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Bootable USB Drive Not Showing Up or Recognized in Windows 10/8/7

Updated by Daisy on Mar 26, 2021
Written by Jean

The general steps to install Windows OS on a USB flash drive are like this:

  • First, create a bootable USB flash drive. 
  • Second, download the Windows image on the bootable USB drive.
  • Third, go into the BIOS settings, set the USB as the boot priority and choose to boot from USB.

But here comes the problem, you took the right steps and enter into the BIOS environment with success, only see that the bootable USB drive not showing up there! Why doesn't BIOS recognize or detect the bootable USB flash drive then?

Why Doesn't the Bootable USB Drive Show up in the Bios

Here we have many thinkings on solving a bootable USB not working problem, which appears to be missing somewhere. You may perhaps have attempted to reconnect the USB installation media for several times, but why the computer still doesn't recognize it? Answers are now given.

1. USB Connection Issues Resulting from Loose or Broken USB Port

Solution - Try to connect the USB drive through every USB port that is available to use on either a desktop or laptop. If necessary, find another working computer and repeat until completely exclude the factor of a not working port.

2. Incorrect BIOS Settings

Solution - You must configure the boot order sequence in BIOS settings so that your computer can make its own decision which physical device it should select to boot from. So, to make BIOS correctly detect your USB drive and pick it to boot the computer, make sure that you choose the USB as the boot sequence priority. 

To make bootable USB show up in BIOS, try to specify the boot order:

  • Depending on the BIOS manufacturer, press and hold ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen, a menu shall appear.
  • Choose to enter the BIOS setup and select the BOOT tab. System devices appear in order of priority.
  • To give a USB device boot sequence priority over the hard drive, try to move the hard drive device to the top of the boot sequence list, expand the hard drive device to display all hard drives and move the USB device to the top of the list of hard drives.
  • Save and exit the BIOS setup utility.
  1. set usb as the boot sequence priority in bios settings

Besides the fixed BIOS settings, some experienced users suggest disable Safe boot and change the Boot Mode to "CSM" or "Legacy" instead of "UEFI". So, you could possibly take this piece of advice!

3. Making Bootable USB Flash Drive Is Unsuccessful

Solution - Have you checked whether your USB is really bootable or not? Some people didn't see a USB drive appearing in the BIOS boot menu only because the "bootable" USB drive they've created is not bootable at all! Especially by means of using cmd to create bootable USB drive without any software.

To deal with bootable USB drive not showing up or recognized the issue in BIOS boot menu in Windows 10/8.1/8/7, a piece of USB bootable software could help. For example, EaseUS Todo Backup offers a feature to install Windows OS on a USB drive that ensures 100% bootable on any other computer. That is to say, using this system backup software to create a new bootable USB drive from scratch, you can easily repair bootable USB flash drive that is not showing up, detected, read or recognized!

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Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP


  • Make sure that your USB or flash drive has enough free space - larger than the system disk.
  • Connect the USB to your computer. 

Then, you can start to copy or clone your Windows 10/8/7.

1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup and click System Clone. The current system partition and boot partition will be automatically selected.

click system clone

2. Choose the target drive - the USB flash drive as the destination disk to clone Windows 10/8/7. Click on Advanced options and then Create a Portable Windows USB drive.

choose USB as the target drive

3. Click Proceed to start to cloning Windows 10/8/7 to your USB.

click proceed satart cloning

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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