Fix: Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

The user experience on Windows is satisfying. However, certain issues like the “Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device” can turn it worse. It may frustrate you to the core as you won’t be able to use your PC and continue working. So, it is essential to find the right solutions to get rid of it. If you are also suffering from it, this post is specially written for you.

Here, I will guide you on how to fix the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device issue on Windows. I will provide solutions despite your version of Windows, from XP to Windows 10, anyone can use them to get rid of the trouble.

What is the “Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device” Issue?

Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device” is a Windows boot error that can appear on all versions of Windows. We have received reports about it from users of Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and even Windows 10. This error appears when the motherboard cannot connect to the hard drive containing the OS (operating system). It may happen due to a number of reasons.

When it appears, your computer’s BIOS system will have trouble finding the bootable drive. So, your computer may freeze, and the mouse and keyboard may stop working. This error message shows up on a black screen:

Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

We can clearly realize from this message that the problem lies in or something related to the boot device, that is our HDD. So, finding the cause and eliminating it can solve the problem.

What causes “Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device?”

There are multiple causes for this issue and it may differ for different users. We are listing all the possible causes here. Go through them and try to identify what is the cause happening in your system. It’ll help you to solve the problem in a simpler manner.

  • The cable connecting the Hard Drive to the Motherboard (SATA cable) is damaged or not working properly.
  • The hard drive has failed or damaged, or it is incorrectly connected.
  • Incorrect boot order/sequence in BIOS.

  • Boot files have corrupted or lost by mistake.
  • The partition having the Windows boot files is inactive.
  • MBR (Master Boot Record) is damaged.

These are some of the common causes for the ‘Restart and Select Proper Boot Device’ error. Some other causes of this issue include failing the CMOS battery, virus or malware, and even damaged HDD SATA cable slot. But, they are not much common.

How to Fix “Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device?”

As there are multiple causes for this issue, there are multiple solutions. If you have figured out the cause of the error on your PC, you can directly skip to the right solution and use it. If not, you can try these solutions one-by-one until the problem is solved. To use them, you just have to follow the simple step-wise guides available with them.

Solution-1: Check & Replace SATA Cable

SATA cable connects your motherboard to the HDD, and if it is broken or incorrectly connected, Windows won’t be able to boot properly and you will get this error. So, open the CPU panel and see if something is wrong with the SATA cable. Look for any visible physical damages, if you point them out, you should replace the cable.

If they aren’t, disconnect the cable and reconnect it. Also, check the slot to which you are connecting and see if it is fine. If you can arrange a spare SATA cable, you should try it once. If Windows then boots properly, you know the reason.

Solution-2: Check & Fix Boot Order

Incorrect Boot Order can also cause this error. So, you should check it and see if it is correct. If it is not, you have to fix it. To do that, follow these simple steps:

Step-1: Restart your PC.

Step-2: On the boot screen, press the necessary keys to go to the BIOS menu. These keys could be F10, F2, F12, F1, or DEL depending upon your manufacturer and computer model.

Step-3: Once in the ‘BIOS Menu,’ go to the ‘Boot’ tab.

Step-4: Check if it is correct or not. If the Hard Drive having the OS is not listed first, change it and list the HDD at first. You can use the “↑”, “↓”, “+”, and “−” keys to alter the Boot order.

Note: If the Windows installation medium does not want Boot priority, then you have to set CD-ROM or removable device on first.

Step-5: After making the changes, save the settings by pressing F10, and then quit the BIOS Menu.

Step-6: Finally, Restart your computer.

That’s it. Now see if the error is gone or if it is still there.

Solution-3: Set Primary Partition as Active with Diskpart

If your primary partition (the one that stores Windows boot files) is not set as active, then you may face this issue. To fix that, you have to follow these simple steps:

Step-1: Firstly, insert the Windows Installation Media and boot from it.

Step-2: At the Troubleshoot window, click on Command Prompt. If you are on an older version of Windows, it will be available on the System Recovery Options window.

Step-3: In the Command Prompt window, enter the following commands and hit Enter on the keyboard after each command:

  • diskpart
  • select disk 0

Note: 0 is the number of ‘disk’ where Windows is installed. If you want a full list of disks to verify the number, type list disk, and hit Enter.

  • list partition
  • select partition 1
  • active

Step-4: Wait until the process is complete and boot your computer.

That’s it. This is how you can set the primary partition as active and get rid of the error.

Solution-4: Check HDD, CMOS Battery, and Clean RAM

To check your HDD and RAM, I’d recommend using a third-party tool known as Easy Recover Essentials. You can use its ‘Automated Repair’ feature and it’ll report if there are any issues with your Hard Drive or RAM memory. If it says that the hard drive is failing, then you will have to replace it.

You also have to check the CMOS battery which a small and circular battery in the motherboard. When it fails, you will encounter a number of problems, including this. So, check the battery and try replacing it with another one.

One more thing you have to do is clean the RAM. Open the CPU Panel, remove the RAM sticks gently and clean the dust present on them with a soft cotton cloth. Make sure your fingers don’t touch them or else you will permanently damage them.

Solution-5: Disable Legacy Boot

If you have a computer that has UEFI instead of BIOS, you may encounter this issue. To fix it, follow these steps:

Step-1: Restart your PC.

Step-2: Press the necessary keys to open the UEFI menu. The keys could be F2, F8, F12, or DEL depending upon the manufacturer and model.

Step-3: Once in the UEFI menu, switch off the Legacy option. It will be listed at the Security tab inside Legacy Support.

Step-4: Save the settings and quit the UEFI menu.

Step-5: Restart your computer.

That’s it. Now check and you’ll see that the error is gone.

Final Take

Restart and Select Proper Boot Device is a dreadful Windows issue that appears when the motherboard can’t connect to the hard drive containing the operating system. This is how you resolve the issue. These methods will make sure that you are not in trouble any longer.

That’s all for this post. I hope you find it helpful. If you have any doubts about anything written here, feel free to use the comment box.

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