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tsahar
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Location: South Asia
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Message 1 of 9

X230 -- Can't boot from USB

I am trying to do a clean install on my good, old Thinkpad X230 which came with 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. For some reason, I was not able to create a bootable media from the recovery partition. In any case, I wanted to avoid the recovery partition as I want a basic, non-bloated, and minimal install.

 

Hence, I downloaded a copy of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional from Microsoft/ digital river website. After performing the checksum, I used Microsoft's USB DVD Download Tool to make a bootable USB on Kingston Flash Voyager (USB 2.0; 8 GB; FAT32). BTW, just for the heck of it, I verified  that it boots on my spare (and even older) Thinkpad X60 -- though it doesn't proceed when it sees that the X60 has a 32-bit microprocessor.

 

The relevant BIOS values and settings are as follows:

 

UEFI BIOS Version            G2ET95WW (2.55)
UEFI BIOS Date               2013-July-09
UEFI Secure Boot             Off

Config-->USB
USB UEFI BIOS Support        Enabled

Config-->SATA
SATA Controller Mode Option  AHCI

Security-->Secure Boot
Secure Boot                  Disabled

Startup
>>Boot 
Boot Priority 
         1 USB HDD
         2 USB CD
         3 USB FDD
         4 ATA HDD0 Hitachi...
         ...

Excluded from Boot Priority Order 
        <none>

UEFI/Legacy Boot              Both
- UEFI/Legacy Priority        Legacy First
- CSM Support                 Yes

 

I am posting this query after trying a number of suggestions (and solutions) given here and elsewhere on the web re booting from a USB flash drive on my Thinkpad X230. For some reason, nothing has worked and pressing F12 only shows the ATA HDD0 hard drive. Among other things, I have tried the following:

 

- Updated the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller driver using Lenovo's Thinkvantage Tools. Now it has version 1.0.9.254. Someone suggested to have at least 1.4.0.225 which is apparently available at Intel's website. I always considered downloading the device drivers from Lenovo to be kosher. Shall I download it from Intel's website?

 

- Disabled USB 3.0 from BIOS which made all USB ports to act as USB 2.0. Neither option works.

 

- Tried booting from all three USB ports (of which one is USB 2.0 and two are USB 3.0). Zilch.

 

- Have yet to try "reset BIOS to default" suggestion as it looked a bit of a last resort.

 

 

Or am I doing something totally simple and silly?

 

Looking forward to your suggestions.

 

 

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Message 2 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

Hello and welcome,

 

Since you used the MS tool, I'll assume you want to boot the flash drive and install in legacy mode.  Try turning off UEFI boot in BIOS if you haven't already.  Probably should set BIOS to defaults first.

 

If you actually want to to a EUFI install you'll need to prepare the flash drive differently.

 

Z.


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tsahar
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Message 3 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

zoltanthegypsy, thank you for your response. As per your suggestion, I set BIOS to deafults through Restart --> Load Setup Defaults. Restarted, and then turned off UEFI boot in BIOS. There is still no USB flash drive in the boot menu when I press F12 on the boot. Just that ATA HDD0 and, now, an ethernet boot thing, too. But no USB. Argh!

 


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

If you actually want to to a EUFI install you'll need to prepare the flash drive differently.

 


What is the method for creating UEFI install? Another question (which I had planned to ask later): This UEFI things means that I will not be able to install any other non-UEFI OS (like, Debian or FreeBSD). Right?

 

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Message 4 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

Very strange that it boots on your other machine but doesn't even show up in the boot menu on the X230.  Hard to guess what's wrong.  Is the flash drive's partition set active?  Is it NTFS?  Can you try another brand of flash drive?

 

I don't have access to the same BIOS.  Is there an option anywhere else that might disable boot from USB?

 

Preparing a flash drive for UEFI booting is pretty easy.  Just a single FAT32 partition.  Use something like 7zip to copy the ISO contents to the flash drive.  That's it.

 

Modern Linux distros will boot in UEFI mode. I've only messed with Ubuntu but it works fine.

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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tsahar
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Message 5 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

Is the flash drive's partition set active?  Is it NTFS?  Can you try another brand of flash drive?

