How to Boot From a USB

By Quinten Plummer

Before emergence of jump drives, floppy disks were the best and most popular way to boot programs outside of an operating system. But USB jump drives have made floppy disks all but obsolete. USB drives are faster, more reliable and offer much more storage space than floppy disks. And booting from your USB drive only takes a couple of quick adjustments to your computer's BIOS---your computer's essential list of boot commands. Read on to find out more.

Things You'll Need

  • USB jump drive

Step 1

Insert your USB jump drive into a USB port on the computer containing the bootable program. Copy the information to your jump drive, then insert the drive into a USB port on the computer you wish to boot the program from.

Step 2

Power on the computer. When the computer begins displaying its startup information, hit the key indicated on screen to enter the computer's BIOS (the "F1" or "Delete" keys are commonly used to access the BIOS).

Step 3

Browse through the menu options in the BIOS to locate the computer's startup and booting options to locate the "CMOS" menu, which is where you'll have the option to set which devices will boot at startup.

Step 4

Browse though the list of bootable option---they'll be ordered as "First Boot Device," "Second Boot Device" and so on. Set the USB jump drive as the first bootable option---your BIOS may refer to the drive as a "USB Removable Floppy Disk."

Step 5

Save and exit the BIOS. When your computer restarts, your program will boot first before your operating system.