How to Solve the Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device Issue in Windows 10?

You may see this error message when you turn on your computer: reboot and select proper boot device. This means that the computer can’t locate a hard drive that has Windows installed on it. Simply rebooting your computer won’t fix the issue, but what can you do instead.


Mini PC


Change Boot Order to Fix Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device.


The problem usually happens because of the incorrect boot order in the BIOS. In the BIOS you can choose the device that your computer should boot from first. These can be various devices like:


Hard drive
USB drive – for installing or repairing Windows
DVD drive – for installing Windows
Network – for companies to automatically install Windows

Before we access the BIOS, first remove any device, like USB drives, from your computer. Also, check that there are no DVDs in the DVD drive. Try restarting your computer and see if it now works.


Select Proper Boot Device by change Boot Order


Your BIOS should be set correctly by default. Normally you don’t have to change anything in your BIOS. So the first thing we do is reset your BIOS to the original settings. If that doesn’t work, then we are going to check (and change) the boot order manually to the right order.


Follow these steps to change the boot order in the BIOS:

1. Restart your computer
2. Press DEL, F2, F10, or ESC as soon as you see the screen (the key depends on your computer brand, try DEL first)
3. Reset your BIOS to the factory default settings
4. Reboot your computer and check if it works.
5. If not, go back to BIOS
6. Look for the Boot Order or Boot Options settings (they may be under the Storage or System Configuration tab)
7. Make sure your hard drive is at the top of the list.
8. Restart your computer


Check if Boot Device is detected


If the boot order change didn’t help, then we need to verify that the BIOS can detect the hard drive. For desktops, it’s rare for a hard drive to get disconnected, but I have seen notebooks where the hard drive has slipped out of its connection.


For desktops:

1. Turn off the computer and unplug the power cable.
2. Find the hard drive and make sure the connectors are plugged in properly.
3. Plug in the power cable back and follow the steps below.


Now that we have checked everything physically, we need to verify if the BIOS recognizes the hard drive.


1. Boot up your computer and enter the BIOS
2. Look for Hard Drive self-test and run it.
3. If your BIOS doesn’t have a Hard Drive self-test, then go to devices and see if the hard drive is listed there.


Disable Legacy Boot


Modern computers use UEFI instead of a true BIOS. UEFI is faster, has more features, and is usually more user friendly. UEFI has an option called Legacy Boot that, when enabled, could cause the “Reboot and select proper boot device” error.


So let’s make sure that Legacy boot is turned off:

1. Boot up your computer and enter the BIOS (F2, DEL, F12)
2. Look for Legacy Boot Options. It may be under the Advanced tab, or Security tab. Just browse through the different tabs to find it.
3. Disable Legacy Boot options.
4. Save the BIOS settings and reboot your computer.


Repair the Windows Boot Loader


If the BIOS can detect the hard drive, the boot order is right and you still get the “Reboot and select proper boot device” error, then it may be that the boot partition is damaged.

To fix this you will need a Windows 10 installation or recovery USB. I have explained here how you can make an installation USB and how to boot from it.

1. Boot your computer from the Windows 10 installation USB
2. Choose Repair your Computer in the Windows Setup screen

mini computer
3. Click Troubleshoot
4. Select Advanced Options
5. Run Startup repair first



6. If that didn’t help, go back to Troubleshoot Advanced options

7. Choose Command Prompt

8. Enter the following commands, make sure you press enter after each command

9. Type exit and restart your computer


The problem should be resolved now.

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