It works fine on all the other computers in my house (3 desktops), but on the laptop I get the dreaded black screen "boot error" message - hence it has to be an issue with the thinkpad. The BIOS is updated to the latest version, and after googling away for hours, I have no idea what to do.
Just got a new x301 -- the same issue. USB stick (with Debian) which worked fine in other boxes, fails to boot. The other memory stick -- the same issue. I checked firmware changelog -- http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-70466.html -- it says that some usb boot issue was resolved in 1.02: "(Fix) System may not boot from USB Floppy Disk Drive.", but this one carries 1.08-1.04, but issue persists... I wonder what could be the cause... Have you resolved this issue somehow may be?