[SOLVED] Unable to boot from USB while SATA is enabled ?

DoritoBandito

Honorable
Dec 3, 2014
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10,510
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Hello,

I have been trying to troubleshoot an Acer Swift that has been stuck in a boot loop.

The system is running Windows 10 Home.

The exact model of the laptop is Acer Swift 1 SF114-32-C3DZ

What happens
When powering on the machine, the green Acer logo appears and the spinning dots appear. After a considerable amount of time, the machine restarts. It is unable to boot or enter the repair utility.

What I have tried
  • I have tried using ALT+F10 to enter the recovery settings. This does not work, it displays the Acer logo with the spinning dots and the text "Please wait", but seemingly loads forever.
  • I have created Windows Installation Media from the Microsoft tool to create a bootable USB. I then proceeded to disable Secure Boot in BIOS, enable F12 boot manager and change boot priority to USB > Hard drive. However, when the computer appears to try to boot into the USB, but just get the endless spinning dots again.
When I disable SATA so that the hard drive cannot possibly be used as a boot option, the USB is able to be booted from and I can use the windows installation media, although of course the hard drive is not available so that is pretty useless.

Enabling SATA again means I can no longer successfully boot into the USB. This is not a boot priority problem, as when I try boot directly from USB from F12, I get the same result (endless spinning dots).

This is not my laptop, it is a friends so I would like to avoid opening it if possible, additionally it has those star shaped screws as opposed to phillips (cross) and I don't have the tool to unscrew those.

I've hit a wall here, is there anything else I can try?

Thank you
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
The star shaped screw heads are torx screws. They are a form of security measure to prevent anyone without the right tool to open the laptop. As for the laptop, can you check and see if the laptop has any BIOS updates pending? If you have a number of BIOS versions between the latest and the version you're on, gradually work your way to the latest. As for BIOS settings, disable both Secure Boot and Fast Boot, see if that changes your experience. Also, you might want to see if UEFI boot options are enabled and if it's got other settings to fiddle around with.

The last thing you can try and do is see what sort of storage controller settings you've got, if the SATA controller is set to anything outside of AHCI, change it to AHCI. I've seen some laptops have the Intel RAID or Optane option enabled, not to mention IDE mode enabled when they should all be on AHCI.
 
Reactions: DoritoBandito

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
The star shaped screw heads are torx screws. They are a form of security measure to prevent anyone without the right tool to open the laptop. As for the laptop, can you check and see if the laptop has any BIOS updates pending? If you have a number of BIOS versions between the latest and the version you're on, gradually work your way to the latest. As for BIOS settings, disable both Secure Boot and Fast Boot, see if that changes your experience. Also, you might want to see if UEFI boot options are enabled and if it's got other settings to fiddle around with.

The last thing you can try and do is see what sort of storage controller settings you've got, if the SATA controller is set to anything outside of AHCI, change it to AHCI. I've seen some laptops have the Intel RAID or Optane option enabled, not to mention IDE mode enabled when they should all be on AHCI.
 
Reactions: DoritoBandito

DoritoBandito

Honorable
Dec 3, 2014
4
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10,510
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Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, the current BIOS version really does not offer much configuration at all. As far as boot configuration, the only option configurable is boot order and whether Secure Boot is enabled or disabled, there are no UEFI, etc configurable options.

Same goes for SATA, the only option is to enable or disable SATA. That is pretty much the extent of the BIOS.

It's my understanding that BIOS updates typically only happen from Windows now as it's less prone to corruption. Did you have any recommended method of updating BIOS if I am unable to boot into Windows?

My friend has stated they may just buy a new laptop. So I will look to acquire a torx screwdriver (thank you) to open up the laptop and try to re-seat the hard drive to see if that makes a difference. If that fails I will just move the hard drive to an external enclosure, backup the data and return the laptop to them.
 

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