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MWarn2
Beginner
19,042 Views

NUC5i3RYK - Can't boot from USB thumbdrive - legacy OR UEFI

Hello everyone. I have searched and read just about every post I can find about problems booting from USB sticks, but I can't seem to solve the problem on my Nuc.

Specs: Nuc Box says NUC5i3RYK; Bios says "Desktop Board NUC5i3RYB"; Bios Version: RYBDWi35.86A.0369.2018.0305.1050 (latest); 8GB RAM; M.2 SSD. Machine boots just fine from the SSD and operates normally. But booting from a USB stick is a different matter.

In BIOS, both UEFI and Legacy boot are enabled; Under boot conf, USB and OPTICAL Boot devices are checked; secure boot is disabled.

When I plug in a USB Thumb Drive to boot from (Linux, Acronis Backup, Spinrite, etc), I get NO legacy boot options on the F10 screen. The drive will appear as a UEFI device: "UEFI : USB : UEFI : USB : USB DISK 2.0 PMAP : PART 0 : OS Bootloader : PART 0". If I select that, I get about a half second black screen, then I'm returned to the F10 boot options screen to try again. I have confirmed that all the thumb drives I have created will boot okay on another machine, so the drives appear to be okay. I can, however, boot from a Legacy USB CD-ROM drive without issue.

Also, when in BIOS, no boot drives show under the legacy screen, even when one is plugged into the USB port.

I have toggled just about every setting I can find in the bios that relates to booting or to USB. I have also tried the USB sticks in every USB port on the Nuc. I have also done an F9 Bios reset to defaults without any success. Can anyone steer me in a good direction on this? Thank you in advance...

0 Kudos
45 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

I suggest you try creating your media using Rufus.

...S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Thank you for your suggestion. Many of the thumbdrives that I want to boot use their own creation software, so that might not work for every instance. However, since I couldn't remember if I used Rufus to create any of them, I decided to give it a try and created an Acronis 2017 boot disc from their .iso using Rufus. Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the exact same issue and the NUC refuses to boot from it. However, that thumbdrive will boot on other machines in the house.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

This shouldn't make a difference, but may be worth a try. Take this thumb drive to another Windows-based PC and reformat it using the FAT32 file system with the Quick option disabled. Then take it back and prepare media on whatever system you used previously.

You have enabled both UEFI and Legacy boot (simultaneously), right?

...S

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

And you don't have Secure Boot enabled, right?

...S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Thanks again for the suggestions. Formatting FAT32 without quick format checked, then ran Rufus again. No change.

And yes, Legacy and UEFI boot are both enabled. Secure Boot is NOT checked.

Thanks.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

Hhmmm, have you tried building a DOS-bootable stick and booting from it? If it doesn't work, disable UEFI and try again.

...S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

My spinrite bootable thumbdrive is a DOS based bootable stick. Exhibits the same behavior as UEFI sticks and legacy sticks. If I disable UEFI booting in the bios, the F10 boot menu lists nothing to boot from at all, even with that spinrite thumbdrive plugged in.

It is very confusing for me...

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

Is this a "new" NUC (i.e. just out of the box)? If so, I suggest that you update the BIOS to the latest available version and then try again. Older BIOSs may have had compatibility issues with certain USB 3.0 flash drives. If these are indeed USB 3.0 flash drives, try using a USB 2.0 flash drive. As well, while there should be no differences between front and read USB ports, I have seen some issues resolved by moving from front to rear port...

..S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

It is about a 1.5year old Nuc. BIOS has already been updated to latest version. All the USB flash drives have been 2.0 drives (different brand names, different sizes) and I have tried them in both front and back ports...

Thanks again for the brainstorming....

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

Hhmmm, this isn't making any sense. You tried disabling UEFI in the BIOS?

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Yup. I unchecked the box under UEFI and left Legacy checked. With UEFI unchecked, no drives showed up under F10 to boot even though there was a DOS bootable thumbdrive plugged in.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

Is this a sudden phenomenon? That is, were you able to boot from these same flash disks previously and it is only now that it doesn't work?

Have you ever had Secure Boot enabled? If so, you might want to try clearing its configuration completely (I saw a similar phenomenon recently).

...S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Not a sudden phenomenon. The unit did originally boot from USB.. That's how I installed Win 7 and made original images. Didn't need to boot from USB for about 8 months.. during that time, I did update the Intel BIOS a couple of times... including the most recent update from March. Also updated Intel drivers in Windows, but I doubt they would have any impact. And yes, the same thumbdrives booted the unit 10 or so months ago.

Nope, I've never enabled Secure Boot, but I did just enable it so that I could check the clear configuration box. Rebooted, went back into bios and turned off Secure Boot (the clear config was unchecked then, meaning that I believe it cleared the config). With Secure Boot disabled, still won't boot off USB.

