4 Fixes: Inaccessible Boot Device on Windows Server 2016

You can learn why error Inaccessible Boot Device on Windows Server 2016 appears and four solutions. Finally, it recommends backing up server files to prevent catastrophic data loss.


By Miya / Updated on August 18, 2023

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Overview of Inaccessible Boot Device Issue on Windows Server 2016

Inaccessible Boot Device on Windows Server 2016, as well as Windows Server 2008, 2012, and 2019 is a stop code that emerges as a reference when encountering a Blue Screen issue. Typically, this error indicates that the operating system of the Windows Server 2016 has lost connectivity to the system partition during the startup process. As a protective measure against potential data corruption or loss, the system will automatically shut down and display a Blue Screen or Stop Error.

Inaccessible Boot Device Issue on Windows Server 2016

Why Inaccessible Boot Device Issue Occurs on Windows Server 2016

The Windows Server 2016 Inaccessible Boot Device issue can occur due to several reasons. Here are some common causes:

  • Driver or hardware compatibility: Outdated or incompatible drivers or hardware can lead to conflicts that result in the Inaccessible Boot Device error. This can happen when the operating system fails to communicate effectively with the system's storage devices during startup.
  • Incorrect BIOS settings: Improperly configured BIOS settings can cause the Inaccessible Boot Device issue. For example, if the BIOS is set to use an incorrect storage mode (e.g., RAID instead of AHCI), it can prevent the system from accessing the boot device properly.
  • Corrupted system files: System files essential for booting may become corrupted or damaged, leading to the Inaccessible Boot Device error. This can occur due to sudden power loss, disk errors, malware infections, or faulty software installations.
  • Disk configuration issues: Problems with disk configurations, such as incorrect partitioning or disk errors, can trigger the Inaccessible Boot Device error. For example, if the boot partition is not set correctly, the operating system may fail to access it during startup.
  • Hardware failures: Faulty hard drives, cables, or other hardware components can cause the Inaccessible Boot Device error. If the system cannot establish a stable connection with the boot device, it will result in the error.

How to Fix Inaccessible Boot Device Issue with 4 Ways

Below are 4 methods you can attempt to repair Inaccessible Boot Device error on Windows Server 2016, 2019, or other Server operating systems. Review the options provided to determine which ones apply to your specific situation.

Way 1. Reverting the Latest Server Update

If you encounter the Server 2016 Inaccessible Boot Device issue after an update, you can attempt to roll back the update using the following steps:

Step 1. Power on your Server and wait for the white circles to appear. Press the power button to shut down the Server.

Step 2. Interrupt the Server boot process three consecutive times. This will initiate the Preparing Automatic Repair feature.

Note: If you are unable to access the recovery mode using this method, you may need to utilize the Server 2016 installation DVD or CD.
✫ Insert the installation media into your server and adjust the boot order to prioritize booting from the media.
✫ Power up your Server and wait for the press of any key to boot from CD or DVD message to appear. Press any key to continue.
✫ At the Windows Boot Manager, select Windows Setup [EMS Enabled] and press the Enter Key on your keyboard.
✫ On the Windows Server 2016 installation screen, click Next.
✫ Then, click on Repair your computer to access the Choose an option window and select Troubleshoot.

Step 3. In the Recovery Mode, click on Troubleshoot from the available recovery mode options.

Click on Troubleshoot

Step 4. Select the Command Prompt option within the advanced options, and then click on the Admin account to load the Command Prompt.

Select the Command Prompt

Step 5. Enter the password for the administrator account and click Continue to open the Command Prompt window.

Step 6. In the elevated Command Prompt window, enter the following commands one by one and press Enter after each command.

  • reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software: This command loads the Windows registry to the HKLM/temp location.
  • reg delete "HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\SessionsPending" /v Exclusive: This command deletes the SessionsPending registry key. When prompted for confirmation, type "Y" and press Enter.
  • reg unload HKLM\temp: This command unloads the Windows registry.
  • MKDIR c:\temp\BadUpdates: This command creates a temporary folder to store unnecessary Windows Server updates.
  • dism /image:C:\ /get-packages: This command lists all installed updates.

Step 7. Now we need to execute additional commands to delete the Install Pending Packages, which could potentially be the cause of the Server 2016 Inaccessible Boot Device issue.

Note: Prior to executing the command below, review the list of packages with the Install Pending status and make a note of their respective Package Identity.

