[Updated April 2023] ‘Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device’

[Updated April 2023] ‘Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device’

/ Sed Galope

Most of the time, the “Reboot and select proper boot device” error, also known as the “select proper boot device error,” causes enormous panic in PC users. After all, it usually happens when you turn on your computer. Instead of loading, you are given a screen that states you must fix the select proper boot device error first. Thankfully, there are many ways to fix the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device issue.

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Understanding Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

Most of the time, the “Reboot and select proper boot device” error, also known as the “select proper boot device error,” causes enormous panic in PC users. After all, it usually happens when you turn on your computer. Instead of loading, you are given a screen that states you must fix the select proper boot device error first. Thankfully, there are many ways to fix the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device issue.

The “reboot and select proper boot device” is an error that indicates your PC cannot find the files needed for startup. The error message, often called the first reboot and select proper boot device error, appears on a black screen just before Windows starts up.

During the boot process, your computer’s BIOS/UEFI must connect to the correct hardware for the system to start working. Once connected, it boots the files and creates the Windows 10 login screen. When you are having this select proper boot device error, your BIOS cannot recognize which set of boot files it must connect to.

You must reboot and select the proper boot device error for several reasons. The select proper boot device error can be caused by:

There are many other causes why the select proper boot device error may appear, and this article will show some of the easiest ways to fix it.

How to Fix the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

Method 1 – Check and Fix Problems On Your System’s Drive

As previously mentioned, the problem is typically from your PC’s OS. The first thing you need to do is check the HDD and SDD connection. If that didn’t work, you could now enter the settings to address the reboot and select proper boot device error. Follow the steps below:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press the Power button to turn it on.
  3. Next, enter the settings by pressing the appropriate key. Review your computer’s manufacturer manual to know the correct key for accessing the settings. Usually, it can be the ESC, F12, F2, or Delete key.
selecting bios key
  1. Go to Main Settings or Standard CMOS Features once inside the BIOS Setup Utility window.
  2. Check if your system’s SDD or HDD is listed on this page.
list of drives

If your system’s drive is not in the BIOS menu, your HDD or SDD is likely not connected correctly to your PC. For example, your cables may be disconnected or faulty. Since your files are saved in the HDD or SDD, you must reconnect this properly to resolve the select proper boot device error.

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Method 2 – Check All Your Connections

Your PC’s hard disk drive stores files related to your system. Any disconnected wires from your motherboard to your hard disk will cause select proper boot device error issues. The initial fix is to check if the power cable connected to your hard disk is attached correctly. To check, follow these steps:

  1. Completely shut down your PC and open it up.
power off pc
  1. Locate the power cable running from your hard drive disk to your motherboard. Check to see if it is connected properly and does not have physical damage.
  2. If everything is connected correctly, but you are still experiencing the select proper boot device error, remove the hard disk from your PC and test using a different one.

If the error still happens in the test computer, try replacing the cables with a different one. On the other hand, if the error does not occur in the test PC, re-attach your power cable correctly and check the other fixes.

Method 3 – The Wrong Drive was Selected in BIOS/UEFI

You must review if your BIOS/UEFI recognizes your system boot order and hard drive. Here, you will see if the hard drive is the first thing your PC connects to when loading your files. If it is not a connection issue, you need to check if the correct drive is selected in the BIOS to fix the select proper boot device error.

  1. Enter the BIOS following your manufacturer’s manual.
  2. To do this, you only need to turn on your PC. Press the BIOS/UEFI access key during the boot process. Depending on your computer brand, the key will differ. The most commonly used keys are F2, F10, DEL, and ESC.
selecting bios key
  1. Once the BIOS loads, locate a menu or tab named Boot or similar.
  2. Next, check for a menu named Boot Device Priority, Boot Option Order, or similar. Note: The name will vary between different motherboard manufacturers and the BIOS; however, the menu content is the same.
  3. Inside the device priority menu, you need to check for two things.
bios boot options
  1. Check your hard drive is on the list. If it is there, that’s a good sign.
  2. Check its boot position. The hard drive where your operating system is saved should be the first thing to load, and it should be Boot Option 1 or the BIOS equivalent.
  3. Now, save your BIOS settings, then restart your system.

