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Summary :

Dell boot from USB

Booting from USB drives is an effective solution especially when your computer is unable to start. In this post, MiniTool Software provides a tutorial about how to make Dell boot from USB devices. You can keep reading and have a try.

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Why do You Need to Boot from USB Devices

In daily life, you usually boot your laptops from local disks. However, in some cases, you might need to boot from USB drives. A bootable USB drive contains an operating system that can be booted and it is often used for system administration, data recovery, etc. More specifically, you might need it in the following cases:

  • If you encounter irreparable errors on your laptops, you can try reinstalling the operating system with a bootable Windows installation USB drive to solve the problem. For instance, the operating system is corrupted and you can’t start your laptop.
  • You can boot from USB devices and upgrade or install an operating system. On one hand, if you are still using an old operating system, you can upgrade to Windows 10 by booting from a Windows Installation USB drive. On the other hand, such bootable USB devices can also help you if you want to dual boot two operating systems.
  • If you forgot the password of your laptop, one of the ways to unlock it is to use a password reset disk or Windows Installation USB drive to reset the password.

Here is an example from users:

Hello, I need your help. I have Windows 8, Dell laptop. I changed my password. I can’t log in. Many sites said that I need to make a USB bootable password reset disk and remove the password protection on my Dell laptop. I created a USB drive successfully with Windows password recovery, but the problem is that I don’t know how to let my Dell laptop boot from USB flash, any suggestion?forums.sandisk.com

How to boot from USB on Dell laptops? Get the answer in the following contents.

How to Make Dell Boot from USB Drives

To make Dell boot from USB drives, you need to create bootable USB drives at first. Then you can go to the Dell Boot Menu and change the boot order to boot from USB.

If you are planning to reinstall or upgrade your operating system, back up your data before the operation. If your Dell laptop didn’t run properly and you lost data, try recovering your files before you reinstall the operating system.

Are you still confused? Don’t worry. Let’s see these moves one by one with the detailed tutorial.

Move One: Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive

To upgrade to or reinstall Windows 10, you can download Windows Installation Media to create a bootable USB flash drive. And the detailed steps are listed below.

Tip: If your Dell laptop is dead, you can create one on another working computer. If you have an ISO file, you can use a tool like Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive.

Step 1: Connect a USB flash drive that contains no important data to your Dell laptop and visit the official website of Microsoft to download the Windows 10 Installation Media Tool.

Step 2: Run Windows 10 Installation Media Tool and accept the applicable notices and license terms. Then select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and click Next to continue.

Windows 10 setup

Step 3: Select language, architecture, and edition. Then choose your USB flash drive and wait patiently during the process of creating a bootable USB drive.

When the operation is finished, you will get a bootable USB drive that contains Windows 10 installation files. And you can go to the next move.

Move Two: Back up or Recover Your Data

Before you use the bootable Windows Installation Media to reinstall or upgrade to Windows 10, it is recommended to back up all needed data saved on the system disk. If you have an external hard drive, you can use it to save the backup.

It usually takes many hours to copy and paste all your files one by one, especially when there are thousands of files or they are large files. To save time, it’s wise to use a third-party data backup tool. As for the backup tool, you can try MiniTool ShadowMaker. And here is how to use this tool to back up files.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Dell laptop and launch MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Free Download

Step 2: When you are asked to choose the computer to manage, select the Connect button under This Computer. Then go to the Backup tab.

click Connect

Step 3: Select the Source module, choose the items that you want to back up, and click OK. By default, the system required partitions are checked. If you want to back up your system only, you can skip this step.

back up files

Step 4: When you go back to the main interface, click Destination. Then select a location in your external hard drive and click OK to save the backup.

Step 5: Click the Back up Now button at the bottom right corner.

Then you just need to wait patiently until all the data is copied to your external hard drive.

