11 Solutions to Fix the Inaccessible Boot Device Error In Windows 10

One of the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors called the inaccessible Boot Device error in Windows 10 occurs when the system runs into a fatal failure.

The failure doesn’t allow the operating system to boot and requires immediate treatment. The error message usually comes with a 0x0000007b stop code.

What Is the Inaccessible Boot Device Error?

Sometimes when we update Windows, especially after a significant upgrade rollout, our system tends to run into this fatal BSOD failure screen with a stop code for INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE messages.

The error occurs when the system is trying to protect the data from getting corrupted. The underlying causes for the error could be:

  • Corrupted windows registry files
  • Driver conflicts between the hardware
  • Faulty or interrupted OS upgrade
  • Corrupted or misconfigured device drivers
  • Problems in the BIOS
  • Bad or loose connected data cables within the system
  • Corrupted system data
  • Malware attack
  • Damaged hardware (RAM or hard disk)

The error message means that Windows has lost access to the system partition and has halted the Windows startup process.

Methods to Fix Inaccessible Boot Device Error

We have listed several fixes for the Inaccessible Boot Device error, but we recommend you first boot your system in safe mode before you get into it.

Safe mode allows Windows to run with minimal configuration settings and disables all the startup programs. Windows in safe mode run using the most miniature set of hardware and drivers required to load the OS.

Boot in Safe Mode and Restart PC to fix INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE Error

Step 1. Shut down your PC and then restart it until the Windows logon screen appears. Turn it off again. Repeat this three times until the system reaches the preparing Automatic Repair screen.

Step 2. Select the Advanced Options menu.

Step 3. Click on Troubleshoot and then navigate to Startup Settings. Click on Restart and allow the PC to restart.

Step 4. Press F4 or other function keys according to your computer when the PC restarts. This will enable the Safe Mode recovery environment. You can also choose Enable Safe Mode with Networking by pressing F5. The device will boot up normally.

1. Remove Recently-Installed Packages

If the boot device error occurred after you installed new updates, then you can remove the recently installed packages to fix this issue.

Step 1. Go into Settings and navigate to the Update and Security option.

Update & Security option

Step 2. Go to the Recovery option and select Advanced Startup. Now select restart Now.

Step 3. A blue screen will appear with a troubleshooting option.

Step 4. Inside the troubleshoot option, navigate to Advanced Options and open Command Prompt.

The PC will restart into the Command Prompt app. Now follow the given instructions:

Step 1. In the command prompt, type dir c: (or the drive in which your Windows 10 is installed) and hit enter.

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Step 2. Type the following command and press enter.

dism /Image:c:\ /Get-Packages

Step 3. You can find all the packages installed in your system here. Identify the recent packages using their date and note the package name somewhere.

Step 4. Type the following command to remove the recent package and press enter.

dism.exe /images:c:\ /remove-packages /[your package name] 

Step 5. Restart the PC.

One of the most helpful tools in removing the corrupted Windows 10 packages is the DISM or Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool.

2. Remove “Update Pending” Packages

Sometimes the Windows update might get stuck and doesn’t get installed completely. This can throw an inaccessible boot device error in Windows 10.

Step 1. Go into Settings and navigate to the Update and Security option.

Step 2. Go to the Recovery option and select Advanced Startup. Now select restart Now.

Remove recently installed packages

Step 3. A blue screen will appear with the option to troubleshoot.

Step 4. Inside the troubleshoot option, navigate to Advanced Options and open Command Prompt.

The PC will restart into the Command Prompt app. Now follow the given instructions:

Step 1. In the command line, enter the following command and hit enter after each one:

reg load HKLM\temp c:\Windows
reg delete "HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ComponentBasedServicing\SessionsPending"/v Exclusive
reg unload HKLM\temp

Step 2. To get the list of updates, type dism /image/:c:\ /get-packages and press enter. Note the package name with the tag “Install Pending.”

Step 3. Create a temporary file by typing MKDIR C:\temp\packages and press enter. This file will store the pending updates.