 


There was a biref eureka! moment as the USB flash drive (Kingston Corsair Flash Voyager; USB 2.0; 8 GB) that I used was formatted as FAT32 (active, primary partition). After you pointed out, I reformated the USB flash drive as NTFS; and checked that it had an active, primary partition. I then used the USB/DVD Download Tool to create the bootable USB. Shutdown, power-on, and F12 resulted in the listing of only ATA HDD0 hard drive.

 

I tried another brand of flash drive: Kingston DataTraveler G4 (USB 3.0; 16 GB). Formatted as NTFS (active, primary partition). Used the same Microsoft tool to write the 64-bit Windows 7 Professional ISO file. Shutdown, power-on, and F12 resulted in the listing of only ATA HDD0 hard drive. Back to still at square one :-(

 

I also checked both USB flash drives on the Thinkpad X60 where F12 lists the USB drive and lets me boot from it -- till it figures that the target computer is 32-bit, and it refuses to proceed. Nevertheless, this test rules out the possibility of an incorrect bootable USB flash drive.

 

What is wrong? And how do I fix this problem?

 

-- Do I need to update the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller driver? I have the latest from Lenovo (version 1.0.9.254). The one that is available from Intel's website is 1.0.10.255 [link].

 

-- There is this option called "Restore Factory Keys" in BIOS --> Secure Boot. Is this the magic key?

 

-- I guess that all of this is got to do something with the BIOS. I have 2.55 (G2ET95WW), dated 2013-July-09. The one that is available on Lenovo's website is 2.62  (G2ETA2WW), dated 2014-Sep-30. Will updating help? I am wary of  this as there is no rollback provision. After I sort out this Windows 7 resintallation business, I am planning to have a dual boot system with Debian or preferably FreeBSD. I need to keep this in mind, as I don't want to be stuck in the UEFI thing which could be, allegedly, restrictive in multi-booting.

 

 

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Message 6 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

tsahar,

try to use another tool for bootable USB flash drive preparation (FAT32). I can't explain the cause but some Lenovo laptops "capricious" with ms tool or used (not new) flash drive. Unfortunately, I can't find the link (I had) on the support site about that case.


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tsahar
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Message 7 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

I tried booting from a FreeBSD image file (which was prepared on a Debian machine by dd command, and had worked on another computer). F12 didn't recognize it. I also tried an external USB CD drive with an original Ubuntu giveaway CD (which is in working condition). F12 didn't recognize it either.

 

 

This just in: I came across the following in the latest BIOS Update Utility's README file [link] while searching for possible solutions:

 

<2.56>
 UEFI: 2.56 / ECP: 1.12
- (Fix) Fixed an issue where the detection of USB memory key might fail when the system started.

 

The same was worded as follows in the README file for version 2.56 [link]:

 

[Problem fixes]
- Fix an issue where the system fail to boot from from USB device by configuration.

 

The BIOS version on my X230 is 2.55. The problem that I am facing was, presumably, solved in version 2.56. Sadly it is only available as an ISO file which means that it needs to be burned on a CD/DVD or USB. Chicken or the egg? ;-)

 

The latest version -- 2.62 -- is available in both flavors:ISO and EXE. I am ready to take the plunge given that I learn about the impact of BIOS update on installing "other" operating systems (FreeBSD and Debian) on my X230. Any assurances, fellow thinkpad and *nix enthusiasts?

 

 

tsahar
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Message 8 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

I took the plunge and upgraded the BIOS to version 2.62 with the help of Thinkvantage update utility. My problem has been resolved -- the USB flash drive showed up when I pressed F12, and booted, too. Thank you to everyone.

 

dhbolthausen
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Message 9 of 9

Re: X230 -- Can't boot from USB

Hello - 

hope this helps as I did not find a solution and came across one. There is no problem. Sadly as that sounds, after fiddling with my darn x230 for a few hours I found that (at least in my scenario) that it would seem that the efi area was full. I typical set up multiple operatying systems and after reinstalling windows 10 found that I could no longer boot at all from any usb device. After a few hours I realized that you can actually delete the entries. In my case I had to delete all the entries under the boot selection to where it was empty - I DID NOT have to turn off 'Secure Boot'. Once all entries were deleted, and saved (F10) and rebooted the bios picked up the usb ports again.. Go Figure.... I hope this helps someone out as I usually have anywhere from 2 to 10 Operating systems installed - yeah - too much time.

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