In order to eliminate possible problems or boot with full administrator rights, you can use a bootable USB flash drive. The Windows operating system is installed on the drive through special programs, after which it can be used as a source for installation. But often users can see BIOS LEGACY BOOT OF UEFI ONLY MEDIA error while booting from a USB flash drive. This is a common problem and we have collected different ways to solve it in this article.
Reasons for the error
Today we can safely single out one of the most common reasons for this error. The thing is that a modern PC or laptop has 2 operating system boot modes, these are UEFI (EFI) and Legacy. This mode is selected in the BIOS, only one of them can work. During the creation of the flash drive, the user selects the download mode and the program will write the files for it. But many people simply do not pay attention to this, leaving the default settings. As a result, more often than not, specialized programs write a USB flash drive under the new UEFI mode. If the BIOS is set to boot mode Legacy, then this error occurs.
If you decipher the information from the problem on the computer screen, then you can understand what you are being offered, either change the boot mode in the BIOS, or write the USB flash drive in the appropriate mode. But there may also be other reasons for this problem, so there are several ways to solve it.
How do I fix the error?
Since the cause of the error can be different, then the appropriate method must be selected. Any of the following solutions to the problem can be applied independently. Even if you have not performed such procedures before, but have minimal skills in working with the BIOS and the command line, then you should succeed. Start with the easiest ways to solve the problem and work your way up to the ones that take a little more time and effort.
Method 1: switch to UEFI mode
Since about 2012, all new computers began to support the UEFI boot mode, it is more functional, it allows you to increase the speed and quality of OS boot. Moreover, if you are using the latest hardware, this mode is installed there by default, and Legacy may not be at all. This is not surprising, all obsolete must be gradually withdrawn from the industry in order for it to develop. If you have an error while booting from a flash drive, then you need to switch to UEFI download mode, and for this you need to do the following:
- Go to the Bios of your laptop or computer. To do this, at the time of loading, you must press the esc, F2 or F12 button, depending on the type of motherboard and software on it.
- After you have entered the system BIOS settings, you need to go to the Boot tab, it is here that the item for selecting boot modes is located.
- The required section in this tab may be called “UEFI / BIOS Mode” or “Boot Mode”.
- At this point there will be a choice of UEFI or Legacy. You need to click on the first one to change the boot mode of the system.
In some cases, it is necessary to disable the Legacy Support mode, set the parameter of this item to Disable. Also remember that in the new mode the flash drive has loaded and works, but if you try to download the operating system from the hard drive, the same error may occur. It was set for Legacy mode, so it won’t be available in another mode. To restore the boot, you must select Legacy again in the BIOS settings.
Method 2: format the USB flash drive and write it again
Sometimes the cause of the error is the flash drive itself, the file system of which does not support this or that download mode. For example, if a drive is formatted in an NTFS-type file system, then you simply cannot boot into legacy. As a rule, most modern flash drives are initially available in this type to be able to work with large amounts of data.
To format the drive in the desired format, you need to connect it to your computer, right-click on it and select “Format”. Before starting the procedure, it is better to choose the type of file system that suits your OS boot mode. You can also do this at the stage of creating a bootable USB flash drive, specialized programs independently know how to format the device for certain parameters.
Method 3: restore the boot area via the command line
In order to return the working bootloader through the command line, you need to have a working Windows distribution kit, disk or USB flash drive for system recovery. If any of this is available, then you can get to work. To restore the boot area via the command line, you need to do the following:
- After loading a recovery disk or a service flash drive, you need to press the Shift + F10 or Shift + Fn + F10 keys. This will open and work with a command prompt. If we are talking about the classic Windows 10 recovery disc, then here you need to select System Restore – Diagnostics – Advanced Options – Command Prompt.
- At the command line, enter the commands diskpart – list volume – exit in order. After the list volume, you will see a list of available media. You must select the one where you want to restore the boot area.
- To carry out the process, you must enter the command: bcdboot #: windows. Instead of the “#” symbol, you must specify the drive letter to be restored.
The process will then be performed automatically. When it finishes, you can restart your computer and try to boot from the media that you restored. Everything should go without errors and problems.
Method 4: convert MBR to GPT or vice versa
If the computer supports booting in UEFI mode, but the disk partitions are formatted in MBR, then downloading in the new mode will not be possible. It is necessary to convert the partition to GPT, after which the new OS boot mode will work normally. To convert one type of section to another, you need to do the following:
- The disk must not be busy. You must either use a working Live-CD or a proven bootable USB stick. You can connect the drive to another computer.
- After that, you need to install or use the already downloaded software for working with disks. For example, you can use Paragon Hard Disk Manager.
- After the program is loaded, you will see all the disks that it found in this system. You need to select the one where you want to replace the MBR partitions with GPT.
- Right click on this disk and then select “Convert Basic MBR to Basic GPT Disk”.
- After that, in the upper left part of the window, select the “Apply” item.
- The whole procedure will be performed automatically. The files must remain on the disk.
You can also convert partitions manually using the command line. In this case, the files will have to be deleted, and the method itself causes some difficulties for inexperienced users. On the command line, you need to specify diskpart – list volumeto see all disks on the system. After that, you should write select disk # where instead of “#” put the drive letter. Then you need to enter the command cleanto delete all data from the section. It remains to write convert gptto convert the section.
One of the listed actions is required to fix the BIOS error LEGACY BOOT OF UEFI ONLY MEDIA. Yes, some of the procedures are a little tricky, so it’s important to follow the instructions in the article exactly. For the rest, there should be no problems, the methods work and this has been repeatedly verified through personal experience.