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How to Boot Lenovo ThinkPad from the USB Flash Drive

Jun. 17, 2015 02:50 pm / Posted by Ruby Johnson to Windows Tips
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A bootable USB flash drive can be a pretty useful tool when diagnosing a computer. If you're troubleshooting your ThinkPad or installing a new operating system, you'll have to "boot Lenovo ThinkPad from USB flash drive". Below we will delve into how to boot a ThinkPad from USB flash drive. Firstly, making sure you have created a bootable USB flash drive for your ThinkPad.

Part 1: How to Boot from USB Flash Drive on a Microsoft Windows 10/8.1/8 Preloaded ThinkPad

In Windows 10/8.1/8, you can't press F 12 to enter the Boot Menu. Alternatively, you have to enter the Boot Menu from within Windows 8/8.1/10.

If you can't boot into your PC such as you forgot ThinkPad login password, in this case you can't boot from USB in method above, thus you can try methods below:

Part 2: How to Boot from USB Flash Drive on Older ThinkPad Systems?

If you use older ThinkPad system, follow steps below to boot from USB on your ThinkPad laptop.

Boot Option Key for older ThinkPad systems (from Official Lenovo Support)

ThinkPad model Action
G40, G41, R40, R40e, R50/e/p, R51, R52, T40/p, T41/p, T42/p, T43/p, X40, X41, X41 Tablet Press the blue Access IBM button when the message "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue Access IBM button" is displayed to enter the ThinkVantage Productivity Center, then select Start setup utility to open the BIOS Setup Utility.
R51e, R60/e/i, R61/e/i, T60/p, T61/p, X60/s, X61, X61 Tablet, Z60m/t, Z61e/m/p/t, Reserve Edition Press the blue ThinkVantage button when the message "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue ThinkVantage button " is displayed to enter the ThinkVantage Productivity Center, then select Start setup utility to open the BIOS Setup Utility.
240 series, 390 series, 570 series, i Series 1200/1300/1400/1500/172x, A20, A21, A22, A30, A31, R30, R31, R32,, S30, S31, T20, T21, T22, T23, T30, X20, X21, X22, X23, X24, X30, X31, TransNote Pressing F1 during startup when the ThinkPad logo is displayed.
310, 315, 310E/ED, 315ED BIOS Utility is entered by holding F2 while the ThinkPad logo is displayed after power on.
365C/CS, 365CD/CSD, 365E/ED Enter setup by pressing CTRL+Alt+F11 from a DOS prompt (you must be in DOS mode, not a DOS session under Windows).
365X/XD With the unit powered off, hold the F1 key and power the unit on. Keep F1 held down until Easy setup appears
360, 355 series, 380, 385 series, 560 series, 600 series, 701C/CS, 75x series, 76x series, 770 series With the unit powered off, hold the F1 key and power the unit on. Keep F1 held down until Easy setup appears.
Note: On the TP 701, you can also access the Configuration area on BIOS by pressing the Fn+F1 keys.
500, 510 Enter setup by pressing CTRL+Alt+F3 from a DOS prompt (you must be in DOS mode, not a DOS session under Windows).
700/C, 720/C Pressing CTRL+ALT+INS when the cursor moves over to the upper right hand side of the screen right after the memory count.
710T, 730T Hold the suspend/resume switch while powering on the computer.

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How to Boot Lenovo ThinkPad from the USB Flash Drive