[5 Solutions] How to Easily Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Error

The "reboot and select proper boot device" error can be quite frustrating and prevent your computer from starting up properly. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you resolve this error and get your system back on track.


By Irene / Updated on July 7, 2023

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Scenario: Help! My PC asked Reboot and Select proper Boot device


I had a power cut a few nights ago and my pc turned off, when I turned it back on I got a "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected device" error. Does anyone know what's causing this error? Thanks.

- Question from Tom's Hardware Forum

Many users have reported encountering an error prompt when attempting to start Windows, which instructs them to insert the appropriate boot media. It typically occurs when the computer's BIOS fails to locate a bootable drive or identify the drive where the operating system is installed. In some cases, the error may lead to computer freezing and keyboard dysfunction. Even after restarting the computer, the error message persists, resulting in Windows failing to start.

reboot and select proper boot device

To assist you in learning how to fix Reboot and Select proper Boot device effortlessly, we will now provide an explanation of the causes behind this error and offer effective solutions.

What does Reboot and select proper Boot device mean?

Reboot and Select proper Boot device refers to an error message that appears when a computer's BIOS fails to locate the appropriate boot device where the operating system is installed. Essentially, it indicates that the computer is unable to find the necessary files to start the operating system.

Before talking about the solutions to this issue, you need to know the causes of it.

1. A faulty cable, damaged SATA slot, or a failed hard drive can prevent the BIOS from detecting your boot disk.
2. The boot disk is damaged, failed, or not properly connected, especially if it is an older disk.
3. The active partition is missing or incorrect.
4. Windows boot files are lost or corrupted, or set as the active partition; otherwise, Windows will be unable to boot.
5. The Master Boot Record (MBR) is damaged.
6. The boot sequence in the BIOS settings is incorrect.

How to fix the reboot and select proper Boot device issue

Once you have determined the cause, you can proceed with the appropriate solutions. Here are several solutions provided in this part, starting with the most commonly recommended ones.

Solution 1. Check whether the disk is correctly connect with the PC

Before proceeding with any troubleshooting steps, it is important to check whether the boot drive is detected by the BIOS. This should be your first course of action if Windows prompts you to insert a boot device and press any key.

Step 1. Boot or reboot your computer. Continuously press one of the following keys: F2, Del, Esc, or any other key specified by your computer's manufacturer to enter the BIOS. You can find the specific key for your computer model by searching online.

Step 2. Once inside the BIOS, navigate to the "Main" or a similar tab where you can find the list of devices detected by the BIOS.

bios interface

If you do not see the disk where you want to start Windows in the list, try the following:
Option 1. Shut down your computer. Reconnect the hard disk with a different cable to connect the hard disk, ensuring it is properly connected.
Option 2. Try connecting the hard disk to a different SATA slot on your motherboard.

Solution 2. Try to change the boot order

In most cases, there is no need to make changes to your BIOS settings as they are typically configured automatically. However, if you have recently replaced your old system disk with a new one, it is necessary to adjust your boot priority settings.

Step 1. Access the BIOS Setup Utility by powering on or restarting your computer. Look for on-screen instructions indicating the key to press (e.g., F2, Del, Esc) to enter the BIOS. The specific key may vary depending on your computer manufacturer.

Step 2. Once inside the BIOS Setup Utility, navigate through the menu using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Step 3. Locate a section titled "Boot" or "Boot Order" within the menu. Please note that the exact name and location may vary based on your BIOS version.

click boot

Step 4. Within the "Boot" section, you will find a list of available drives or devices. This list represents the boot order, with the topmost drive being the current boot disk.

Step 5. Select the current boot disk and press Enter or follow the on-screen instructions provided to modify the boot disk.

select boot drive

Step 6. From the list of available drives, choose the new boot disk. If the desired drive is not listed, ensure it is properly connected to your computer.

Step 7. Use the designated keys (usually + or -) to rearrange the boot order and move the new boot disk to the top position.

change boot drive

Step 8. Save the changes you made and exit the BIOS Setup Utility. Look for an option such as "Save and Exit" or "Exit and Save Changes".

save and exit

Step 9. Your computer will restart, and it should now boot from the selected disk if it contains a compatible operating system.

Solution 3. Set the right partition as active

The active partition is the one from which the system is booted. If the active partition is set incorrectly, the system will fail to boot with the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device error.

Compared to other methods like using CMD, Diskpart or Disk Management, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, a powerful computer management expert with wide compatibility for almost all Windows OS version, allows you to easily set the correct partition as active, ensuring that the system boots from the appropriate location.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Note: If you encounter mark partition as active greyed out, you can click it to fix that with clear guidance.

Step 1. Begin by launching AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click on the partition that you wish to designate as active. From the options, select "Advanced" followed by "Set Active Partition."

set active partition

Step 2. In the subsequent step, click on "OK" to proceed, and you will observe the change reflected in the main window.

ok set active partition

Step 3. To initiate the pending operations, select "Apply" which will open a window displaying the pending actions, as shown in the provided screenshot. Upon receiving a reboot warning, click on "Proceed" to confirm the changes.


Remember that logical drives or extended partitions cannot be set as active. Only primary partitions have the capability to be marked as active.
Keep in mind that your computer is only capable of booting from the active partition, and each physical hard disk drive can accommodate only one active partition.

Solution 4. Rebuild MBR

The MBR is a crucial component of the boot process, as it contains information about the partitions and the code required to start the operating system. Once the Master Boot Record (MBR) is damaged, corrupted, or misconfigured, the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device error will occur.

Using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can also easily fix this problem with a user-friendly interface and graphical representation. Most importantly, it can ensure data integrity during the process.

Tip: This software supports the creation of a bootable USB drive or CD/DVD with the software installed. Install the software and create the bootable media on another properly functioning PC.

Step 1. Insert a USB drive or CD/DVD into a functional PC. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant to create bootable media. Simply follow the provided wizard to complete the process.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Boot your computer using the bootable device you created. You might need to modify the boot order in the BIOS settings. Once logged in, you will observe AOMEI Partition Assistant launching automatically.

Step 3. Right-click on the disk you wish to repair and select "Rebuild MBR".

Rebuild System Disk Mbr

Step 4. In the popup window, choose the appropriate type of MBR for your Windows system.

Choose Mbr Type

Step 5. Click on the "Apply" button located on the toolbar to execute the pending operations. Once completed, shut down your computer. Remove the USB drive or boot from the original disk during the subsequent boot-up process.


Solution 5. Reinstall your Windows OS

If you continue to encounter the "Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device" error even after trying the previous troubleshooting solutions, you may need to consider reinstalling the Windows operating system.

Last word

Encountering the Reboot and Select proper boot device error can be worrisome, but by mentioned troubleshooting measures, you can effectively resolve the issue. Using AOMEI Partition Assistant to fix the problem can be an ideal and worry-free way. With that, you can easily solve many common computer issues.

This multifunctional software can also migrate OS to SSD, move installed apps to another drive, and convert MBR/GPT. There is Server Edition can be chosen for Windows Server users.

Irene · Staff Editor
Irene is an Editor of AOMEI Technology. She devotes herself in giving insightful thoughts on common computer problems with simple and clear guidance. Irene loves to help people solve problems and explore more solutions on relevant issues. She loves reading, singing and travelling.