Once your system has rebooted, your OS should load properly, and the select proper boot device error should be resolved.

Method 4 – Disable/Enable Legacy Boot

There will be some devices when the basic input/output system (BIOS) turns into a feature known as legacy boot. As a result, you will likely see the reboot and select proper boot device error. You can disable this feature to fix the error message.

  1. Reboot your PC and enter the BIOS.
  2. Locate the legacy boot option. There is a chance that you will go through all the settings and tabs before you can find this feature.
  3. When you find it, check if it is enabled/disabled. Toggle between disabling and enabling.
toggling legacy option in bios
  1. Save the changes and exit the BIOS.
  2. Lastly, restart your computer.

Method 5 – Set Your BIOS to Best Defaults

Usually, the methods above would have fixed your reboot and selected the proper boot device error. Setting your BIOS to the best defaults will be a bit of a long shot; however, not placing it in the correct setting will also cause performance issues.

Restart your PC and load it into your BIOS to access this setting. Locate the option that will allow you to load optimal defaults. Once you have loaded the defaults, reboot your PC.

Method 6 – Activate an Inactive Partition Using The Command Prompt

Sometimes, when your boot disk’s primary hard drive partition is inactive, you might get the reboot and select proper boot drive error. Activating your primary hard drive partition will fix the error. You will need a Windows 10 installation media disk to complete this process. And you need to set it as a priority boot media in your BIOS.

  1. Follow the instructions until you find an option to restore, repair, or recover your computer.
select startup repair
  1. After you click on the button, you will see a Troubleshoot screen.
advanced options troubleshoot
  1. Select the command prompt from the list. Type and enter the command line: diskpart. Hit Enter.
  2. Next, type the command line list disk and enter to access a list of disks installed on the computer.
  3. Now type the command line, select disk 0 or whichever disk has the inactive partition, and press enter.
  4. Next, type command line list partition 1 or whichever partition is inactive and hit enter.
  5. Enter the command line active to mark it as active. Once done, diskpart will tell you that the partition has been operational.
  1. Exit the command line and reboot your PC to see if the reboot and select proper boot device issue persists.

Method 7 – Fix Windows Boot Files

Once you have done all the fixes above and still experience the error, you can try this method as a last resort. Sometimes errors might not be a physical problem with your hard drive, and you can try repairing the Windows boot files instead.

This will rule out any corrupted files that may be causing the issue. Note: You’ll need a Windows media installation or repair disc to complete this method.

  1. Insert the repair disc into your CD or DVD drive and let it run.
  2. You need to set up your BIOS to boot from this disc.
select cdrom repair disk
  1. When you arrive at the Windows setup screen, click Repair your computer instead of Install now.
repair computer through repair disk
  1. You will arrive in the Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. Run the command prompt.
command prompt in advanced options 1
  1. For legacy BIOS users, type in the following command lines, hitting enter after each one:

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /rebuildBCD

  1. For UEFI users, type bcdboot C:\windows
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix the boot and select the proper boot device?

Make sure your hard drive is connected correctly. You can check if the SATA cable connecting your hard drive to your motherboard is snuggly connected. You can follow the steps we listed in this article if this doesn’t.

What does a proper boot device mean?

The hard drive is commonly known as a boot device, and it can also be a USB flash drive, CD/DVD drive, or computer that can boot from those media. The boot device stores the necessary system files and launches the system when a computer is powered on.

How do I select a boot device on my laptop?

You must restart your computer and select the boot device through the settings. Restart your computer as usual and tap the settings shortcut key on your keyboard until you see the settings screen. Navigate your keyboard’s settings and go to the “Boot” options. Select the correct boot device and make sure to save the changes. Restart your computer, and it should return to your regular Windows screen.

Why does my PC say select proper boot device?

The problem may be caused by faulty hardware or incorrect settings. The error message “reboot and select proper boot device” is almost always caused by a wrong boot order in the computer’s settings.

