Today, I received a brand new Dell Precision 5530 running boot firmware 1.8.1 to be handed out to a colleague. The first attempt at booting off an USB memory stick didn’t look promising as I never saw an entry for the stick in the F12 boot menu.

After fooling around with various settings, like turning off Secure Boot and changing the disk controller from RAID to AHCI, I thought of adding a new boot menu item to the UEFI NVRAM.

Sure enough, the oversimplified boot menu editor recognized my memory stick. It was simply a matter of picking a name for the new boot entry, selecting the USB device, and selecting the boot loader \EFI\boot\BOOTX64.EFI. Et voilà. Finally, I was able to capture the factory image using Symantec Ghost.

Why is boot firmware version 1.8.1 so ridiculously hard at recognizing memory sticks, Secure Boot or not? I’ve handled plenty of Dell computers in the past, and they have always recognized my memory sticks at least after I turned off Secure Boot. Even the Lenovo ThinkPad E590T I bought for myself last week had no problems booting off my memory sticks once Secure Boot got disabled. This particular specimen is just over the tops.

Luckily, a new boot firmware version is available, version 1.13.0. I’ll try that version next. Upon further investigation, it seems version 1.10.1 solved this particular bug.

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