4 Ways: Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device on Windows 11

Get the Reboot and select proper boot device issue but have no idea to get rid of it? Thankfully, there are multiple ways presented for you to fix this error with ease and get back to Windows immediately.


By Maggie Updated on January 31, 2024

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User case: Windows 11 reboot and select proper boot device error


Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key issue

So I installed Version 22H2 windows 11 and when my pc restarted it came up with the following message: reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key. After some research I pressed my bios key, f12 but no bios settings the only thing that happened was the text didn't copy below like it did for the other keys. Only f11 had the same effect. How can I fix this?

- Question from Microsoft Community

When you start your computer, your operating system loads from your boot device, which could be a disk with all the necessary boot files. If the system can’t find the boot drive or it’s inoperable, you likely won’t be able to access your operating system or files. And the system will show this message “reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key”.

Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device on Windows 11

This issue could stop you from booting to Windows. In this article, I have listed multiple solutions for getting rid of this problem and get PC back to normal use. Just keep reading for more details and try the simple steps in the following content.

What causes this boot error happen?

Since it is a boot issue from the BIOS, it can appear on any computer, such as ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and other brands. Misconfigured BIOS settings, such as a wrong booting order, or hardware failure, partition not set as active and any other reasons can result in this error.

Having an understanding of the causes, in the following part, I’ll walk you through the effective methods to fix this error with ease.

How to get rid of reboot and select proper boot device

To learn how to fix the reboot and select proper boot device, you can refer to the fixes listed below to check which one will work for and remove the problem away.

✍To keep your crucial files safe, regular backup is needed to prevent errors. To enable regular backup, use the below tool:

AOMEI Backupper

Best free Windows backup software for personal use.

Fix 1. Simply check if the boot device is detected

To install and boot Windows 11 on your computer, you can use internal hard drive, an external drive like USB or SSD, optical CD/DVD ROM drive, and network adapter. If you start Windows 11 using a bootable USB or SSD, you may encounter Windows 11 install not detecting SSD, so that you cannot access the operating system.

In such case, the first thing to check is a connection problem. This problem can occur if the SSD is loosely or improperly connected with an external connection. You could reinsert the external drive to check if it can be recognized correctly, and if the problem is with the connection cable, just replace it with a new one.

Keep in mind that if you don’t see your hard drive in BIOS, and you are sure it’s properly connected, then the hard drive self is simply damaged or corrupt. Go for the corresponding solutions to get rid of it.

Fix 2. Change proper boot order

1. Restart your computer. Then keep pressing F2/F8/F11/DEL to enter BIOS.

2. Go to the Boot tab and find the boot option to change the boot order. If you insert a removable device, set it as the first boot option.


3. Press F10 to save the changes and exit BIOS. Then restart the computer and your Windows 11 will boot from the target external hard drive successfully.

Fix 3. Rebuild MBR

1. Use a bootable media to boot the PC. On the Install Windows screen, select Next > Repair your computer.

2. On the System Recovery Options screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

3. when the Command Prompt window appears, type in the following commands and hit Enter after each one:

For legacy BIOS users:

  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd

Rebuild Mbr

For UEFI users:

bcdboot C:\windows

4. Now type in exit to leave the Command Prompt and then restart the computer and check to see if the OS loads up correctly now.

Fix 4. Activate system partition

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.

1. Boot from the bootable external device and click Repair your computer. From there, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

2. In the Command Prompt page, type in Diskpart. Then, type in the following command one by one.

list disk (To confirm the number of disks on your PC)

select disk 0 (Change 0 with the correct number of the disk as per your list)

list partition (Confirm the number of partitions)

select partition 3 (Change 3 with the correct number of the OS partition)

active (To active it)

Active System Partition

3. Close the window and reboot your computer to see if the boot device can be detected.

Backup Windows 11 PC continuously to prevent errors

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to correct errors that occur during the boot process. And there are always unavoidable and predictable errors in the use of computers, so you need to look for solutions to continuously protect your computer data.

To set up a secure and efficient backup solution on your computer, AOMEI Backupper Standard can be your best assistant. It's a free backup software that supports all Windows OS (Win 11, 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, XP) and all detectable devices (internal/external drive, USB flash drive, network share, NAS, cloud, etc). It has the following advantages:

✎7 backup solutions: It allows you to do system backup, disk backup, file backup, partition backup, email backup, Outlook backup and cloud backup as you need. (email backup and Outlook backup are paid version features).
✎Automatic backup: You can choose to set up your backup task in daily, weekly, monthly, depending on how often you make changes to your files.
✎3 backup types: It offers you 3 backup types namely, full backup, incremental and differential backup (in advanced edition). The last two options only backup the changed files or folders, thus it will save you much backup time and disk space.

Now, I’ll show you how to create a full backup of your Windows 11 PC for disaster recovery. Just download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try.

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, choose System Backup under the Backup tab. And then you can follow the instructions shown by the program to complete the system backup process.

System Backup

In addition, you can easily create a secure USB boot disk to boot Windows 11 in case of computer system crash or hard drive failure using the Create Bootable Media feature under Tools.

Create Bootable Media

You can enjoy more advanced features if you upgrade to Pro versions:

💥 You can enable encrypted backups to increase the security of your system backups.
💥 It allows you to enable automatic cleanup backups to free up the disk space and make the backup tasks more effective.
💥 If you haven’t made any system backups before the Windows 11 computer failure, you can also create a system image on another working computer and restore it to the computer in question with Universal Restore.


Now you know how to reboot and select proper boot device on Windows 11 and get access to the OS by trying the effective solutions shown above. And there is a bonus tip for you to backup your Windows 11 with the best free backup software – AOMEI Backupper, if there’s something bad occurs, you can use the created system backup image to recover your PC to previous date.

If you are looking for a portable disk wipe utility, AOMEI can also do you a big favor to create portable version to wipe disks safely and conveniently on any computer without having to install it every time.

Maggie · Editor
Maggie is a technical editor from AOMEI and troubleshoots technical problems against data protection. She has received professional and systematic technical training. With a focus on user experience, security, and problem-solving, she always puts herself in the readers' shoes and provides them with valuable technical insights.