Top 6 Ways to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device

Top 6 Ways to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device

/ Sedfrey Galope

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

Understanding Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

The “reboot and select proper boot device” is an error that indicates your PC cannot find the operating system. The error message 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 operating system to start working. Once connected, it boots the OS and will start the Windows 10 login screen. When you are having this error, your BIOS is unable to recognize which operating system it must connect to.

There are several reasons why you are having the reboot and select proper boot device error.

There are many other causes why this error may show up. In this article, you will be able to see some of the easiest ways to fix it.

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

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

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press the Power button to turn it on.
  3. Next, enter the BIOS settings by pressing the appropriate key. Review your computer’s manufacturer manual to know the correct key for the BIOS settings. Usually, it can be the ESC, F12, F2, or Delete key.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 2
  1. Go to Main Settings or Standard CMOS Features once you are inside the BIOS Setup Utility window.
  2. Check if your system’s SDD or HDD is listed on this page.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 3

If your system’s drive is not in the BIOS menu, likely, your HDD or SDD is not connected correctly to your PC. For example, your cables may be disconnected or faulty. Since your Operating System files are saved in the HDD or SDD, you need to reconnect this properly.

Method 2 – Check All Your Connections

Your PC’s hard disk drive stores files related to your operating system. Any disconnected wires from your motherboard to your hard disk will cause 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.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 4
  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 properly but you are still experiencing errors, 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-attached your power cable correctly and check the other fixes.

Method 3 – The Wrong Drive Selected in BIOS/UEFI

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

  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.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 2
  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.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 5
  1. Check your hard drive is on the list. If it is there, that’s a good sign.
  2. Check is its boot position. The hard drive where your operating system is saved should be the first thing to load. 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.

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 enabled.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 6
  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 select 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 cause performance issues as well. To access this setting, restart your PC and load it into your BIOS. 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. To complete this process, you will need a Windows 10 installation media disk. And you need to set it as a priority boot media in your BIOS.

  1. Follow the instruction until you’ll find an option to restore, repair or recover your computer.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 7
  1. After you click on the button, you will see a Troubleshoot screen.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 8
  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 hit enter to access a list of disks installed on the computer.
  3. Now type the command line select disk 0 or whichever disk have the inactive partition and press enter.
  4. Next, type command line list partition 1 or whichever partition is the inactive one 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 made active.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 9
  1. Exit the command line and reboot your PC to see if the error 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. 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 disc 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.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 10
  1. When you arrived at the Windows setup screen click on repair your computer instead of install now.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 11
  1. You will arrive in the Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. Run the command prompt.
Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot Device and press a key 12
  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

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

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

What does a proper boot device mean?

The hard drive is commonly known as a boot device. 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 is used to launch the operating system when a computer is powered on.

How do I select a boot device on my laptop?

You need to restart your computer and select the boot device through the BIOS settings. To do that, restart your computer as normal and tap the BIOS shortcut key on your keyboard until you see the BIOS screen. Navigate through the BIOS settings using your keyboard and go to the “Boot” options. Select the correct boot device and make sure to save the changes. Restart your computer and it should go back to your regular Windows screen.

Why does my PC say select proper boot device?

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

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 BIOS settings and configure your boot device in BIOS. Some modern motherboards let users use their mouse to navigate their BIOS settings. Whatever changes you make in the BIOS, make sure to 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’ll be allowed to select a boot device, such as a USB flash drive, DVD, or even a network.

Sedfrey Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer, editor, PC hardware, and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys online gaming or reading about the latest innovation in the PC market. He is constantly challenged to find fixes to hardware and software errors. Sed believes that there is always a way to make software and applications work. As a result, you will find his articles and guides easy to follow.