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2 things: First, does your drive have a second USB cable for power, and if so do you have it plugged in? I have a USB DVD drive and it works fine in the OS with just the data cable, but to boot from it I have to have both connected.
Also have you tried bring up the boot menu during start and manually selecting the DVD drive?
Hi Jason, thanks for the quick response. Not sure if this is what you meant, but the DVD drive did come with an odd cable, having a Y with two type-A connectors on one end and one type-B connector on the other. I swapped the type-A connector on the NUC end and magic occurred and it booted. I guess one of the connectors is for power only, but it's not documented in the Amazon manual.
Great! Glad it was something simple.