Article ID: 000036289 Content Type: Troubleshooting Last Reviewed: 05/03/2024

USB Stick Is Not Being Recognized as a Bootable Device


Windows Server 2016*


Ensure that the USB is visible and usable to install a new operating system with Intel Server motherboards.


The USB stick is not being recognized, or it's only recognized when the server motherboard is switched to legacy mode.

  • Information on this page contains references specific to the Intel® Server Board S1200SP Family. Although much of the content may apply to other boards as well
  • If you have a current-generation Intel server product, please visit and input your product name in the search box to look for the most recent content associated with your product.

Verify that these are selected within the motherboard:

  • Ensure the Operating System is among the validated ones for the board.
  • Double check the USB drive containing the .iso OS image is properly connected to the back-panel USB ports.
  • Make sure the BIOS/Firmware is the latest version.
  1. If the volume to install the OS on is below 2 TB, proceed as follows:

    Ensure your USB thumb drive was previously formatted as FAT32 and made bootable. For more information

    1. Restart the system into the BIOS and follow the steps below:
      1. Enable the Quiet Boot option in the Main Menu.
      2. Navigate to the Advanced menu, ensure that the Legacy USB Support option is enabled.
      3. In the Boot Options menu, make sure USB Boot Priority is enabled.
      4. Ensure the Boot Mode (also known as EFI Optimized Boot) is set to Legacy. This is found in the Boot Options menu.
      5. Save the changes and exit.
    2. As the system POSTs, press F6 to trigger the Boot Manager. Select your USB thumb drive from among the list.
  2. If the volume to install the OS on is equal to or above 2 TB, proceed as follows:

    Ensure the USB device is formatted in New Technology File System (NTFS) and Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) Partition Table (GPT) partition for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). For more information, see also How to resolve USB Optical Drive not recognized when using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode?

    1. Restart the system into the BIOS.
    2. Navigate to the Boot Options menu and ensure the Boot Mode is set to EFI (or UEFI).
    3. Make sure that the USB Boot Priority is enabled.
    4. Save the changes and exit.

The system should boot from off the USB thumb drive.

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