Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error on Windows PC

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“I went traveling for a few days. Upon returning, I wanted to transfer all my vacation photos to my computer hard drive. But upon turning it on, I am getting, an error. It says reboot and select proper boot device. I am unable to log in to my Windows account. How do I get past this?”

Sadly, there is no way past reboot and select proper boot device error on Windows. If you want to access your Windows account, you have to fix this problem. Unfortunately, this won’t be easy. This error means that your computer is having trouble locating the drive containing the OS. Now, this can happen due to internal malfunction, hard drive failure, loose connection, and more.

To fix this problem we have to take a deep dive into the root of this problem. So, read on!

More About Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

On Windows, reboot and select proper boot device error is your computer’s way of telling you that it is unable to locate the Operating System.

When you boot your computer, it locates the partition of the hard drive operation system is located and then it boots the system. The result is the Windows 10 login screen. This is an overly simplified version of what happens. When your computer is showing the said error. It means that the computer is unable to locate the system drive during the boot. Unfortunately, this can happen for any of the flowing possible reasons.

  • Incorrect boot order
  • The system drive is disconnected
  • Damaged hard drive
  • Damaged registry files
  • Corrupted BIOS/UFEI installation

Be mindful of the fact that these are not the only reasons behind this error. But the root of the error is always related to these areas of the system.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device

On Windows reboot and select proper boot device error is not an easy thing to fix. Especially, because most Windows users never open the PC case to even look inside and have no idea about BIOS.

So, after considering all these factors we have compiled a list of top fixes suitable for this error and discussed them as simply as possible. Do not forget to check them out.

Fix the Power Cable Connected to the Hard Drive

So, first things first and check the power cable. Yeah, the reboot and select proper boot device error can happen due to a problem in the BIOS or due to a damaged hard drive, and messed up boot priority can be the reason.

But a single loose cable can mess things up and we all know that. So, check all the cables inside your PC case, especially the Power cable.

  • So, turn off your computer and open the case.
  • Locate the Power cable.
  • Check both connected ends, if it looks alright and properly connected but you are still getting the error, then unplug it from both ends.
  • Connect it again.
  • We also recommend using a different power cable to check the validity of the one you are using at the moment.

But even after reconnection or after using a new power cable, the error is still apparent, then move on to the next solution.


Clean the RAM

Reboot and select proper boot device error usually appears due to hard drive issues, loose cables, and wrong choices in the boot priority section. But the RAM modules in the PC can also cause this error if it is malfunctioning or having trouble getting detected.

So, you need to clean up the RAM. Turn off the PC and open the case. Locate the RAM modules and unlock the clamps that keep the RAM modules in place. Take them out slowly and clean them with a soft cloth. Then put them back again. Be sure to put the clamps back in place.

Although, we are suggesting only clean the RAM as it is the root of this problem. But we openly suggest cleaning the inside of the PC case entirely.


Check the Boot Order in the BIOS

The improper boot order can be the root of reboot and select proper boot device error on Windows. Things inside BIOS should be in a particular order, and the boot priority should be the drive with OS. If it gets changed, your computer won’t be able to detect the OS and show the said error.

  • Reboot the PC.
  • While restarting, access BIOS. Several keys can access BIOS depending on the brand of motherboard you are using. You can check the details on the internet. But the listed key should be any of the following.

Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10, F12.

  • After accessing the BIOS, visit the Boot tab.
  • Change the boot order. The first one should be the hard drive or the hard drive partition that contains the operating system.
  • Now, save the changes and reboot the computer again.

Now, the chances of boot priority changing automatically are pretty thin. But if this works, then great for you. Otherwise, check out the next solution.


Enable or Disable Legacy Boot (UEFI)

There are a few motherboards are equipped with Legacy Mode. Enabling or disabling this mode can cause your PC to show reboot and select proper boot device error.

So, we will visit BIOS and change the Legacy mode.

  • As usual, reboot your PC.
  • Access the BIOS menu.
  • Locate the Legacy Boot option. It should be associated with UEFI.
  • After locating it, you need to enable it if disabled. You can also disable it if enabled.
  • Save the changes and exit BIOS.

Finally, reboot your computer and wait for the computer to load the Windows login screen.


Set BIOS to Best Default

This fix is a bit relative and only applies if you are someone who has changed the BIOS settings in the past.

Usually, if you know your stuff then customizing is good. But it can also cause BIOS to be a bit unstable and show reboot and select proper boot device error. So, if you are someone who had changed the BIOS values to get better performance out of your PC, we recommend changing it back to Best Defaults.

So, you just have to access the BIOS menu. And look for options like Load Optimal Defaults or Load Default. Click on the option. Save the changes and reboot the PC.


Using Diskpart

So, this fix is also a bit out of the way and only works if you have the Windows installation disk.

On Windows, reboot and select a proper boot device error usually appears due to hardware issues or when the computer is unable to locate the system files. But it can also appear if the primary partition where the system files should be located is no longer active. The only way forward is by setting the partition as active with the help of Diskpart commands.

  • So, insert the installation media and reboot.
  • Now, access the Windows System Repair interface. This is integrated with the installation media.
  • Navigate to the Advanced options and click on the Command Prompt option.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type diskpart to access the Diskpart tool.
  • Now, type list disk. A list of available disks will be displayed on the screen.
  • Now, locate the correct disk and type select disk X. (X is the disk number that you have to change according to the list displayed on the screen)
  • Then, type list partition to view the list of partitions on the disk. You need to choose the System partition that has the bootloader.
  • Now, it is time to mark the system partition as active. So, type active.

After executing these commands, you need to reboot the computer. And you shouldn’t have to encounter the error anymore.

Note: The Windows installation media is necessary for executing this method. If you do not have one, you can check out multiple 3rd party tools that can help to create Windows installation media.

Signing Off

Therefore, reboot and select a proper boot device is an error that most people have never heard of. Understanding this problem requires a bit of deeper knowledge and quite frankly, the majority of the users lack such knowledge. But considering these shortcomings, we have made the solutions as simple as possible.