Best Fixes | Bootable USB Not Working in Windows 10/8/7

Why your bootable USB not working on Windows 10/8/7and how to fix it? You will learn the causes and several effective ways to fix this issue. Follow to make your USB bootable working again now.


By Lori / Updated on June 12, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Help! Bootable USB Not Working

👉 "My laptop isn't booting from a bootable USB drive, and I need help. I have a Seagate 1TB hard drive with Windows 7 installed, but I want to upgrade to Windows 10 using a Windows 10 bootable USB drive. How can I resolve this issue?"

Bootable USB Not Working

A Windows bootable USB drive is a portable storage device set up to include the necessary files and instructions to install or repair the Windows operating system on your computer.

This device allows you to boot your PC directly from the USB, enabling you to install Windows whether your computer is functioning normally or not. In addition, the bootable USB can be used to troubleshoot and fix various PC errors when your system or hard drive won't boot.

However, some users encounter the bootable USB not working issue. Don't panic, in this guide, we explore the common reasons why bootable USB not working and provide step-by-step instructions to get your Windows bootable USB working again.

Common Reasons Why Your Bootable USB Isn’t Working

Before fixing, let's first understand the common reasons why your bootable USB not work.

1. Incorrect file format: One of the most common culprits behind boot USB is that the file format does not work. Many USB drives are NTFS by default, but most bootable USB tools require FAT32.

2. Damaged ISO file: Damaged or incomplete ISO file may prevent your USB from starting properly. Always make sure you download the ISO file from an official or trusted source.

3. Inappropriate startup sequence: If your computer's BIOS/UEFI settings are not configured correctly, it will not start from USB. You need to set the boot order to give priority to the USB drive.

4. Failed USB drive: Sometimes, the problem is the USB drive itself. A damaged or old USB drive may not work as a bootable device.

5. Compatibility issues: Not all USB drives are compatible with all systems. Compatibility issues with old hardware or specific motherboard configurations may exist.

How to Fix Windows Bootable USB Not Working

Now that we’ve covered the common reasons, let’s move on to fix bootable USB not working in Windows 10. Here are 5 methods to fix your bootable USB and make your USB bootable again on Windows 10/8/7

Fix 1. Use a Different USB Port or Computer

Sometimes the issue might be with the USB port or the computer itself. Try plugging the USB drive into a different port or use another computer to see if it resolves the problem.

Also, check for any physical damage to the USB drive. If it's damaged, consider using a different USB drive.

Fix 2. Change the USB format to FAT32

Many external USB drives are formatted as NTFS, and some computers cannot detect or boot from a USB unless it is formatted as FAT32. This can cause your bootable USB not working. To make sure your USB drive is formatted correctly, follow these steps to format USB to FAT32

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your PC. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.

Step 2. Right-click the USB drive and select Format. Set the file system to FAT32, check Quick format, and click Start.

Fromat USB to FAT32

Step 3. Wait for the process to complete. After formatting, you will need to recreate the bootable drive using the Windows ISO file.

⚠ Note:

  • If your USB drive is larger than 64GB, Windows File Explorer may not be able to format it.
  • You can use AOMEI Partition Assistant, a versatile computer management toolkit. It bypasses the 32GB limit for FAT32 drives. Additionally, it can handle challenging formatting tasks, such as dealing with write-protected disks, RAW USB drives, and formatting internal hard drives to exFAT or Ext4/Ext3/Ext2.

Fix 3. Set Boot Priority to USB Drive

Sometimes, the bootable USB not working because it hasn't been set as the boot device. In this case, Windows cannot detect it. So the best way is to set your USB as the boot drive.

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your PC. Restart the PC and press F2, F8, or Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot Option and set the USB as the first boot drive. Save the Changes and restart the PC to boot from the USB drive.


Fix 4. Enable CSM or Legacy Boot Mode

Most new computers use UEFI/EFI to boot from USB. If you cannot boot from USB, enabling Legacy Boot Mode and disabling Secure Boot can help configure your computer to boot from USB drive. Here are steps to disable secure boot and enable legacy boot:

Step 1. Keep the Bootable USB Connected to Your PC. Restart the PC and press F2, F8, or Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Click Secure Boot Control and select Disabled. Click Boot and select Launch CSM, changing it from "Disabled" to "Enabled".

Step 3. Click UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode and select Legacy. After making these changes, save and exit BIOS. Your computer should now boot from the bootable USB, allowing you to install Windows or repair your PC.

Click BIOS Boot Mode

Fix 5. Create a New Bootable USB Using Media Creation Tool

The main reason your bootable USB isn't working is likely because it wasn't created correctly. To fix this, you can reformat the USB and create bootable USB in Windows 10. The Media Creation Tool is Microsoft's solution for making installation media and is a free program. Here are the steps to create a new Windows bootable USB.

Step 1. Visit the official Microsoft website to download the Media Creation Tool. You need administrator privileges to run this tool. If you agree to the license terms, click Accept.

Step 2. Select the desired language and edition for Windows 10. Ensure that your USB drive is connected to your PC.

