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MSI B450 Tomahawk Max won't boot from USB drive. Please help!

crookedpaul
  • 1 month ago

I completed a new build two days ago. Since then I have been trying to install Windows 10 from a bootable USB flash drive, and this flippin' system REFUSES to boot from USB.

I've tried two different USB drives. I moved each of them to different USB slots (both USB 3.0 and 2.0). I even downloaded the Windows 10 ISO a second time and created a new bootable USB.

I tested every conceivable combination of UEFI/BIOS settings. Enabled/disabled Legacy USB support, switched between Legacy & UEFI and UEFI-only modes, tried enabling only the UEFI USB drive boot option and then only the non-UEFI USB option, changed the boot device priority a zillion times. Nothing works.

There's strange behavior besides.

Sometimes the MSI UEFI/BIOS detects the USB type/name, sometimes it doesn't. Even with the drive in the same slot with no settings changed, there's an even chance that the BIOS will or won't recognize the drive. It does this with both USB flash drives I've tested.

Sometimes clicking "Save Settings and Reboot" doesn't reboot, and I have to use the reset switch.

Out of probably 75-100 restarts, it has only ATTEMPTED to boot from USB 3 times. Twice I got error messages. "B1InitializeLibrary failed 0xc000000bb". "Reboot or select proper boot device, or insert media in boot device and press a key." Once it just froze on a black screen.

And now the system doesn't even TRY to boot. It goes directly to the BIOS every time, without any keys pressed.

I suspect the MSI B450 Tomahawk is at fault because of its inconsistent behavior. At this point, even if I get Windows installed, I don't know if I can trust my system to this motherboard.

Suggestions? I'd dearly appreciate any help.

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/sKCbt6

Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Have you done a full BIOS reset? (AC unplugged, CMOS battery removed, etc.) That might, maybe, do the trick. If it doesn't, and if it does the same thing no matter what USB port you try to use, I'm inclined to think the motherboard might indeed be bad.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

After you hit power, hit f11 multiple times till you get a boot menu, then select the usb with win10 on it. If the machine doesnt recognize boot up files it wont boot- a mistake in making the usb either by you or microsoft. , yes they can mess up as well. If you need to make a new boot usb , double check if its in ntfs format. If you by chance downloaded a 32bit version, that could be a problem as well. Clearing the cmos in youre b450 board might not recognize youre 3600 chip, if it goes back to a previous version, idk- but it is a possibility.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Let me make sure I understand.

If I hit F11 and bring up the boot device menu, and the USB is recognized on it, but when selected the window disappears and reappears, you're saying that definitely means the USB drive is not properly bootable. Correct? (Hey MSI, an error message to that effect would have been nice!)

I'm on a quest to make a new bootable USB installer, then. Double-check if it's NTFS—because it should be NTFS or it should not? Or more directly, what file system and partition record should it use? Because my mobo has UEFI, I assume GUID Partition Table. But what file system? Thank you.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

In certain criteria, such as this. I use a "multi boot" usb. it has recovery, linux os's, win7 os, win10 os. Using this usb i'll load a linux "live" use gparted and wipe a drive clean, this method will allow you to format youre drive to "ntfs" 64bit- many different kinds of format-but this is what you want for a standard win10 install- as well make sure you only have youre main drive in the machine as a win10 install will put mbr's on secondary drives causing problems in the future. "WinsetupfromUSB-1-8.exe" is what i use to make a multiboot usb stick- usb's are cheap now and something like this laying around can prevent headaches in future troubleshooting. I'm able to load a linux "live" clean my drive/drives and load a win10 install from the same usb with this method, you can update youre bios/uefi with this method as well. I have, on occasion, was unable to see a drive in the uefi/bios but able to see it with the "f11" method- and able to go from there.-this is why i suggested the f11 method. I believe youre hardware to be fine- possible wonky microcode from msi going from a 2nd to 3rd gen series cpu on a designed 2nd gen chipset.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

In the guid, yes you want to format the drive to ntfs 64bit , you will see options to do so on a win10 install, no need to partition, to keep it simple. Good luck

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

This was it. Thanks for your help!

The USB drives I made before were not bootable, whether they were formatted wrong or missing files.

Once I had a properly configured bootable USB Windows 10 installer, it went quite smoothly.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I'm chagrined to admit I had the USB sticks set up wrong. I assumed they were okay, especially because I made two "to be sure."

I had someone with a PC make a bootable USB drive using Microsoft's media creation tool. Then I just reset BIOS to defaults, changed the boot settings to UEFI USB mode, put in the USB and restarted. Everything worked fine.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Glad you got it straightened out. I would suggest tagging that usb and keep it somewhere accessable for future problems. Ex. In case you need the boot files off it for somereason you cant forsee. Good luck

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

I’m experiencing a similar issue with the same board B450 Tomahawk, by any chance were you creating the Windows bootable USB via OSX?

Also in your last comment you mentioned you “changed the boot settings to UEFI USB mode, put in the USB and restarted. Everything worked fine.”

How do you change the boot settings to “UEFI USB mode”?

Thank you

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