Top 6 Ways to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device

Top 6 Ways to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device

/ Sed Galope

Most of the time, the “Reboot and 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 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

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 creates the Windows 10 login screen. When you are having this error, your BIOS cannot recognize which operating system it must connect to.

You must reboot and select the proper boot device error for several reasons.

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

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 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.
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 Operating System files are saved in the HDD or SDD, you must reconnect this properly.

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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.
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 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-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 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.
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.

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 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, 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 on 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 operating 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 BIOS settings. Restart your computer as usual and tap the BIOS shortcut key on your keyboard until you see the BIOS screen. Navigate your keyboard’s BIOS 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 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, 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 boot loader?

To enable the Windows bootloader, you will need to access the BIOS settings on your computer. Once you have accessed the BIOS, you will need to find the option that enables boot from USB.

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 BIOS 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 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.

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.