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booting from USB on Windows XP SP2, P4 computer? It has a D915GAV motherboard.


Can anyone tell me if I can boot directly from a USB in Windows XP SP2, P4 computer? It has a D915GAV motherboard.

At start up, I hit Delete key (none of the F keys would work) and got into the BIOS. From the Boot tab, I could not see USB anywhere as an option in the boot order.

I saw it listed as USB [disabled] and I enable it, but it is still not an item in the boot priority list. I have 2 optical drives but one is stuck and won't open and the other, as soon as any kind of CD/DVD is inserted, it shuts the computer down. Can anyone say why it shuts down like this. It never used to happen.

Any way to figure out the USB booting priority?

Edit: I should add that these boot options are enabled -don't know what they mean to not being able to USB boot though.

Silent Boot, Rapid Boot, Scan User Flash Area, -all enabled

PXE Boot to LAN -disabled, USB Boot - disabled but I enabled it.

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6 Replies
Valued Contributor III

Depend on kind of USB device. USB ODD - should work (prefer to ones with an external power supply), USB flash - may work, may not, try with 2Gb or smaller flash drive formatted to FAT. BIOS should detect USB device first, only after that is will be available in Boot tab.

Your MB may have a damaged (shortened) ICH chip, so no USB ports works at all, and some SATA ports also may not work. That was a popular motherboards disaster of that times.

Super User Retired Employee

Sounds like one of the ODDs has failed completely and the other is intermittent. Whether it is the second ODD or something on the motherboard that is failing cannot be determined from the supplied information. Let's be practical here; the system is 11 year-old technology. There is a very high likelihood that solder connections are oxidized and starting to fail (if not outright failing already) and connector pins are losing their rigidity (spring) and connections are beginning to be intermittent (if not outright failing already). It's time to retire this puppy and replace it with something newer...




I can still use USBs for reading and writing -just cannot boot from them. Other than taking the computer somewhere (the manufacturer is no longer in business) anyway to check to be sure if it is a damaged chip?

+N. Scott Pearson:

The other thing that's happening is both DVDW/CDR drives shuts down the computer whenever I inserted some types of disks in either tray -pretty much any disk that has been 'copied' -I installed a USB wifi adapter yesterday and the CD for installing the software worked fine and the adapter worked fine as well.

I know it's old but I like Windows XP and was hoping to continue using it or even with Linux. I'd like to try to save it if it can be saved.


I wanted to add an update / edit but that option isn't in Actions list (anymore?) Anyway. . .

Just wanted to say, I was able to boot from the USB with a workaround involving RawWrite and PLoP and my floppy drive -very cool stuff. I am happily running Linux Lite right now. Until it's last dead transistor, I'll enjoy this machine. Thanks to you all for responding to my questions. Your experience teaches me wisdom .


Create Bootable USB Drive

  1. Start PowerISO (v4.8 or newer version, download here )
  2. Insert the USB drive you intend to boot from.
  3. Choose the menu "Tools > Create Bootable USB Drive". The "Create Bootable USB Drive" dialog will popup. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 / 8 operating system, you need confirm the UAC dialog to continue.
  4. In "Create Bootable USB Drive" dialog, click "..." button to open the iso file of Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  5. Select the correct USB drive from the "Destination USB Drive" list if multiple USB drives are connected to the computer.
  6. Choose the proper writing method. "USB-HDD" is recommended.
  7. Click "Start" button to start creating windows 7 / 8 bootable USB drive.


if no errors occurred in the above process, you should now be all set to setup Windows 7 / 8 from USB drive!


Configuring the BIOS


  1. Reboot the system
  2. While booting (before Windows starts loading), get into the BIOS configuration screen by hitting something like F1, F2, Delete or Escape. Hotkey instructions are generally provided on the screen.
  3. Go to the section that contains your boot devices.
  4. With your USB drive plugged in, the USB drive should be listed. If it isn't, your system might not support booting from USB. Assuming that it is supported (as is the case with virtually all modern hardware), promote your USB drive to the primary boot device.
  5. Exit from the BIOS configuration, saving all changes.


  • Is your BIOS properly configured for booting from the USB device? (Is the USB device listed and does it have top priority?)
  • Have you correctly prepared the USB drive in step one? (Restart the procedure.)
  • Does your USB drive properly support being booted from? (Try another one!)

I'll surely save this for future use. Didn't know about it.