Get the fix for the error  Reboot and select proper Boot Device on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

About “Reboot and select proper Boot Device

The following information on this error has been compiled by NeoSmart Technologies, based on the information gathered and reported by our global network of engineers, developers, and technicians or partner organizations.

Description and Symptoms

The error messages, alerts, warnings, and symptoms below are tied to this error.

Symptom 1: “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” error screen on startup

The causes for this error might be any of the following:

  • Incorrect boot order. Your hard disk (HDD) must be listed in your computer’s boot order
  • Legacy mode activated or disabled on UEFI-based computers. If your Windows 8, for example, was installed and the UEFI Legacy mode was deactivated, the “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” error might appear
  • Hard disk failure – see Fix #2 for steps on how to check if your hard disk has failed or is failing
  • Partition not set as active – see Fix #4

Screenshot of Reboot Proper Boot Device error

Reboot and select proper Boot Device
or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device

Causes of this Error

This error has been known to occur as a result of one of the following causes:

Cause 1: Incorrect boot order

The most cmmon cause of this error is an incorrect boot order in BIOS. When a PC is trying to boot from an incorrect source, this error screen is displayed.

Cause 2: Partition not set as active

Another possible cause is a partition that is set as inactive. This may happen after disk write errors, power outages or virus attacks.

Fixing “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” on Windows

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Check Boot Order

The most easiest fix for the “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” error is to make sure your computer’s boot order correctly list your hard disk as 1st option.

To check the boot order, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Press the necessary key to open BIOS menu. This key depends on your computer manufacturer and computer model.This is usually listed on the first screen that appears on your monitor. It can be any of the following: Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10 or F12.If your screen shows multiple keys, find the key to open “BIOS”, “setup” or “BIOS menu”. The boot order is changed from here.
    Dell BIOS screen showing special key options

    Notice the key guide in the top-right corner.

  3. Go to the Boot tab
  4. Change the boot order and list your computer’s HDD first
    Boot Selection Menu

    Boot Selection Menu

  5. Save the settings
  6. Restart your computer

Fix #2: Check if the hard disk has failed

To test if your hard disk is failing or it’s already failed, use Easy Recovery Essentials’ Automated Repair. Automated Repair process will report any issues found with your hard disk or RAM memory:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot into Easy Recovery Essentials
  4. Select Automated Repair
  5. Click Continue and wait for the Automated Repair process to finish. Automated Repair process will report any issues found with your hard disk or RAM memory:

    EasyRE: HDD is failing

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

Fix #3: Disable Legacy Boot (UEFI only)

On computers that have UEFI instead of BIOS, having the Legacy mode option active could cause the “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” error to appear.

If that’s the case, you can simply disable the Legacy mode and restart your computer:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Open the UEFI menu by pressing the necessary key. This depends on your computer manufacturer and is listed on the first screen that appears on your computer. It can be any of the following: F2, F8, F12 or the Del key.
    Dell BIOS screen showing special key options

    Notice the key guide in the top-right corner.

  3. Switch off the Legacy option. Depending on your computer model, this can be listed at the Security tab > Legacy Support.
    ThinkPad UEFI-Legacy Boot Priority

    ThinkPad UEFI-Legacy Boot Priority

  4. Save the settings
  5. Exit UEFI menu
  6. Restart your computer

Fix #4: Use diskpart

If your primary partition is no longer set as active, the “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” error may appear. If setting the partition as active again would fix the error, you need to use diskpart to run the necessary commands for this:

If you have the original Windows installation media (DVD for Vista, 7, 8 and USB for 8.1), you can use that media:

  1. Insert the Windows installation disc and boot from the media
  2. At System Recovery Options (for Vista or 7 systems) or Troubleshoot (for Windows 8 and 8.1), click Command Prompt
    Windows 7 System Recovery Options Screen

    Windows 7 System Recovery Options Screen

    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

  3. Type:
    diskpart
  4. Press Enter
  5. Type:
    select disk 0

    Where 0 is the disk’s number where your Windows is installed on. For a full list of disks that are available on your computer, type list disk.

  6. Press Enter
  7. Type:
    list partition
  8. Press Enter
  9. Type:
    select partition 1

    Where 1 is your primary partition.

  10. Type:
    active
  11. Press Enter
Diskpart utility results screen

Diskpart utility results screen

If you don’t have the original installation media, you can use Command Prompt from Easy Recovery Essentials:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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