Step 4. Press enter after typing dism /images:c:\ /remove-package/packagename:[your_package_name] /scratch:c:\temp\packages. This will move the pending packages into the respective temporary file.

3. Update Drivers to fix the error

Incompatible, faulty, corrupt, or problematic drivers are the primary reasons for a Windows 10 PC to run into the Inaccessible boot device error. You can also update all the drivers.

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys and then press M or click on the Device Manager option to open Device Manager.

Device Manager

Step 2. Navigate to the faulty drivers for which you want to update the driver.

Step 3. Right-click on the driver to open a menu. Click on Update Driver.

Step 4. A dialog box will open, asking you to choose automatic search or manual search. If you have the driver installed on your system, then select “Browse my computer for drivers” else select “Search automatically for drivers.”

Step 5. Windows will search for the latest drivers. If no updates are available, click “Select for updated drivers on Windows Update.”

Step 6. A list of available updates will be visible to you. Hit the Install Now button to begin installation of the latest drivers. Boot windows 10.

4. Enable AHCI mode in the BIOS

Enabling the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) can help you fix inaccessible boot device error.

Step 1. Press the Windows key and navigate to the “Settings” option.

Step 2. Navigate to the “Update and Security” panel and click on the “Recovery option.”

Step 3. Go to the “Advanced Options” menu and select “Restart Now.”

Step 4. In the “Troubleshoot” screen, select “Advanced options.”

Step 5. Navigate to the “UEFI Firmware Settings” option and click on “Restart.”

Step 6. Your PC will now restart, and the BIOS menu will open.

Step 7. Navigate to the SATA settings in the BIOS menu and click on enable AHCI mode. The AHCI mode can improve your system’s data transfer rate, number of I/O per second, and responsiveness.

Step 8. Save the changes and restart your PC for the changes to reflect.

5. Check for a Corrupted Hard Drive

Sometimes the BSOD error might occur when one of our PC’s hard drives is corrupted due to a bad system partition or virus.

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Before you move forward with this fix, understand that the CHKDSK command prevents windows 10 from storing or reading the data from the bad sectors or affected areas. 

You might lose all the personal data stored in those sectors, so it is best if you back up all the data to perform data recovery later once the PC starts booting correctly.

Step 1. Click on the Windows key and type “cmd” in the Search box.

Step 2. Select Command Prompt by clicking on “Run as Administrator.”

Run As Administrator

Step 3. In the command-line tool, type chkdsk f: /r and press enter to initiate the disk check. You can repeat the same command for other drives such as c: and d: by replacing f: with the respective drive letter.

Step 4. Wait for the check to be completed. It might take a while. Restart the PC when the check ends.

6. Check and remove the faulty Hardware

BSOD error can sometimes occur when the hardware connected to our systems, such as RAM, motherboard, or hard drive, is not working correctly.

Faulty hardware

It could be a little tricky to check which hardware is the cause here, as you will have to do a deep inspection of the faulty component, but it is worth the challenge. You can refer to the motherboard manual.

Also, if the inaccessible boot device errors occurred due to recently installed hardware, make sure to remove it and then insert it correctly.

7. Look for Loose Cables

This might sound silly or wacky, but the loosely connected cables could also be a cause behind this Blue Screen of Death error.

Loosely connected cables

Checking for loosely connected cables is especially helpful for those who are desktop Windows users and are familiar with your PC’s hardware.

So, go ahead and look into the PC cabinet and make sure that all the connections, including those with hard drives and RAMs are connected properly and securely.

While reconnecting the wires, make sure that you remove any accumulated dust on the cables or the connecting ports before latching them on. Also, reconnect the cables from the same place you unlatched them.

Restart your PC after you are finished with the reconnections and check if the issue is resolved.

8. Malware Scan

Malware attacks on the system can also cause the system to run into the BSOD error such as inaccessible boot device error.

You will need the Windows 10 Defender Antivirus program or any other antivirus or anti-malware program on your system to fix the error.

Step 1. Click the Windows + I key to open the Settings window.