Step 3.Choose Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC. Click Next

Create Installation Media

Step 4. Make sure that your USB drive is recognized and listed, click Next. Once you see the message Your USB flash drive is ready, click Finish.

Best Fix: Create a New Bootable USB and Recover Data

Sometimes, you may not want to install a new Windows OS but need a Windows recovery disk to restore your current Windows OS to a healthy state. And, while fixing bootable USB problems, you may encounter data loss due to accidental deletion or USB drive corruption.

MyRecover is a powerful tool. It allows you to create a bootable USB and use it to recover data from a crashed computer in Windows 10/11/7/8..

  • It offers a simple interface to create a bootable Windows 10 USB/ CD/DVD and recover lost/deleted data easily.
  • It can create a recovery drive for Windows 10/11, it can also allow you to Recover lost Word document, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, MP4, ODP, CSV, WPS files, and other 200+ file formats.
  • It performs both quick scan & deep scan to recover all lost or deleted files and keep their original format, filename, directory, and path.
  • MyRecover applies to all-inclusive data loss scenarios, such as lost or deleted partitions, virus infection, formatted disks, recycle bin recovery, etc.

To create a new bootable USB/ CD/DVD and recover lost/deleted data in Windows 10 easily, Please download and install MyRecover on your working PC.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Create a bootable drive

1. Connect a blank USB drive to the PC. Run MyRecover on your working PC, and choose "Crashed PC Recovery".

crashed pc recovery

⚠ Note: Ensure the USB/CD/DVD is blank or new, as the bootable disk creation process will erase all data on it. Alternatively, use free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard to back up your entire disk.

2. Select the empty USB bootable drive and click "Execute".


Tips: Here are 3 ways to create a bootable drive.

  • USB Boot Device: create a bootable USB drive.
  • Export ISO file: Create a bootable ISO file, then use a third-party burning tool to burn it, or use it to boot virtual computers.
  • Burn to CD/DVD: Create a bootable CD/DVD.

You can also use the "Add Drivers" feature to include additional drivers in your boot disk, ensuring broader device compatibility in WinPE.

3. The process will delete all data on the USB drive. so please make sure your USB is blank or you have the file backup. Click "Yes" to proceed.

confirmation window

4. The creation process will take a few minutes. Once completed, you'll see a success message with instructions on how to boot from the bootable drive. Then, use this bootable drive to start recovering data from your crashed computer.

Creation Process

Step 2. Boot your PC from the bootable USB disk

  • Insert the bootable USB drive into the crashed computer.
  • Restart the computer and press F12, F2, F10, F11, Del, or Esc to enter the BIOS settings.
  • In the BIOS menu, change the boot sequence to boot from the USB drive.
  • Save the changes by pressing F10 and exit the BIOS.
  • Reboot the computer and select the bootable USB drive as the boot media.

Step 3. Recover data from crashed Windows computer

1. On the crashed computer, launch MyRecover and select PC Recovery. Hover over the drive you want to scan and click Scan.

Select SD Card

2. MyRecover will perform a Quick & Deep Scan of your hard drive. Use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate specific data.

Scanning SD Card

3. Once you've identified the required data, select the files and click "Recover X Files". Choose a new location to save the recovered files.

Select Videos to Restore from SD Card

  • The free edition of MyRecover allows you to recover up to 500MB of deleted or lost files. For unlimited data recovery, consider upgrading MyRecover to the Pro or Tech version.
  • Moreover, MyRecover supports recover deleted files from USB, SD card, HDD, SSD, external hard drive, and other storage devices.


That's all about bootable USB not working in Windows 10/11/7 properly. This article outlines various scenarios that may cause this problem and provides 5 possible solutions. The most effective way is to reformat the USB and create a new bootable drive.

We strongly recommend that you use MyRecover. This powerful recovery tool can not only help you fix the bootable USB not working properly problem by creating a new bootable drive, but also recover deleted or lost data from the crashed computer during the repair process. Also, it can effectively recover deleted files in Windows 10 for free, up to 500MB, just download and enjoy!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

FAQs About Bootable USB Not Working

1. Why is my computer not recognizing bootable USB?

Restart your laptop and press the F2 key (or another key specific to your system) to enter the BIOS setup. In the BIOS, ensure the boot sequence starts with your USB drive. Enable 'Legacy Boot' and disable 'Secure Boot' if available.

2. How do I make my bootable USB work?

  • Insert the USB drive into a running computer.
  • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Type diskpart and press Enter.
  • Type list disk and press Enter to find the USB drive number.

3. How to boot from a flash drive?

  • Insert the USB drive.
  • Turn on the computer and press 'F11' or 'Delete' repeatedly to access the boot menu.
  • Select 'Boot from USB' and choose your drive.

4. What do I do if my computer doesn't recognize a bootable USB?

  • Ensure the USB is properly inserted and try a different port.
  • Recreate the bootable USB using Rufus or the Windows Media Creation Tool.
  • Check BIOS/UEFI settings to ensure USB boot is enabled.
Lori · Editor
Lori has received professional technical training since joining AOMEI and aims to help users troubleshoot problems with data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient, and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.