How to Boot from a USB Drive on a Lenovo Laptop – Step-by-Step Guide

Boot from a USB Drive on a Lenovo Laptop

How to Boot from a USB Drive on a Lenovo Laptop – Step-by-Step Guide

Booting from a USB drive can be extremely useful for installing operating systems, running diagnostic tools, or troubleshooting problems with your Lenovo laptop. With so many Lenovo models available, however, the steps to boot from a USB can vary. 

This guide will provide a complete walkthrough of preparing a bootable USB drive, configuring your Lenovo laptop, and troubleshooting any issues that arise – regardless of the specific model you have. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to leverage the benefits of booting from USB on your Lenovo.

Preparing for USB Boot

The first step is identifying your exact Lenovo model and understanding key specifications like the generation, graphics card, processor, RAM etc. This can help determine any model-specific steps later on. You can find the model name and number usually on the bottom of the laptop or in the About section of your Windows settings.

It’s also important to understand your BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) which controls booting. Depending on your Lenovo laptop model, you may need to access BIOS or UEFI to adjust boot order and properly enable USB booting. 

BIOS is the older system firmware while UEFI is newer. You can access these settings by pressing a function key like F2 while booting up. The key and process varies, so search “[Your Lenovo Model] BIOS” to find instructions.

Creating a Bootable USB Drive

Now you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive with the operating system or diagnostic tool you wish to use. This will erase and reformat the drive, so don’t use one with important data!

  • Choose a USB 3.0 drive at least 8GB in size for best performance. USB 2.0 can work but will be much slower.
  • Download the program Rufus which provides an easy way to make drives bootable on Windows.
  • Insert your drive and launch Rufus. Under “Boot Selection”, choose your ISO file you want to use. 
  • Ensure the right device is selected under “Device”. Hit “Start” and confirm the formatting process.

Once complete, you should have a bootable USB drive ready to go!

Configuring Lenovo Laptop for USB Boot 

With your bootable USB setup, it’s time to configure the Lenovo laptop to boot from the USB drive first.

  • Insert the USB drive into an open port and power on the laptop.
  • Enter the BIOS/UEFI screen by pressing the appropriate function key during boot.
  • Navigate to the “Boot” tab and select the USB drive as the first device in the order. 
  • Save changes and exit BIOS. The laptop should now boot from the USB drive first.

Booting from the USB Drive

On rebooting the Lenovo laptop, continuously press F12 or your model’s boot menu key to access the boot options. Select your inserted USB drive here. 

You may see the Windows Boot Manager first – use the arrow keys to find your USB and press enter. The operating system or tool on the USB should then launch.

Follow any further prompts and you have successfully booted from the USB on your Lenovo!

Troubleshooting Common USB Boot Problems

If you run into issues booting from the USB drive on your Lenovo, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • If your USB drive isn’t being detected, try different ports on your laptop. Ensure no USB devices are damaged.
  • Can’t access BIOS/UEFI settings screen? There may be a password set. You can look up how to clear CMOS for your model to reset BIOS.
  • Boot failing or freezing when trying to launch from USB? Double check boot order, re-create USB drive, or try different USB ports. 
  • Verify the ISO file and bootable USB drive were properly created without errors or corruption.

Following USB Boot Best Practices

To ensure USB boot works reliably, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Always eject and cleanly disconnect the USB drive to prevent corruption.
  • Maintain consistent BIOS/UEFI configurations and boot order priorities after setting.
  • Periodically scan for viruses or malware on the Lenovo laptop and USB drive.
  • Avoid overfilling or fragmenting the USB drive. Re-format when issues arise.

Using this guide, you can successfully leverage USB boot on your Lenovo laptop for increased functionality, troubleshooting, and installation of operating systems.


The ability to boot from a USB drive is invaluable for diagnostics and installing operating systems on the popular Lenovo line of laptops. With the right preparation, configuration changes, and awareness of common issues, the process can be straightforward.

Keep this guide handy as a reference when needing to boot from a USB drive on your Lenovo model. Just follow the steps for creating a bootable drive, setting boot order, selecting the drive at startup, and troubleshooting any problems that arise during the process.

You’ll then be able to enjoy the benefits of USB booting and maximize the utility of your Lenovo laptop.

Author Profile

jason matthew
jason matthew
Jason Matthews is a highly regarded technology journalist and the esteemed editor of, a leading online platform dedicated to all things related to computers, USB keyboards, and other essential peripherals. With a profound passion for the intricacies of technology, Jason has spent years immersing himself in the ever-evolving world of computer hardware and peripherals.

Jason's expertise lies in his ability to decode complex technical jargon and present it in a manner that is accessible to readers of all backgrounds. His in-depth knowledge of the latest advancements allows him to provide insightful analysis, comprehensive product reviews, and practical guides, ensuring that remains a trusted resource for technology enthusiasts and beginners alike.

With an unwavering commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements, Jason prides himself on his ability to anticipate emerging trends. His meticulous research, attention to detail, and dedication to delivering accurate information have solidified his position as a trusted authority in the field. Through his contributions to, Jason continues to empower readers, enabling them to make informed decisions in the dynamic world of technology.

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