Step 2. Navigate to the Update & Security panel and go to the Windows Security tab.

Virus & Threat protection

Step 3. Open the Virus & threat protection window.

Step 4. If your computer has any viruses or malware, Windows 10 Defender will show them the result. You can perform Quick, Full, or Custom scans to scan the system for viruses or malware.

Step 5. Restart the PC.

9. Run System File Checker (SFC) scan

SFC or System File Restore is a built-in Windows 10 troubleshooting utility tool that checks the system files that might be damaged or corrupted.

It then replaces the damaged or corrupted files with the correct versions.

Step 1. Click on the Windows key and type “cmd” in the Search box.

Step 2. Open the Command Prompt by clicking on “Run as Administrator.”

Step 3. In the terminal, type SFC/scannow and press the enter key.

Step 4. The SFC might take several minutes to complete the process. Once it is finished, restart the PC.

10. Disconnect External Drive

One possible reason behind the Inaccessible Boot device error in Windows 10 could be the external memory drive connected to the system.

External drive

Sometimes people tend to plug in the external flash drives, hard drives, or other memory drives when the computer starts. So next time, first start your PC normally and then insert the external drive.

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11. Reset Windows 10

This is the last method that you can try if all the methods above proved to be worthless for you – reset your Windows 10 system to default settings.

Step 1. Go into Settings and navigate to the Update and Security option.

Step 2. Go to the Recovery Console and select Advanced Startup. Now select restart Now.

Step 3. A blue screen will appear with a troubleshooting option.

Step 4. Inside the troubleshoot option, click on the “Reset this PC” option.

Step 5. Select “Keep my files” options to reset Windows 10 while protecting your files from getting lost.

Step 6. Windows reset Wizard window will open. Now, follow the on-screen instructions to reset Windows 10 successfully.

This process might take several minutes, but it will surely fix the inaccessible boot device error. Restart the Windows once the reset completes.

Conclusion

The inaccessible boot device or the blue screen error generally occurs due to corrupted device drivers, damaged system files, faulty hard drives, or problematic windows updates.

We hope that the fixes shared above would have helped in fixing this error. 

You can perform a system restore if the inaccessible boot device error in Windows doesn’t go away. The system restore might delete all the files from your system if a restore point is not set for data recovery.

Or, you can contact your PC manufacturer’s customer support to help you resolve this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix inaccessible boot device error?

You can resolve the inaccessible boot device error using the following methods:
Remove Recently-Installed Packages
Remove “Update Pending” Packages
Update Device Drivers to fix the error
Enabling AHCI mode in the BIOS
Check for a Corrupted Hard Drive
Check and remove the problematic Hardware
Look for Insecure Cables
Malware Scan
Run System File Checker (SFC) scan
Disconnect External Device
Reset Windows 10

What causes an inaccessible boot device?

The error occurs when the system is trying to protect the data from getting corrupted. It could be due to the following underlying causes:
Corrupted windows registry files
Driver conflicts between the hardware
Faulty or interrupted OS upgrade
Corrupted or misconfigured device drivers
Problems in the BIOS
Bad or loose connected data cables within the system
Corrupted system data
Malware attack
Damaged hardware (RAM or hard disk)

How to fix the inaccessible boot device reboot loop?

You can fix the inaccessible boot device reboot loop by:
Remove Recent Windows installed Packages
Remove “Update Pending” Packages
Update outdated Drivers to fix the error
Enable AHCI mode in the BIOS
Check for a Corrupted Hard Drive

Can malware cause inaccessible boot device?

Malware attacks on the system can also cause the system to run into the BSOD errors such as inaccessible boot device error.
You will need the Windows 10 Defender Antivirus program or any other antivirus or anti-malware program on your system to fix this.
Step 1. Click the Windows + I key to open the Settings app.
Step 2. Navigate to the Update & Security panel and go to the Windows Security tab.
Step 3. Open the Virus & threat protection window.
Step 4. If your computer has any viruses or malware, Windows Defender will show them the result. You can perform Quick, Full, or Custom scans to scan the system for viruses or malware.

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