USB drive not showing up in UEFI


this is my first post, its probably in the wrong spot. My 8gb Sandisk cruzer has an image of Kali Linux on it which I am trying to use to boot from. However, when I go into my boot options, I can’t choose to boot from USB even when its plugged in! I tried to open it to see what the files were, but I can’t go in unti l format it. When I try to format it, it says it will only have 2.7gbs of space! Help would be much appreciated.

Well, booting on UEFI systems requires the drive be formatted with UEFI support which obviously your’s wasn’t.  Reading a USB drive on a UEFI system simply requires it be in a format Windows recognizes; ie FAT, exFAT or NTFS.  Obviously your flash drive doesn’t have one of those formats, and since you say it has a Linux system on it it is probably formatted in a Linux ext format.

So, the question is, what do you want to do with the drive.  If you want the files on it you need to find a non-UEFI machine, boot the Linux system and copy all the files to the machine’s hard drive, reformat the flash drive to a format Windows supports, then copy the files from the hard drive back to the flash drive.

If you want to boot the drive on a UEFI machine, to a Linux system, the easiest approach, after you backup your files, is to download a utility named Easy2Boot and use to make the flash drive bootable and put a Linux system on it.  Another option, after you backup your files, is to put Porteus on the flash drive, it supports booting on UEFI systems.

Sometimes, the computer firmware for UEFI either doesn’t support USB boot or doesn’t support any format other than one from Microsoft. My Dell laptop has this problem. The solution is to go into the firmware set up and select “Legacy Boot” which then give you the option to boot from USB.

True, and that will work.  But to reboot to the hard drive’s OS you have to change the BIOS back.  Kindof a pain to keep doing and redoing.

@ed_p wrote:

True, and that will work.  But to reboot to the hard drive’s OS you have to change the BIOS back.  Kindof a pain to keep doing and redoing.

Also, if UEFI Secure Boot is on, the machine will only boot to Windows and you must disable that in the BIOS to boot Linux. To me, the very fact that someone wants to boot Linux on a Windows machine said they were willing to tweek the BIOS. The “install files on another machine” solution was more convoluted and difficult than turning off UEFI boot in the BIOS.

I boot Windows Recovery and Linux USB drives on UEFI machines and the only BIOS change I had to make is turning off the Secure Boot option that you mentioned.

I believe Easy2Boot supports creating USB drives booting to UEFI systems.  Check it out.

When you go back to the original issue, the SanDisk device was pre-loaded with Linux so that makes it much more difficult to change the format of the drive, add the UEFI files in the correct location or any other solution short of finding a machine that could actually boot the Linux kernal. I believe I addressed those issues as the only way is to tweek the BIOS to boot the existing device as currently formatted.