Thanks for joining the Intel community.
Have you checked BIOS USB configuration?
Are they enabled?
Make sure all USB ports are enabled.
I updated my BIOS by first creating a file system on the SATA drive and downloading the latest update from January this year. Luckily this worked fine.
I solved the stick recognition by using a very old USB 2.0 stick and enabling Legacy USB in the BIOS, then the OS installed fine. Apparently BIOS does not recognize newer flash drives even with the latest fw updates. I guess it's worth mentioning this in the installation manual somewhere - use OLD USB. I found this solution somewhere on the internet after hours of frustration. It's really embarrassing to find that the newest product from a giant like Intel only supports installation using legacy sticks. And this issue has been reported (as far as I am concerned) over 2 years ago, I guess many users will face this problem.
Thanks for sharing this information. I am glad your computer is working now.