If you are planning to reinstall your operating system because it is corrupted, you might need to rescue your lost data. MiniTool Partition Wizard, a wonderful disk manager and data recovery program, could help you, and you just need to:

Step 1: Connect an unused USB flash drive to a normal computer and run MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then click Bootable Media and follow the onscreen instructions to make a bootable MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Free Download

Step 2: Connect an external hard drive which will be used to store recovered files to your Dell laptop. Then boot the laptop from the bootable USB drive you just created. As for how to boot Dell laptop from USB drive, you can refer to the guide in the next part.

Step 3: When you get into MiniTool Partition Wizard, click Data Recovery from the top toolbar.

Step 4: Select a partition or the whole system disk and click Scan.

select a drive

Step 5: Check all the needed files and click Save. In the pop-up window, select a location on your external hard drive to store them.

save needed files

After recovering your important data, you can turn off your laptop and use the bootable USB drive you made in the first move to do whatever you want without any worries.

Move Three: Make Dell Boot from USB Drives

Now, let’s talk about how to make a Dell laptop like Dell Inspiron or Dell XPS boot from USB.

How to boot from USB:

To make Dell XPS boot from USB drives, you’d better keep your laptop connected to the power cable so it won’t shut down during the process, and then follow the steps below:

Step 1: Turn off your Dell XPS laptop and connect the USB drive that you want to boot from.

Step 2: Turn on the laptop. When you see the Dell logo on the screen, press F12or Delete immediately to go to the boot menu.

Step 3: Find the boot options and select your USB drive to boot from it.

What should you do if USB devices are unavailable under boot options?

If you didn’t find your USB drive in the boot options but you can access your system, you can try disabling the fast boot option to solve the problem. And here is how to do it:

Step 1: Turn on your Dell laptop and boot from the local disk.

Tip: You need to disconnect your USB drive during the operation.

Step 2: Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.

Step 3: Go to System>Power & sleep. Then select Additional power settings in the right pane.

Step 4: In the pop-up window, select Choose what the power buttons doto give administrative privileges. Then click Change settings that are currently unavailable.

Step 5: Uncheck the option Turn on fast startup (recommended).

Then you can try to go to the Dell boot menu and check if you can make your Dell boot from USB drive.

Alternatively, to make Dell Inspiron boot from USB drive, you can also:

Step 1: Keep your bootable USB drive connected to your Dell laptop and restart the laptop.

Step 2: When you see the Dell logo, repeatedly tap the F2 key to enter the BIOS setup.

Step 3: In the left pane, expand the POST Behavior category and select Fastboot. Then in the right pane, you will see three options for Fastboot: Minimal, Thorough, and Auto. Here, you need to select Thorough.

Step4: Expand the System Configuration. Then:

  1. In the left pane and select USB Configuration. In the right pane, check Enable USB Boot Support and Enable External USB Port.
  2. In the left pane, check Thunderbolt Adapter Configuration. Then check Enable Thunderbolt Boot Support in the right pane.

Step 5: Select the General tab in the left pane. Then make sure the Enable Legacy Option ROMs and Enable UEFI Network Stack options are checked.

After that, you can restart your laptop and check whether you are able to boot Dell from your USB drive.

How to make Dell XPS and Dell Inspiron boot from USB drives? Here is a tutorial.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

How to boot Dell laptop from USB drives? There are generally three moves you need to take. You can have a try after reading this tutorial. If you have any ideas, you can share them with us in the following comment zone. For any problems with MiniTool software, you can contact us via [email protected].

Dell Boot from USB FAQ

How do I know my USB is bootable?
If you want to check whether you made a bootable USB drive successfully, here are two ways. First, try booting a computer from this drive. Second, use a professional third-party program to check for the bootable state, such as MobaLiveCD, Magic ISO Maker, etc.
Does cloning a drive make it bootable?
It depends on how you clone your drive. If you clone the C drive only, your cloned drive might not boot. Instead, if you clone all the partitions required for a system to boot, including the C drive, and system reserved partition or EFI system partition, your drive would be bootable.
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