I'd imagine that if it were a bios problem (bug), there would be many many more reports, which is why I wonder if there is a checkbox somewhere that's set wrong. But again, I've reset bios defaults multiple times and still can't get it to boot from usb thumbdrives... But it will happily boot from a USB CD-ROM drive... confusing..

Thanks again for the suggestions....

idata
Community Manager
5,444 Views

Hello, MWarner.

 

 

I have tried to recreate this issue you are facing at our labs using a NUC5i5RYK (which is having the same motherboard as the NUC5i3RYK), with the BIOS version 0369 installed. I was able to install Windows 10* without any problem. This is what I did:
  1. Install BIOS 0369 using the F7 BIOS update method.
  2. Restore BIOS settings back to default by pressing F9 on the Intel® Visual Bios and then F10 to save the changes.
Please make sure "USB" is checked on the Boot Devices section as it shows the image attached to this post.

 

In addition, try performing a BIOS recovery using the https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27631/BIOS-Update-RYBDWi35-86A-?product=83256 0369 BIOS version. You can find the instructions in the link below:

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005532/mini-pcs.html https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005532/mini-pcs.html

 

 

 

Antony S.
MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Antony, thank you for your followup on this issue.

Unfortunately, neither solution you indicated has solved the problem. I tried both the F7 update method, followed by a restore defaults as well as the 3 second power button BIOS recovery followed by a reset defaults. USB and Optical devices are checked under Boot Configuration - Boot Devices, and my USB CDROM will act as a boot device successfully.

If it helps, no matter what UEFI enabled USB drive I plug into the unit, it always shows up in the boot menu as the same "UEFI : USB : UEFI : USB : USB DISK 2.0 PMAP : PART 0 : OS Bootloader : PART 0". If I select it to boot from, I get a quick black screen and am then returned to the same menu to select a drive to boot from. If I insert a NON-UEFI bootable USB drive, it doesn't show up at all (as if Legacy wasn't checked, even though it is!). Could there be something in the NVRAM that isn't cleared with a factory default reset or a bios recovery?

And, as just a confirmation, these USB bootable drives worked previously on this machine. But it was at least a year ago when they did. They all work fine on other machines.

If I can be of any other assistance in hunting down this issue, I'd be happy to help.. Thanks again..

idata
Community Manager
5,444 Views

Hello MWarner

 

 

Thank you for your response.

 

 

Could you creating a bootable image with a different operating system(Windows® 32 bit) .iso to and try to installer it on the unit?

 

 

Regards,

 

Leonardo C.

 

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

I have tried multiple different USB thumbdrives, using multiple different .isos, and none of them work. I have tried

Acronis True Image

LibreElec

Clonezilla

Spinrite

eSet System Rescue

Bitdefender rescue USB

I have tried these on different make/sizes of USB sticks. The Acronis True Image and Spinrite sticks were created 3-4 years ago and they worked previously on this Nuc (maybe 10-12 months ago or so). They currently work in other PCs I have around the house.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
5,444 Views

My input on the process is as follows:

  1. There are a lot fewer compatibility issues using USB 2.0 flash disks. Most USB 3.0 flash disks should work, but...
  2. If you have the image as an ISO file, the best tool that I have found for installing it onto the USB flash disk is Rufus. When using Rufus, always select to use only GPT partitioning.
  3. When actually installing onto the target disk, ensure that GPT partitioning is used. If any partitions already exist on the target disk, make sure that all of these partitions are deleted before specifying your target. Only by deleting all existing partitions will the old partition table be discarded and a new GPT table be created.
  4. In the Windows install process, as an example, when you get to the disk selection scene, use the commands available there to delete all existing partitions on the drive. Once this is done, tell Windows to install to the unpartitioned space on the drive (which at this point encompasses the whole drive). This not only ensures that GPT partitioning is used but also lets Windows optimally manage the partition sizes.

Hope this helps,

...S

MWarn2
Beginner
5,444 Views

Thanks for the reply.

# 1 - All my flash drives are 2.0. So, I've got that going for me.

# 2 - I have tried Rufus with a flash drive as suggested earlier in the thread. Unfortunately, it didn't help.

# 3 - For the drive I created with Rufus, I did make sure no other partitions are on the drive (using GParted). Some of the other thumbdrives use their own writing software (Acronis, for example). However, as I said before, the Acronis thumbdrive booted this Nuc before without issue. I believe it stopped after a firmware upgrade, although I can't be 100% sure that was the only change.

# 4 - I'm not installing Windows on this Nuc, just trying to get it to boot either live linux images or other tools that run completely from the thumbdrive.

All I will add is that, as requested by Intel, I was able to flash the bios using a USB thumbdrive connected. The BIOS was able to read the thumbdrive enough to load the uefi firmware. So, physically, it connects and works. Also, as I indicated earlier, I can boot from a USB CD-ROM in any USB port without issue.