How to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Issues

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The Reboot and select proper boot device error seems relatively self-explanatory: Restart your computer and select the hardware that your system uses to boot up. But what’s a great way to resolve this issue?

What Is the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error & What Causes It? 

The “reboot and select proper boot device” failure means that your PC’s basic input/output system or BIOS cannot locate the boot device that contains your OS. It urges you to restart your PC, enter into your PC’s BIOS system (UEFI), select the correct boot device that contains your operating system, and have the computer boot from it. Several conditions can prompt this error report to come up, including physical issues and software issues.

  • Physical issues can include your boot disk not being appropriately connected to your computer’s hardware, having a damaged boot disk or have failed or having a faulty cable, a damaged SATA slot, or a dead hard drive.
  • Software problems may include an inactive boot partition, a corrupted or damaged master boot record (MBR), a wrong boot order in the BIOS, corrupted or lost boot files, or an operating system that has become corrupted.

To boot into your computer’s BIOS, you will need to restart and continuously press a specific key that allows you to enter your computer’s BIOS system. This key can be anything from the DEL, ESC, F2, F8, F10, or F12 key and is normally arranged on the post screen or can be found in the manual that comes with your computer’s motherboard. Press this key until your computer boots into the BIOS system and then use the fixes below to solve the issue.

Reboot And Select Proper Boot Device Or Insert Boot Media
Reboot And Select Proper Boot Device Or Insert Boot Media

Verify the Power Cable Connecting Your Hard Drive 

Your hard drive that stores your OS must be connected to the motherboard with a power cable. If that power cable is broken, frayed, or disconnected, likely, the computer isn’t detecting your hard drive.

  • Shut your PC down and start it again.
  • Locate the power cable running from your hard disk to your motherboard and monitor if it is physically damaged or not connected correctly.
  • If it looks appropriately connected, and you are still getting the error, remove it from your computer and test it on another one.
  • If the error happens on the test PC, change the power cable with a new one.

If the error does not occur on the test computer, re-attach your power cable properly and move on to the steps below.

Clean Your RAM

If your RAM hasn’t been cleaned or separated since you installed it on the PC, it may be the root of the error. To clean the RAM:

  1. Shut your PC down and pull off your PC’s sideboard by eliminating the screws from the tower/bottom of the laptop and locate your RAM.
  2. Unlock the clamps that keep your RAM in place and slowly pull them from their positions.
  3. Brush any dust off the RAM with the soft cloth and reinstall them back into their slots.
  4. Clamp them in place, close your computer up, and reboot to see if the error persists.

Check if Boot Drive is detected in BIOS

Your boot disk might not be identified in your PC’s BIOS. To check this, do the following.

  • Reboot or boot your PC and click the post-screen selected key to get into your PC’s BIOS.
  • On the main window of your BIOS, you should notice a list of all devices that your BIOS recognizes. This will involve your hard disk drives, fans, and any other hardware you have connected, like a DVD/CD drive.
  • If the hard drive is not listed, shut your PC down.
  • Open your PC up and either a) connect your hard drive to another SATA slot or b) use a different SATA cable to connect your hard disk drive to another SATA slot in the motherboard.
  • Reboot into the BIOS to detect if your hard disk drive is detected. If it is, you understand that it was either the cable making the problem or the SATA port on your motherboard.

If your hard drive still doesn’t seem in the BIOS, the boot disk may be damaged, failed, damaged, or dead.

Check Boot Order in BIOS

Sometimes the boot sequence can get mucked up and cause the “reboot and select proper boot device” error to pop up. To verify the boot order in your BIOS, boot the PC up and navigate to the BIOS with the post-screen key.

  1. Once in the BIOS, navigate to the “startup” or “boot” tab or window. In the latest BIOS systems, the boot sequence may appear on the main screen.
  2. If you cannot find the boot order, try the advanced BIOS features to locate it there.
  3. In the boot order list, your boot disk should be the first device placed.
  4. If it is not listed in the first position but does appear in the list, move it to the first position. In newer BIOS systems, you can drag and drop to alter the boot order. In earlier BIOS systems, you may require to use your arrow keys.
  5. With the boot drive in the first place, save the changes and reboot your PC.

Disable/Enable Legacy Boot

In some cases, your basic input/output system (BIOS) may come with a legacy boot feature, which can cause the “reboot and select proper boot device” error. Just disabling it or enabling it can fix the error report.

  • Restart your computer and enter the BIOS.
  • Look for the legacy boot option. You may need to go through all tabs and settings in your BIOS to find it.
  • Once found, if it is enabled, disable it. If it is disabled, enable it.
  • Save the changes and exit the BIOS.
  • Restart your computer.

Set BIOS to Best Defaults

While this fix is a bit of a long shot, sometimes, not having your BIOS set to its default values can produce instability. This imbalance may be the reason behind the “reboot and select proper boot device error”. To access this, reboot your PC and load into your BIOS, and search for an option that enables you to “load optimal defaults”. Load the defaults and restart.

Use the CMD tool to activate an Inactive Partition

If the primary hard disk partition on the boot disk is no longer set to be active, then you can perceive the “reboot and select proper boot device” failure message. By fixing your primary hard drive partition as active, you will neutralize the error. You will need a Windows installation media disk or recovery disk for this process and you will need to set it as the priority boot media in your BIOS.

  • Follow the on-screen directions until you get the option to repair, restore, or recover your PC.
  • Press any of these, and you will either notice a System Recovery Options page on Windows 7/Vista or a Troubleshoot page on Win 10/8.
  • Choose the CMD from the list and type the command line: diskpart [enter].
  • Then type the command line list disk [enter] to see a list of disks installed on the PC.
  • Then enter the command line, choose disk 0 [or whichever disk has the inactive partition on it] and hit [enter].
  • Then type the command line list partition 1 [or whichever group is the inactive one] and press [enter].
  • Then enter the command line active [enter] to mark it as active.
  • Diskpart will show you that the partition has been created active.
  • Exit the command line and restart your computer to see if the error persists.

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