] If when you boot your PC or laptop on a black screen, you see the message “Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key” any key), and not the usual boot screen of Windows 10, Windows 11, 7 or previous versions of the system, the obvious conclusion is that it was not possible to boot from an HDD or SSD (or, in some cases, a flash drive). Pressing any key here also usually does not help.
This manual provides details on what to do if you encounter the Reboot and Select proper Boot Device error, what may be causing the problem, and additional information that may be helpful.
- Simple ways to solve the problem
- Additional ways to fix Reboot and Select proper Boot device error
- Video instruction
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Easy ways to fix the problem
If on the computer where the error occurred, the operating system was installed and worked properly – Windows 10, Windows 11 or any other, and the error appeared suddenly, and no action was taken to change the BIOS / UEFI settings or hardware configuration, the first thing to try:
- On the Reboot and Select proper Boot device error screen, turn off your PC or laptop by long holding the power button.
- Disconnect any optional external drives from your computer: flash drives, memory cards, external HDD or SSD, CDs.
- Turn on your computer again.
In some cases, these 3 steps can help and fix the error. If the error disappears, but later, after shutting down and turning it back on, it appears again (sometimes not immediately, but only when you turn it on the next day), disable Fast Startup of Windows .
Consider (I am writing especially for novice users): in order for the error, in principle, to be corrected by any of the methods described here, an operating system must be installed on the computer (or it must be booted from a bootable USB flash drive or disk). For example, if you just installed a new blank disk on your PC, the error will keep popping up until you install the system on it.
Boot order and boot options in BIOS or UEFI
If this does not help, we use the following relatively simple approaches and information:
- If an error occurs when booting from an installation flash drive, study the reasons and solutions from the material BIOS / UEFI does not see the bootable USB flash drive – what to do?
- Go to the BIOS / UEFI of the computer and check: is the hard drive or SSD from which you want to boot is visible and make sure that the default boot is performed from it (as the first boot device, you may need to select Windows Boot Manager for UEFI systems if there is such paragraph). If not, please set the correct boot order. How to change the boot order in different versions of BIOS, as applied to a USB flash drive (but it will be the same with an HDD / SSD) is described in this manual .
- If you have updated or reset the BIOS / UEFI, the computer has not been used for a long time or has a dead battery, and turns off from the outlet at night, try changing the boot mode: enable UEFI instead of Legacy (CSM), or vice versa, disable Secure Boot. This topic is also covered in the instructions mentioned above.
- When one of the points above helped, but later the BIOS parameters are reset, and the error appears again, you may need to change the battery on the motherboard.
HDD or SSD drive is not visible
If the disk from which you want to boot is not visible in BIOS / UEFI neither in Legacy mode nor in UEFI mode, and you have recently done some work inside the computer case, for example, cleaned it of dust, as well as when an error occurs after transporting a PC or laptop, check the connection of the HDD or SSD (for PC – interface cables from both the side of the drive itself and from the side of the motherboard, as well as power cables). If the boot disk disappears after connecting the additional disk, check whether the situation will be improved if you disconnect the newly added disk.
If we are talking about M.2 SSDs, then remember that they are different: with the SATA or NVMe PCI-e interface and the connectors on the motherboard may not support any M.2 drives – check this in the characteristics of a particular motherboard. This may be applicable if such a system disk was installed in the current computer from another computer.
When, after the performed actions and checks, the disk is still not visible in the BIOS, the methods described below will not work: try disconnecting the disk and checking its performance on another computer, there is a possibility of its failure. If it is fully operational on another computer, replace the connection cables on the problem PC, and also keep in mind that sometimes such symptoms (some of the disks are not visible) occur when many devices are connected within one SATA controller, or when there are problems with the power supply.
All the above solutions to the problem are suitable in cases when everything is in order with the disk and the system is installed on it, the bootloader is working and the files are readable, but this is not always the case.
Additional ways to fix Reboot and Select proper Boot device error
In all the following fixes, it is assumed that the hard disk or SSD from which the boot is to be performed is visible in the BIOS / UEFI of the computer or laptop, but manipulating the boot parameters does not help, and the Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in error selected Boot device and press a key is saved.
What can this talk about? First of all, but not always, about damaged bootloader or bootloader partition. You can try to restore it:
- Repairing the Windows 10 bootloader
- How to repair the bootloader Windows 7 and 8 (8.1)
Attention: if an error occurs after you replaced one of the computer disks (not the system one), this may indicate that the bootloader was on the replaced disk, although Windows itself is on the remaining one. Solution: manually create a partition with a bootloader (discussed in the article about the Windows 10 bootloader), or reinstall the system from scratch.
If, in the process of trying to restore the bootloader, you come across the fact that there are RAW partitions on the partition (this will be seen in the process), there are no necessary partitions, or there are other problems with the file system that were not there before, check the hard disk or SSD for errors in the command line (you will get into it by following the steps to fix the bootloader from the previous instructions). How exactly to do this is described to perform a check is described in the article How to check the hard drive for errors in Windows .
In conclusion, about the least pleasant possible reasons – problems with the “boot device” itself, that is, the system hard drive or SSD of the computer. If the BIOS does not see the hard disk (or sees it, but operations with it, including on another computer, cannot be performed), while the HDD may make strange sounds (but not necessarily), physical damage and failure are not excluded, and that’s why the computer won’t boot. This can happen due to dropping the laptop or hitting the computer case, sometimes due to unstable power supply, and often the only possible solution is to replace the drive.