderly things happen at the next power on event that often prevent detection of bootable media...

 

Then enter BIOS settings screens and on the Save and Exit panel, select "restore factory defaults" and if available "optimise for OS"   Modern Windows 10 works best when UEFI BIOS system is active and providing important services.  Legacy bios becomes completely inert after the first few seconds.  Modern Linux also work best with UEFI BIOS actively and constantly supporting important system functions in the background.

 

Then purchase a fresh media for installation, usb, microSDflash, SDflash, or whatever..  Then download and "burn" your favorite Linux installation media.  If SECURE BOOT prevents booting the media, you don't want to use that distribution, it is too old and outdated for modern secure usage.

 

Good Luck!

Usedtoberich

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3 Posts

05-30-2021

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Re:Help with usb boot problem

2021-05-31, 16:39 PM

Thanks a lot for the help. However that is not my problem. I know how to shutdown windows correctly in an orderly manner. My problem is, even with secure boot disabled, even with an official UEFI boot media (like produced from Paragon disk manager), the unit still refused to boot from it, despite the fact that the media does appear in the F12 boot device menu. Also the mysterious "dart screen" problem after it actually booted into windows. I am sure this is a problem specific to this model (Lenovo Flex 5), I am hoping someone familiar (or even Lenovo insider) can shed some light on this.

 

PS: The "dark screen" problem also affects the "onekeybattery" function: when the unit is shutdown, tap the keyboard should display the battery level (aka "onekeybattery"). Sometime it works fine, sometime suffers "dark screen" problem that you can see a faint shape of a battery but cannot read the number at all.

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1189 Posts

05-14-2020

United States of America

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Re:Help with usb boot problem

2021-06-03, 2:37 AM

Have you consulted Warranty support team?   (This forum is NOT warranty services!)

 

For dark screen at startup/wake up have you tried simply commanding screen brightness UP.  Using the appropriate special key or a slider?   Sometimes on wake up from hibernate/sleep the screen brightness value is not restored, and remains minimal....  I think a couple of "restarts" serves to clear out scrambled wake up settings.  Avoid pressing the power button to achieve low power status, use mouse commands and clicks instead.

 

Sincerely,

Usedtoberich

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3 Posts

05-30-2021

United States of America

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Re:Help with usb boot problem

2021-06-12, 15:26 PM

The problem seems persistent with this Lenovo series, as I made two exchanges and the problem still exists. I have to accept the fact that it does not really support legacy boot from USB (those traditionally partitioned with an MBR and set the first partition as active). When legacy boot support is disabled (Boot mode set to UEFI), it can boot from my UEFI bootable USB.

 

Besides, set boot mode to Legacy support somehow triggers the backlight (dim-screen) problem mentioned here. So I guess this series has some design flaws or the quality control problem. Since I can live with UEFI boot only and it is otherwise a great deal for the configuration, I am keeping the unit.

 

Thanks for following up. I am settled with the last exchange and it works great.

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