How do I select the boot device in BIOS?

Depending on the manufacturer of your motherboard, you can use your keyboard to navigate through the settings and configure your boot device. Some modern motherboards let users use their mouse to navigate their settings. Whatever changes you make, save them before exiting.

How do I manually select a boot drive?

While holding the Shift keys, select “Restart” from the Start menu or the sign-in screen. When your computer starts up again, it will go to the boot options menu. If you click the “Use a device” button, you can select a boot device, such as a USB flash drive, DVD, or network.

Where can I find the original Windows installation media?

The original Windows installation media can be found on the Microsoft website. You can also find it on other websites that sell software. The installation media is usually in the form of an ISO file.

How do I enable the Windows bootloader?

To enable the Windows bootloader, you must access the settings on your computer. Once you have accessed the settings, you will need to find the option that enables boot from the USB drives. Once you have found this option, you will need to enable it and save the changes. After saving the changes, you must reboot your computer and insert the USB drive containing the Windows installation files.

How do I disable legacy boot?

To disable legacy boot, you must access the settings and change the boot order. The legacy boot can be disabled by changing the boot priority order and placing the UEFI boot option first. This can be done by accessing the BIOS setup utility and navigating the Boot tab. You can change the boot order and move the UEFI option to the top list.

Where do I find system recovery options?

System and data recovery options can be found in the control panel. To access the control panel, click on the start menu and the control panel option. Once in the control panel, look for the system recovery options and click on them.

What should I do if I see the “Insert boot media” error message?

Suppose you see the “Insert boot media” error message. In that case, it means that your computer cannot find the selected boot device with the necessary files to start the operating system. In this case, you should check your BIOS settings to ensure the correct boot order and that your system disk is properly connected.

How do I change the selected boot device?

To change the selected boot device, you must access your computer’s BIOS settings and change the selected boot device order. This can be done by restarting your computer, pressing the appropriate key to enter the BIOS setup, and navigating to the Boot tab. From there, you can select the desired boot device and save your changes.

What is a system disk, and why is it important?

A system disk, also known as a boot disk, is a storage device that contains the necessary files for your computer’s operating system to load and function. It is crucial because, without it, your computer will not be able to start and run properly.

How can I create a recovery USB or boot disk?

To create a recovery USB or a bootable device disk, you will need a blank USB drive or a writable DVD. You can use a tool like the Windows Media Creation Tool to create bootable media with the Windows installation files. For Windows users, this tool can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.

What should I do if I don’t have a Windows installation disc?

If you don’t have a Windows installation disc, you can create an installation media on a bootable USB drive using the Windows Media Creation Tool or another third-party software. This will allow you to reinstall Windows or access the system recovery options.

How can I fix an incorrect boot order?

To fix the wrong boot sequence, you must access your computer’s BIOS settings and change the boot order to prioritize the correct device, such as your hard drive or a Windows repair disc. Save the changes and restart your computer to see if the issue is resolved.

What is the purpose of a Windows repair disc?

A Windows repair disc is a bootable media that contains tools and utilities to diagnose and repair common issues with your computer’s operating system. It can be used to run command prompt, access system recovery options, and repair boot partition or master boot record issues.

How do I switch between legacy mode and UEFI mode in BIOS?

To switch between legacy boot mode and UEFI mode, you must access your computer’s BIOS settings and look for the option related to the boot mode. This option may be found under the Boot tab or another similar section. Change the setting to either legacy mode or UEFI mode, save your changes, and restart your computer.

What should I do if I need to reinstall Windows?

If you need to reinstall Windows, you will need a Windows installation disc or a bootable USB drive containing the Windows installation files. Insert the media into your computer, restart it, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

What are the common causes of hard disk failure?

Common causes of hard disk failure include physical damage, overheating, power surges, manufacturing defects, and normal wear and tear. Regularly backing up your data and monitoring your hard drive’s health can help you avoid data loss due to hard disk failure.

Sed Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer and editor. He's also a PC hardware and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about the latest innovations in the PC market and finding fixes to hardware and software errors.