The ‘Inaccessible Boot Device’ error in Windows 10 has to be one of the worst we come across here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey. It is certainly the worst that users come across as it stops your computer working at all. All you get to see is a blue screen (BSOD) telling you your boot device is unreadable. So how can you fix it?
What is an Inaccessible Boot Device?
The error means what it says for once. An inaccessible boot device error means that your computer cannot read the drive you would normally boot into Windows from. It cannot proceed any further because it cannot access the files it needs. That’s why you see the blue screen. While it may sound terminal, it might not be.
One thing I always find amusing in the various guides on the web about this error is the number of them that tell you to uninstall any programs you installed recently or to perform a Windows update. How can you do that if you cannot boot into Windows?
Here is what you really need to do to fix Inaccessible Boot Device errors.
Fixing Inaccessible Boot Device errors
Fixing this error depends on what you were doing when it first happened. If you upgraded from a hard drive to solid state and it won’t boot the fix is different from if Windows was performing an update and got stuck.
Upgrading hard drives
This is a very common occurrence for new upgraders. If you have upgraded from an older hard drive to solid state but won’t boot into Windows, you need to boot into your system UEFI/BIOS and change the mode on your motherboard to AHCI. If you don’t, your computer won’t recognize the new drive and throws the error.
Windows Update failure
To fix this error if you were updating Windows and is suddenly failed, you first need to boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode. You will need the installation media that came with your computer and insert it into your CD/DVD drive or USB. Then boot your computer and hit Space when you see the message on screen to boot from it.
When you see the blue Windows screen, select Troubleshoot instead of Install. Then select Troubleshoot again, then Advanced Options, Startup Settings and Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Once the command prompt loads, type the following:
- Type ‘reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software’ and hit Enter.
- Type ‘reg delete “HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\SessionsPending”/v Exclusive’ and hit Enter.
- Type ‘reg unload HKLM\temp’ and hit Enter.
This deletes pending Windows Updates and should allow your computer to boot normally. If that doesn’t work, repeat the above and then:
- Type ‘chkdsk /f /r’ and hit Enter in the command prompt.
- Allow the process to complete.
This last command performs a full disk check to make sure your disk is running properly.
If none of those options work to fix Inaccessible Boot Device errors in Windows 10, the guys here at Dave’s Computer Repair can help. Contact us to see what we can do for you!