Inaccessible Boot Device Windows 10: A Comprehensive Solution Guide

When your Windows 10 computer encounters the dreaded “Inaccessible Boot Device” error, it can be a daunting and frustrating experience. This error prevents your system from booting properly, leaving you stuck at the startup screen. However, with the right knowledge and steps, you can resolve this issue and get your computer back to working condition. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the causes, troubleshooting steps, and solutions for the “Inaccessible Boot Device” error on Windows 10.


Encountering an “Inaccessible Boot Device” error on Windows 10 can be a significant obstacle, especially if it halts your productivity or access to important files. This error generally indicates that the operating system is unable to access the system partition during startup. Understanding the root causes and applying the appropriate solutions is crucial to resolve this issue promptly.

Understanding the “Inaccessible Boot Device” Error

Definition and Explanation

The “Inaccessible Boot Device” error occurs during the Windows boot process, preventing the system from starting correctly. This error typically presents as a blue screen with the error code “INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.”

Common Causes

Several factors can lead to this error, including:

  • Corrupted or outdated drivers
  • Recent hardware changes
  • File system corruption
  • Incorrect BIOS/UEFI settings
  • Issues with the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Preliminary Steps Before Troubleshooting

Before diving into the detailed troubleshooting steps, ensure you have taken the following preliminary actions:

Backing Up Your Data

If possible, back up your important data to an external drive or cloud storage. This step is crucial to prevent data loss during the troubleshooting process.

Ensuring System Power and Stability

Ensure your computer is plugged into a stable power source to avoid interruptions during the repair process.

Solution 1: Check and Reconnect Hardware Components

Verifying Physical Connections

Sometimes, the error can be due to loose or disconnected hardware components. Check all internal and external connections, including:

  • SATA cables connecting the hard drive to the motherboard
  • Power cables to the hard drive
  • External devices and USB drives

Checking for Loose Cables and Connections

Ensure all cables are securely connected and not damaged. Re-seat the cables if necessary to ensure a proper connection.

Solution 2: Boot into Safe Mode

Accessing Safe Mode

Safe Mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services, making it easier to diagnose issues. To boot into Safe Mode:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key while clicking on Restart.
  3. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  4. Press F4 or 4 to boot into Safe Mode.

Running Basic Diagnostics

Once in Safe Mode, you can run basic diagnostics and identify potential driver issues or software conflicts.

Solution 3: Use Automatic Repair

Accessing Automatic Repair

Windows 10 includes an Automatic Repair tool that can fix various startup issues. To use it:

  1. Restart your computer and boot from the Windows installation media.
  2. Select Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair.

Running the Repair Process

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair process. This tool will attempt to fix any detected startup problems automatically.

Solution 4: Update or Roll Back Drivers

Updating Drivers Through Device Manager

Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause the “Inaccessible Boot Device” error. To update drivers:

  1. Boot into Safe Mode.
  2. Open Device Manager.
  3. Locate and right-click the device you want to update.
  4. Select Update driver and follow the prompts.

Rolling Back to Previous Driver Versions

If a recent driver update caused the issue, rolling back to a previous version might resolve it:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Right-click the problematic device and select Properties.
  3. Go to the Driver tab and click Roll Back Driver.

Solution 5: Check and Repair Disk Errors

Running CHKDSK Utility

The CHKDSK utility can check and repair disk errors that may cause the “Inaccessible Boot Device” error. To run CHKDSK:

  1. Boot from Windows installation media.
  2. Select Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  3. Type chkdsk /f /r C: and press Enter.

Interpreting CHKDSK Results

After CHKDSK completes, review the results to see if any errors were found and fixed.

Solution 6: Repair the Master Boot Record (MBR)

Understanding MBR and Its Role

The MBR is a crucial part of the boot process. If it becomes corrupted, your system may fail to boot.

Steps to Repair MBR Using Command Prompt

To repair the MBR:

  1. Boot from Windows installation media.
  2. Select Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  3. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
    • bootrec /fixmbr
    • bootrec /fixboot
    • bootrec /scanos
    • bootrec /rebuildbcd

Solution 7: Reset BIOS/UEFI Settings

Accessing BIOS/UEFI

Resetting BIOS/UEFI settings to default can resolve configuration issues. To access BIOS/UEFI:

  1. Restart your computer and press the appropriate key (e.g., F2, Del, Esc) during startup.

Resetting to Default Settings

Locate the option to reset to default settings and save the changes before exiting.

Solution 8: Perform a System Restore

Using System Restore Points

System Restore can revert your system to a previous state before the error occurred.

Steps to Restore Your System

To perform a System Restore:

  1. Boot from Windows installation media.
  2. Select Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Restore.
  3. Follow the prompts to restore your system to a previous state.

Solution 9: Clean Boot Windows 10

Performing a Clean Boot

A clean boot starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs, helping identify conflicts.

Identifying Problematic Services or Programs

To perform a clean boot:

  1. Press Windows + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.
  2. Go to the Services tab, check Hide all Microsoft services, and click Disable all.
  3. Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  4. Disable all startup items and restart your computer.

Solution 10: Update Windows 10

Checking for Windows Updates

Updating Windows 10 can fix bugs and issues that may cause the “Inaccessible Boot Device” error.

Installing Updates

To check for updates:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Click Check for updates and install any available updates.

Solution 11: Use System File Checker (SFC) and DISM

Running SFC Scan

The SFC tool scans and repairs corrupted system files. To run SFC:

  1. Boot into Safe Mode.
  2. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  3. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

Using DISM to Repair Windows Image

If SFC cannot fix all issues, use DISM:

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth and press Enter.

Solution 12: Reinstall Windows 10

Preparing for a Clean Installation

If all else fails, reinstalling Windows 10 can resolve persistent issues.

Steps to Reinstall Windows 10

  1. Back up your data.
  2. Create a bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 installation media.
  3. Boot from the USB drive and follow the installation prompts.

Preventive Measures

Regularly Updating Drivers and System

Keep your drivers and Windows system up to date to prevent errors.

Creating Backup and Restore Points

Regularly create system restore points and backups to recover from future issues.

Common FAQs

Q: Can I fix the “Inaccessible Boot Device” error without losing data? A: Yes, many solutions such as updating drivers, using Automatic Repair, and performing System Restore can fix the issue without data loss.

Q: What should I do if none of the solutions work? A: If none of the solutions work, consider seeking professional help or reinstalling Windows 10 as a last resort.


The “Inaccessible Boot Device” error on Windows 10 can be resolved with various troubleshooting steps and solutions. By following this comprehensive guide, you can identify and fix the root cause of the error, ensuring your system boots correctly. Remember to take preventive measures to avoid encountering this error in the future.

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