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Why can't I boot from a USB key on UEFI ThinkPad or ThinkCentre systems?



I made a bootable USB key, but even though I set USB in the boot order, the system still boots from the HDD.  How do I get this to work on my ThinkPad?   It works on another, older system that I have.



Lenovo ThinkPads shipped with Microsoft Windows 8 preloads are configured in UEFI mode.  Legacy-based boot media will not boot successfully on Think systems.   The following proceedure will enable you to create bootable Win 7 or Win 8 USB keys on UEFI enabled Think systems.


Start with a blank USB key of at least 4GB capacity.


To install Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 in UEFI mode, the 64-bit versions of the respective operating system DVD media will be required.  A full Windows 7 or Windows 8 DVD media is required.  An upgrade DVD may not function correctly during base operating installs.  


To create UEFI bootable USB media that can be used to install Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8 64-bit operating systems on Lenovo ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation or ThinkServer computers, complete the following steps:


1)   Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in either Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8 Pro.
2)   Insert the target USB boot media device into an available USB port.
3)   Type "DiskPart" in the command prompt.
4)   Type "List Disk” (make note of the disk number of the target USB drive).
5)   Type "Select Disk X”, where X is the target USB drive noted in step 4.
6)   Type "Clean”.
7)   Type "Create Partition Primary”.
8)   Type "format FS=fat32 quick”.
9)   Type "Active”.
10) Type "Assign".
11) Type "list volume".
12) Type "Exit".


Now copy the entire contents of the desired operating system onto the newly created UEFI boot media device.


If the AUTORUN.INF file fails to copy from the Windows DVD media to the USB key, then use Notepad to create a new AUTORUN.INF file on the USB boot media by following the steps below:


  1. Open the AUTORUN.INF file on the DVD media with Notepad and copy the contents.
  2. Create a new file on the USB media with Notepad and paste the contents from step 1.
  3. Save the file as "AUTORUN.INF".


  • UEFI BIOS requires 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 has a 32-bit UEFI BIOS.
  • A 32-bit version of Windows 8 is required for the ThinkPad Tablet 2.


For additional information on configuring the sytems to boot from UEFI USB, additional instructions on preparing the USB key or related article on preparing UEFI bootable Windows 7 USB key elsewhere in the forum KB

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peter-h On 2014-03-19, 19:04 PM

This suggests there is NO WAY to boot a Tablet 2 for image backup recovery, unless one has the win8 original DVD.


But no DVD comes with the T2.


So while one can create an image backup, there is no way to restore it.


The function in win8 which creates the boot media fails with error 0×80070057 (yes, all over the internet) so that route is also closed.

bseos On 2015-05-26, 2:21 AM

I ran into the same problem. Here's the steps i took:


1. Download "Flash UEFI BIOS update (CD ISO image version)" containing your BIOS file from here: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/products?tabName=Downloads

 2. Download "Lenovo UEFI Bootable Generator GUI" from here: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds030861

 3. Download "Lenovo UEFI Diagnostics - Bootable USB" from here: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds030861

4. Extract "uefi-bootable-generator-gui-200.zip"

5. Run "BootableGenerator.exe"
6. Click on your USB device
7. Leave new name for device field empty.
8. For "Locate bootable file:" click search and open "uefi-bootable-usb-260.zip"
9. Click generate and OK when done.
10. Either mount the Flash UEFI BIOS update (CD ISO image version) "*.iso" or open with 7-zip and copy all the files into the root directory of your USB. (Example, paste the files in G:\)

11. On your thinkpad make sure to "Restart" windows. (Shutdown has weird sleep states that messes with getting into bios or boot selection menu)

12. As soon as it restarts keep hitting F12 until you get the boot selection menu. Select to boot from USB.
13. Once USB loads to and presents you with a command line, To flash the new bios type:

  • flash2.exe IMAGE9S.CAP
  • or substitute IMAGE9S.CAP with whatever your *.cap file is named.


Note: I didn't update or touch the serial/machine/asset numbers. Just the Bios.


Ray70 On 2017-11-27, 1:34 AM

I have a tablet 2 which I have upgraded to Win10. I am now unable to boot from Win10 USB drive so I can re-format hard drive and re-install Win 10 Home Pro.

The only step I have not been unable to do is to get into bios in Supervisor mode. Couldn’t see how to do this


Any suggestions?

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