Ideas on why I can’t boot to Win install USB?

I went to the MS site and supposedly made a boot USB stick so I could do a fresh install of Windows 11. But for some reason, when I try to boot to the USB stick it just goes to the BIOS instead. Any idea why that might be? Is it possible there’s something funky with the hard drive I’m trying to install it to, since it doesn’t have the boot partition on it? Should that even matter?

Do you see the USB detected in the BIOS? Can you go to the UEFI boot menu and tell it to select the USB drive as the initial boot device?

Yea that’s exactly what I did. And it does show up there too. Unless I made the USB boot stick wrong, but I ran the web app to make the stick right off the MS website.

That should be all there is to it. Try another USB port? IE one in the motherboard back panel as opposed to a port integrated into the front of the case? If that doesn’t work either, I’d probably try to make another boot USB just in case.

Ok will try that.

Are you certain you really download a bootable image? Usually what you download is the Windows Media Creation Tool, which is an exe which you run and builds a boot image for you.

I’m at my Mom’s house checking that out right now.


Well I didn’t bring the right USB stick so I’ll just make a new one

Crap, my Mom’s old Win7 computer keeps giving me an error message when trying to make the bootable USB. Is there another option?

If I download the iso version? Hmm then I need software to create the iso properly on the USB stick?

I make life so hard for myself gah

Rufus is a good app to burn ISOs to USB:

or Etcher is simpler

So I made a bootable (hopefully) USB with these settings. Are they OK?

I think that’s correct.

I’m back at my house and the install is working! Hopefully I can actually boot my PC with the weird partitioning gone.

My big concern is what happens when I reattach the drive that had the boot sector thingie in it.

Thank you all. This has been unusually challenging for me.

I couldn’t try to predict what the bootloader will try and do. Make sure you know the key to interrupt boot at BIOS and see what devices are recognized, and pick your own boot disk to be sure.

Thanks for the help everyone. Finally got a fresh copy of Windows 11 with the proper sector on the primary drive. It’s working perfect now.