  • dism /image:c:\ /remove-package /packagename:Package-Identity /scratchdir:c:\temp\BadUpdates: Replace Package-Identity with the specific package name relevant to your situation.

You can now verify if the issue has been resolved. If the problem persists, proceed to the next method.

Way 2. Starting Your Server in Last Known Good Configuration

The Last Known Good Configuration (LKGC) is a built-in recovery option provided by Microsoft in all versions of Windows. It allows you to restore your Windows PC or Server to the previously known working state if you encounter difficulties in booting it normally after a failed update, driver installation, or software setup. This recovery option can be accessed through the Advanced Boot Options menu.

Step 1. Follow the instructions provided in the first fix mentioned above to access the Advanced Options menu, and then select Startup Settings.

Select Startup Settings

Step 2. Once the Startup Settings screen is displayed, click on the Restart button.

Restart Button

Step 3. The Advanced Boot Options screen will appear. Utilize the keyboard to navigate to Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced) and press the Enter key.

Press the Enter

Way 3. Troubleshooting Boot Partition Errors Using Command Prompt

If the Server 2016 Inaccessible Boot Device issue persists, you can attempt to check the boot partition for potential bad sectors using Command Prompt. To do this, follow the same steps as mentioned in Way 1 to launch Command Prompt in Recovery mode. Then, execute the command:

  • chkdsk c: /f

This command will scan the C drive for errors and fix any issues that are found.

Way 4. Verifying the Integrity of System Files

In addition to checking the system partition for errors, you can utilize the System File Checker (SFC) tool to scan and restore any corruption in Windows system files. The SFC tool scans all protected system files and replaces any corrupted files with a cached copy.

To perform this task, simply run the sfc /scannow command in the Command Prompt window.

Backup Your Server 2016 to Prevent Such Issues

In order to avoid data loss caused by various accidents, such as system crash, virus attack or error code: Inaccessible Boot Device on Windows Server 2016 or other server versions, we recommend you use professional server backup software to backup your system.

AOMEI Backupper Server is a robust Windows Server backup software that simplifies the process of creating system image backups for Windows Server 2016 with just a few clicks. A system image backup includes the operating system, installed programs, saved data, and more. Below are some useful features you can leverage during the backup process:

Schedule Backup: Set up automatic backups for Windows Server on a daily, weekly, monthly, event-triggers, or USB plug in basis.
Backup Scheme: Choose between full, incremental, or differential backups, and define a backup retention policy to optimize storage space.
Bootable Rescue Media/Recovery Environment: Create a bootable device or recovery environment to recover a crashed system.
Support for Multiple Storage Devices: Store backups on local disks, external hard drives, USB drives, CDs/DVDs, networks, or cloud storage.
Compatibility: Works with Windows 11/10/8/7 and Server 2022/2019/2016/2012.
File System Support: Compatible with file systems such as FAT32, FAT16, EXT2, EXT3, NTFS, and more.

With its intuitive interface, backing up Windows Server 2016 files becomes effortless. Download and install the 30-day free trial to experience its capabilities firsthand.

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Step 1. Open AOMEI Backupper Server and navigate to the Backup tab. Click on File Backup to initiate a file backup. If you prefer to back up files to AOMEI Cloud, choose Cloud Backup instead.

File Backup

Step 2. Depending on your specific needs, click on either Add File or Add Folder. For the purpose of this example, let's select Add Folder.

Add File Or Folder

Step 3. Once you have added the files or folder, you have the option to select a destination storage device. This can be a local disk, network share, NAS, or even creating server backup to cloud. Simply choose any of the detected storage devices as per your preference.

Select Backup Destination

Step 4. Once you have completed all the desired configurations, you can click on the Start Backup button to initiate the process.

Start Backup


This article provides four ways to fix error Inaccessible Boot Device on Windows Server 2016, and finally recommends that you back up your server files with 3rd party server backup software - AOMEI Backupper Server.

With its array of beneficial backup features, it enables you to create incremental backups for Windows Server 2016, compress backup images with normal or high compression levels, and manage backup files using backup schemes, among other functionalities.

In summary, it is crucial to periodically back up all essential files. AOMEI Backupper Server stands as one of the top software options to ensure the safety of your data. Unforeseen events can occur, resulting in the loss of all your data in an instant. I encourage you to download this software and give it a try to safeguard your valuable information.

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!