Reboot And Select Proper Boot Device Error Fix 2021

When you are working on Windows, several problems can come up but booting the system is never the best solution. Imagine trying to boot your system and getting an error screen that prevents you from rebooting too. Reboot and select proper boot device is an error that none of us want to encounter. The problem most commonly arises for Windows XP to 8.1. The reason for the error might be the corrupted system files and also due to a failing hard disk.

In case the Windows device is posing such trouble, you can resort to certain solutions which require minimum technical knowledge. When this problem arises, no matter how many times you try to reboot the system, it cannot be done. Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions that are easy to execute. We have shared some of them in detail and also explained what can lead to this error in the article. When you have these solutions at hand, you can easily solve any trouble that you are facing.

Causes Of This Error

reboot and select proper boot device windows 10

The issue with Reboot and select the proper boot device arises for several reasons. When you are aware of the basic reasons behind the issues, finding the relevant solution and implementing it becomes much easier.

Hence, it is important to learn in-depth about the possible reasons behind the issue, to begin with:

Selecting The Wrong Hard Drive In The BIOS

Incorrect BIOS settings or weak BIOS battery can lead to this problem with reboot and select proper boot device windows 10 or any other version of windows. The only software that is permanently installed on your PC is the BIOS. The memory chip contains a program that recognizes the important hardware components and enables the OS to start from the hard disk or the CD-ROM or USB Drive.

Windows Boot Loader Not Working

When there is no issue with the BIOS Settings, you can still get the error message Reboot and select the proper boot device. This can happen when the Windows Boot Loader is corrupted or not working properly for some reason. First, you will have to repair the Windows Boot Loader and then try rebooting the system in such a situation. The Windows system repair option is where this can be done.

Hardware Error With The Hard Drive

This is a rare issue but not unlikely. When the hard drive is damaged somehow, the Reboot and select proper boot device error will crop up. But how to detect if the hard drive is damaged? Often the problem is simple enough and the issue is arising because of damaged connecting cables which you can simply replace. But when the hard drive is damaged, that makes the process further complex.

Also, check for corrosion at the small connecting junctions which may have to be cleaned simply to get the hard drive functional once more.

Fixing “Reboot And Select Proper Boot Device” On Windows

The reboot and select proper boot device issue have several solutions thankfully and if you are facing the problem for any of the reasons mentioned above, the following solutions will come in handy:

Check The Hardware And Cables Connecting The Hard Drive Disk

reboot and select proper device

It is elementary that the hard disk that stores the Operating System must be connected to the motherboard. This is done by a power cable. In case the cable is damaged, broken, frayed or incur any issues, the hard disk will not be detected by the computer and the Reboot and select proper boot device error will arise.

This is what you can do in case the reboot problem occurs because of the hardware defect:

  • Shut down the computer and then open the CPU cabinet.
  • Look for the power cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard and check for damages and corrosion.
  • In case there is no visible damage, remove the cable and try to connect it to another device to test it.
  • If the error occurs in the test computer as well, then it is time to replace the cable. In case the cable works in the test computer, then the issue is with the hard disk and it either has to be replaced or repaired if possible.

Disable or Enable Legacy Boot (UEFI Computers only)

reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key

Computers that come with Windows 8 or higher have replaced BIOS with UEFI. This Software has a feature called Legacy Boot. When you turn on or off the UEFI boot it can lead to reboot and select the proper boot device or insert boot media in the selected boot device and press a key error.

To solve this problem, you can enable or disable the legacy boot feature to fix the problem.

  • Restart the computer and enter the UEFI settings menu after the start-up. You can do this by pressing the respective key as per the motherboard’s manufacturer. You can find the details in the user manual.
  • You need to look up the legacy boot option in the different tabs of the UEFI settings.
  • If the legacy boot is enabled then disable it and vice versa.
  • Save the changes and restart the computer. Check whether the problem persists after the device starts.

Boot Drive Detected Or Not By BIOS

reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media

In case the boot drive is not detected in your computer BIOS. The following are the steps to fix the problem:

  • After you have booted or rebooted the computer, press the post screen designated key and enter the computer BIOS.
  • From the BIOS Main screen see the list of all the devices that the BIOS detects. This includes the DVD ROM, fans, and all the hardware which are connected like a drive.
  • Check whether the hard disk is listed and if not, shut down the computer.
  • Open the computer and connect the hard disk to a different SATA slot and use a different SATA cable for the purpose.
  • Reboot and check if the hard disk is detected. If the trouble persists, it can also indicate defects with the motherboard which may have to be replaced.

