Do you have a new laptop that refuses to boot from USB? You’re failing to get Windows to install from a removable device? Don’t have an RJ45 port to do PXE installs?
If so, I think I have a hack for you. This is what I used for my Toshiba KIRAbook when wiping Windows 10 Techniacl Preview to reinstall Windows 8.1 – it took a lot of Googling and experimentation to get the thing to boot from USB. My fix is not perfect because you sacrifice Secure Boot, but it works. And no, this page from Microsoft, which is copied endlessly on the Internet, is Bull$h1t.
The cause of the issue is UEFI, the successor to BIOS. You are going to have to configure 3 things:
1) Disable Secure Boot
Reboot your laptop into the UEFI setup (probably one of the function keys – this page is pretty good).
2) Enable CSM Boot/Disable UEFI Boot
In my Toshiba KIRAbook, I found this under Advance > System Configuration. The setting name changes depending on if it is enabled or not.
Note that this setting might be greyed out if you haven’t disabled Secure Boot yet.
3) Prepare a Boot Stick
I used a free tool called Rufus to prepare a USB stick from the Windows 8.1 with Update ISO file.
You can now install Windows on your laptop. You’ve lost Secure Boot and UEFI Boot (Windows 8.1 will not start when they are enabled), but you are able to install Windows. I’ll update this post if anyone comes up with something better.
Note: I hate this bolloxology. This stuff should be much easier.