FYI Most common "boot menu" keys to press at startup

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Well-known member
Sep 18, 2020
Rutland UK
Daniel kindly provided this list in the NewsGroups. It may help others in finding the right key combination to get the Boot Menu.

Please note that these aren't the keys intended to enter CMOS Setup, these are only the "Boot Menu" keys!

Some LENOVO desktops use this key to interrupt the boot sequence and allow you to select the boot menu

ESC key
Works with most modern ASUS laptops, most modern HP laptops, and also with many SAMSUNG laptops

F8 key
Used for most ASUS desktop mainboards, and also for some modern PACKARD BELL desktops

F9 key
Used for most HP desktops and COMPAQ desktops

F11 key
Used for most AsRock desktop mainboards, most MSI desktop mainboards, and also for many SONY laptops

F12 key
Valid for many ACER laptops, AOPEN laptops, DELL laptops, DELL desktops, FUJITSU laptops, GIGABYTE desktop mainboards and TOSHIBA laptops

"PIN" method
Most modern LENOVO laptops no longer use a key. You have to turn off the computer and then wake it by introducing a pin into a small hole in the side of the computer. That will show the bios boot menu.
"PIN" method
Most modern LENOVO laptops no longer use a key. You have to turn off the computer and then wake it by introducing a pin into a small hole in the side of the computer. That will show the bios boot menu.
That's a really dumb butt design. Like I'll ever know that when I actually need it. I don't trust Lenovo any more due to their past security spying on the customer problems as well as the current Chinese security threats. Ron
Hmm, I need to test out F8 on my current system. I hate that the splash screen only shows the BIOS menu key. (Do like that OSes can borrow the BIOS image to replace the Windows icon though with UEFI though)
On a slightly different track. If you have an ASUS motherboard but the BIOS does not allow booting from a USB stick you may be helped, as I was, by the fact that if a bootable CD/DVD is in the drive when you shutdown, on start up pressing the F8 key may, if you time it right bring up a list of bootable devices, one of which will be the USB you want to boot from. It appears that the presence of the bootable CD/DVD causes the bootable list to appear.
Hi there everyone! (I'm Daniel, been in the GRC newsgroups for quite a while, but I've recently registered here as well)

I've recently discovered another key that might be useful:

F7 key
Used for most modern CLEVO laptops

And I've also discovered that some newer Lenovo laptops (I've personally verified this with an Ideapad 3-15ITL6) are thankfully allowing the F12 key alongside the PIN method to get into the boot menu. Please note that you might need to press FN+F12 if your bios is set to prioritize multimedia functions on those keys.
F12 and F2 both give me a BIOS setup option on my Dell's, with F12 giving me the full boot menu.
A new discovery!

Modern Sony VAIO laptops (from around 2013 and newer) use a special key named "ASSIST"

Turn off the laptop, plug the USB flash drive and then press the "ASSIST" key located in the upper right corner of the keyboard. It will boot to a "Rescue Mode" screen where you can select the USB drive you want to boot
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