Select boot device key on Sony Vaios

Most BIOSes nowadays have a feature whereby pressing a specific F key brings up a one-time boot device selection menu, handy for operating system (re)installs. The BIOS on my new Vaio didn't display any information regarding keys (not even how to get into the BIOS). After blindly trying escape and del, F2 got me into the BIOS. There was no one-time boot option in the BIOS so I did a google search. A random post in a random thread said to try F11, which cycles the boot device through the available media.

I was trying to boot from USB: the first time I pressed F11 during boot the laptop tried booting from the empty CD drive. The second time (I can't remember if the laptop rebooted itself, or if I had to) I pressed F11 it successfully booted from the USB.

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About johnny

Computers have interested me since I can remember and conveniently I studied computer science. I also enjoy performing in a local amateur theatre group and cycling. This is where I post solutions to problems I've had in the office or any other project, hopefully clearly enough to refer back to in the future.
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18 Responses to Select boot device key on Sony Vaios

  1. Alex says:

    Thank u!

  2. Sidd says:

    Really, this helped me save a LOT of time.
    I wanted to Install xp booted from usb and the BIOS was locked, tried ways to unlock it but that needed the serial number which was not there!
    Thanks a lot

  3. Andrei says:

    Thanks from Romania. That help me with something ;)

  4. Daniel says:

    Thanks a million.

    This is what SONY should document in their website and/or the manual of the product!

  5. Manish says:

    Thanks.
    And just for information - F10 is starting the Vaio Rescue.

  6. Craig says:

    Thanks saved me alot of stuffing around.

  7. HosseinSam says:

    Thanks a lot, Its working

  8. Ganesh says:

    Thanks a Lot,

  9. elkeane aragao says:

    thank you very much!!!

  10. tkj says:

    many thanks bro :) honour u ~

  11. Andrei says:

    This helped any of you?
    F10 - Recover or maintain your system
    F11 - Start from media (USB device/optical disc)
    F12 - Start from network
    F2 - Start BIOS setup
    F4 - Shut down

    Good luck!!

  12. Elio says:

    Just finished to talk to the tech support.
    In case you've Windows 8 on the VAIO netbook follow this steps:
    press once the button ASSIST
    Switch it on
    Wait and at the menu press F2 for bios
    In case you need to boot another OS from an external disk, you might consider switching boot mode from EFI to Legacy
    Cheers, Elio

  13. Jesus says:

    thank u, frm PARAGUAY...!

  14. cedric says:

    merci andrei ca fait longtemp que je cherche F11 – Start from media (USB device/optical disc)

  15. Sreynoch says:

    I already tried F11 key on my sony E series but It can't boot window7 from my usb device.
    It appears "J_" .
    Do you have other solution ?

  16. Sadiq says:

    Thanks, dude. I suffered too much for this, but finally succeeded using your solution.
    For new-comers: after you press the power button, press f11 immediately and repeatedly. Win 8 boots up so quickly; so you should run faster than your computer.

  17. Vitor says:

    Many thanks. This help me a lot. 2 days off search, a lot of work, and the solution is that. THANK YOU

  18. Johan says:

    Much obliged! Saved me a lot of trouble. The "Assist"-way is horribly hidden...

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