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Dell Latitude 5400 - Can't find a way to boot to USB

g8rcub
g8rcub asked
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I am attempting to reload a Dell 5400 laptop with with Windows 10 Enterprise OS using a USB stick.  Usually I can find a way to set this boot option in the BIOS but for some reason I can't seem to figure it out on this laptop.  

I read a few articles suggesting that this feature is no longer available in the BIOS.  Is there any way around this?  What are my other options to load a new OS on this laptop if I can't boot to USB?

BIOS version is 1.4.2

Thank you!
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Hi, 


read up thislink. It might help you out.


Either that or try to set your BIOS to system default settings, save and reboot.


Cheers

Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Current BIOS is 1.6.5 but you shouldn't need to update to fix this

Boot to Setup:

System Information > USB Configuration > Enable USB Boot Support

@dfke E5400 and 5400 are different beasts with about 10 years between them

Author

Commented:
I just reset the BIOS to default to make sure everything was back to the way it came in.

I checked and Enable USB Boot Support is currently enabled.

It still will not give me the option to choose USB when I hit F12 to choose boot device at startup.  (Fastboot is set to Thorough not Minimal)

The only choices are the HD and Onboard NIC's (IPV4 and IPV6).
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
What's the size and format of the USB device attached?

Author

Commented:
It is a 64GB formatted exFAT.  I use it on all the other computers here when I need to load a new OS.  It is set up to auto-install.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Do you have any other 5400's that behave OK with this?
Have a horrible feeling you might need a FAT32 spare :(

Author

Commented:
This is the first 5400 I have seen so far.

Oh so if I create a new bootable USB with FAT32 it may work?  I thought exFAT would be more widely supported than FAT32.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
You'd think that, and I'm trying hard not to say, "well, it is Dell...".  Think it's worth a shot though.  

The Dell BIOS/UEFI usually displays an external USB as an option if it can find a legible boot partition as an F12 option (even if it can't be used later because it needs an option ROM)  If nothing is showing then either the hub isn't active at boot, or it is active and there isn't anything the UEFI can use.

Author

Commented:
Haha, yes I have more random trouble with Dell than other manufacturers for sure.

I will have to mess around a little more with the settings and see if I can make it work.

If I can't get USB to work, what other options do I have?  I have always just used CD or USB to load the OS here.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
I do know this model supports PXE OK but let's see how FAT32 goes first.

Author

Commented:
With PXE the idea is to boot the computer to point to a file location on my network which will start the OS loading, is that correct?  I've never set that up before, is the configuration difficult or is there a tool to assist?
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
That's correct, I'm not going to be much help to you on configuring though, not my field at all.  Hence fingers tightly crossed on reformatting a stick!
Your pc came with windows 10 did it not?

You can re install windows 10 with the Dell partition
https://www.dell.com/support/article/ca/en/cabsdt1/sln297920/reset-or-reinstall-windows-10-on-your-dell-computer?lang=en
You may need to activate legacy booting in your bios

If this is a newer laptop let me know

In that instance you're likely using secure boot, which will mean multiple changes will need to be made (rebooting back into the bios after each change) before you can enable legacy booting.

I might be able to help with that if needed, but It'll need some time to write everything down, type it and hope my bios locations match up enough with yours for you to find it.

Again if this a newer laptop
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
maybe best to post a couple of pictures of the bios screens

Author

Commented:
Hello and thank you everyone, before I saw these replies, I tried to boot the laptop from another USB stick I had W10 installed on.  It showed up as a device I can boot to at startup (the other one was not showing) and it appeared to start to load windows.  But it failed with an error (forgot to capture it but was something about not being able to access install files I believe).

Now the laptop won't boot up at all.  I get a screen that says:
No bootable devices found
Press F1 key to retry boot
Press F2 key to reboot into setup
Press F5 key to run onboard diagnostics

I went back into BIOS and reset back to default but I still can't boot.  I attached a picture to show that I have no drives showing.

In BIOS under General - Boot Sequence, the only thing showing is the NIC, no drives.  I can't boot the computer at all now, can't restore, etc.

When I try to Add Boot Option, it says "File System not found".

I am not sure what happened or how to fix this.
BIOS-no-drives.jpg
Did you make any bios changes?
Sounds like the set up started.
Try F2 with the win 10 usb in.. Post back the results.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Does it still see your Win10 installer stick at boot as an option?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i would disable the boot from on board nic - try to add boot devices then
is there no default setting ?
i must say - it starts sounding like a motherboard problem

Author

Commented:
I did make some changes to the BIOS.  At some point I deleted the boot option for the hard drive so it would boot to the USB but now the hard drive doesn't come up as a choice anymore.  For some reason, when I reset the BIOS back to original, the drive is still not a choice.

I unchecked the NIC options and tried to "Add Boot Option" but I receive the error "File system not found".

When I put the USB stick in, it does recognize it and starts to load but faults out with the error: Windows could not set a partition active on disk 0 (See attached pic).  It's like I removed the hard drive from BIOS and it won't come back.

Is there a way to set it back to the way it was or reload the BIOS so it recognizes the HD?
Error.jpg
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
that iùmage tells you the disk should be made active -  but it sees it allright
you can do this with disk part https://macrorit.com/partition-magic-manager/set-active-partition-diskpart-command-line.html

***you can use the command promt from the install usb - just select repair my PC
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Agreed, the install has started to wipe the HDD including boot partition but not completed.
Agreed with the plan.
Looking ahead does your detected installer include USB3 drivers? (exFAT or FAT32 BTW?)  If not, at the point the installer hands over to the HDD, the installation will break as the USB becomes undetectable in preboot.

Author

Commented:
I was able to make a new bootable USB with W10 on it (Formatted FAT32) then go in to command prompt and clean everything up using Diskpart so the installer had a drive to copy to.

I loaded W10 again and we are back in business.  Thank you all for your help on this!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
it's not Always difficult