Check Boot Order In BIOS

reboot and select proper boot device

When the boot sequence gets messed up, selecting the proper boot device error can occur. In this case, you will have to look up the boot order sequence and set it right for the error to be resolved. First, you will need to enter the BIOS settings with the post screen key.

  • Once you have entered the BIOS, go to the start-up or the boot tab. The newer versions of BIOS display the boot order on the main screen.
  • In case you cannot find the boot sequence, then look for the advanced BIOS feature.
  • Once you find the boot sequence list, check whether the boot driver disk is the first device listed.
  • When it is not listed in the first position, you will have to move it to the first position. In case you are using the newer version of the BIOS, drag and drop the device name. In the older versions, you will have to move the position using the arrow keys.
  • Save the changes and then reboot the device and check whether it is working or not.

Use The Command Prompt To Activate Inactive Partitions

reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media

In case the primary partition of your boot disk is inactive then the reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media error can occur. You can negate the error by simply activating the hard drive partition. However, you need the Windows installation media disk for the process. Then you will need to set it as a priority boot media in BIOS.

  • You need to follow the on-screen instructions where you will get the option to repair, restore, or recover your computer.
  • By clicking on any one of these options you will reach the system recovery options in Windows 7/Vista or the troubleshoot screen on Windows 10/8.
  • Next, choose the command prompt and enter the command diskpart[enter].
  • After this enter the command line list disk [enter]. This will give you a list of the disks installed on your computer.
  • The next command to enter is to select disk 0 or whichever disk has the inactive partition and then hit [enter].
  • After this enter the command list partition 1 and then hit enter.
  • Enter the command line active [enter] and then mark it active.
  • The diskpart will prompt and tell that the partition has been activated.
  • After this exit the command line and restart the device and check if the changes have been implemented.

Reinstall Windows

When reboot and select proper boot device error can be annoying, the most extreme situation can call for reinstalling Windows. When all the solutions listed here fail, it can indicate the windows OS is corrupted and, in such a situation, you will have to reinstall the Windows. Try to salvage all the data which is possible smoothly if the hard disk is functional and there is no fault.

Do note that reinstalling Windows and formatting your computer should be the last resort and trying out other solutions is wiser so that none of your data is lost in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I choose which device to boot from?

A. Within Windows, press and hold the shift key and then click the restart option in the start menu that is present on the sign-in screen. The boot options menu will be restarted by your PC. Here you will find the “Use a Device” option and choose the device which you want to boot from like the USB drive, DVD or hard disk.

Q. How do I change the boot drive order in Windows 10?

A. To do this, once the computer boots up and takes you to the firmware settings, you must follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Move to the boot tab and from there find the boot priority list.
  • Under this list, all the connected hard drive, DVD ROM and USB drives will be listed.
  • With the help of the arrow keys or the + and – keys on your keyboard, you can change the order of the drivers and then click on Save and exit.

The changes you made will be saved.

Q. How do I force BIOS to boot from USB?

A. The following are the steps to force the BIOS to boot from the USB in Windows:

  • Click on the power button of the computer.
  • When the start-up screen is initialized, press Esc, F2, F1, F8, or F10.
  • The setup utility page will appear after this when you opt for entering the BIOS setup.
  • Using the arrow keys, you will have to select the BOOT tab and all the details about the system devices will be displayed as per their priority.
  • From this list, move the USB at the top in the boot sequence.
  • Save the change and exit from the BOOT setup.
  • After this, the computer will be restarted and you may get a prompt saying “Press any key to boot from an external device” and do respond within the time for the changes to be effective.

Q. What is the F12 boot menu?

A. You can also enable the BIOS from within Windows. Especially in a Dell computer when the user is unable to boot from the Operating system, they can press F12 which will open the One-time Boot Menu. Most Dell computers that came out after 2012 have this function which has made booting from the device easier.


The Reboot and select proper boot device are best avoided when your device is maintained thoroughly and the hardware and software and kept functional. However, if they do arise with all the solutions mentioned above, you can easily rectify the problems. In case you are unable to rectify the issues yourself, you can get professional help as well.

But with the different solutions listed here, you are likely to find a suitable one as long as you recognize the real reason behind the reboot trouble. Keep your PC functional without any professional help with these tips and executing them will be hopefully easier now that you have a detailed idea about what leads to the reboot problems and their respective solutions.



My name is Sean and I started this project in 2020. It has been growing ever since. I am a serial tech entrepreneur and a tech geek. My experience in blogging and technology helps me understand what type of content people are looking for and I intend to provide the information in the best possible way.

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