I literally cannot get this computer to boot from ANYTHING other than its hard drive.

I want to boot from a usb flash drive, but the bios doesn't support that. it supports standard and 120mb floppies, ZIP drives, usb floppies, usb cd drives, etc. but not a generic USB drive. You'd think the bios developers would have heard of them back in 2012, but they also refer to Windows as "window os", so who knows.

I changed the boot order multiple times to include everything that might possibly include a usb flash drive, and then just tried all of the other options as well. No luck. Everything just booted straight to Windows.

Okay, that's not exactly unexpected, so I found a boot manager that allows booting to usb drives, and burned that to a cd. I made sure the boot order included "CDDRIVE" first (and "USB-CD" second just to be sure), and tried again. The bios refused to boot from the cd because it's in a cd/dvd drive, and cd drives are VASTLY different beasts than dvd drives, apparently. Like, it didn't even ask the drive to spin up! It just booted straight into Windows.

After a few more reboots (and quite a few middle fingers), my dvd drive magically appeared in the list of allowed boot devices. Why did it just show up now? No clue :/ I'm just happy it's there.

So, I pick that, save and exit, and wait for my shiny new boot manager to pop up. The cursor flashes a bit, moves around, and flashes some more. Then Windows starts loading.

what the crap? why?

So this time I disable booting from the hard drive altogether. In fact, I disable everything except the dvd drive, because screw this, and save/restart for the twelfth time.

Windows greets me.

What the hell?

At this point I'm tempted to unplug the friggin' drive. If Windows still greets me after that, I'm just going to check myself into an asylum and call it a life.

But seriously.
Either the boot manager in question is triple-faulting and the bios is transparently failing-over to the previous boot config (Windows), or said boot manager is just like "yolo!" and picks Windows anyway.

If a different boot manager doesn't work, I'm totally out of ideas.

Edit: disabling HD boot entirely and removing the boot manager cd also results in Windows loading. It's like the bios is completely ignoring my settings. :/

  • 11
    So, I told myself this would be a short rant.

    Sorries :(
  • 4
    It does have a "bootable add-in cards" option -- but this isn't a lappy, so I'm not even sure what that means. (I'm assuming it's referring to pcmcia)

    I'm not sure about the nic options. I'll look.
  • 6
    Oh wow. I got into a boot mess recently with one of my computer too... Was so infuriating, I had to restrain myself for smashing something.... So, I wish you good luck with your booting adventure =D
  • 5
    @runfrodorun It was rather unintuitive, but I got PXE Rom to start. It exited immediately, however, and I wasn't able to read any of its half-screen of output.

    @Totchinuko Thanks!
  • 2
    Mother board model? Is there a bios update available for your mobo if so does it include usb boot support...
  • 2
    @skprog gigabyte 990fxa-ud3
  • 6
    Oh, I have probably the same/similar motherboard. (Had some problems back then also - if I remember correctly there's an option for UEFI+Legacy boot - had it set to UEFI only.)
  • 0
    @CorruptComputer that's what I'm using, yeah.
    Or trying to use -- booting from the DVD drive doesn't actually try booting from the DVD drive 😧
  • 0
    Does it have secure boot? Did you use dd or a live disk creator?
  • 0
    is it windows 8+ on a uefi system
  • 1
    @ParkCity Windows 7, no idea.

    @orangelightsabr no secure boot options in the bios. I burned the boot manager disc from a disc img. (Straight from Plop). It should be bootable, but if mot, how do I make it so?

    @CorruptComputer that's exactly what I'm trying to do ;;

    @nin0x03 there's no UEFI/Legacy option anywhere.
  • 0
    @Ashkin like a disk disk? last time i tried windows 7 on a CD, it didn't work
  • 0
    @ParkCity plop's boot manager CD image. It should already be bootable. Also, I'm using win7. I don't know if its uefi or not because the bios has no option for it and does not say.
  • 0
    @Ashkin it's brobably legacy then... hmm
    i've never used plop's
  • 0
    @Ashkin Ah, my bad, you're probably on an older revision of the board/bios.
    (However, in Windows 7 there should be a log-file somewhere where it states its "detected boot environment" ... not sure if that helps.)
  • 1
    On my last PC it would randomly get weird and not boot, no matter the BIOS/UEFI settings... I had to pull the plug, then the CMOS battery, wait about 10 sec (although I did 30 or more to be safe usually) then re-enter my bios preferences... after that it would boot fine every time.

    Finally got a new PC and now it seems to randomly decide that my RAID0 arrays are degraded until I do similarly illogical setting changes only to return them back and it shows up...

    Moral of the story: BIOS/UEFI makers are not putting that much effort in to this...
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