Your Windows computer loves running upgrades. And, it should, considering how an outdated computer is at a greater risk of malfunctioning.
However, when Windows runs upgrades, you encounter a Blue Screen error that reads ‘Inaccessible Boot Device’.
This “Inaccessible Boot Device” error is a common problem, and happens frequently when Windows 10 fails to run system upgrade. It is a hard disk error that must be fixed instantly to ensure other system components don’t get affected.
Let’s check out what Inaccessible Boot Device error means, and how it can be fixed with some simple DIY steps.
What Does ‘Inaccessible Boot Device’ Mean?
Whenever your Windows computer runs system upgrades or software updates, it tries to access the boot device. It looks for a way to reboot (restart) instantly after installing the updates.
This is a standard process in all Windows computer. Now, the Inaccessible Boot Device error occurs when Windows is unable to reboot itself after running updates.
The Inaccessible Boot Device error means your Windows has lost the access to system partition when it tried running the startup process.
There are several factors that can cause this error. From overclocked CPUs to prevalent hardware problems, the Inaccessible Boot Device error can throw itself up at any time.
You need to know the cause to fix the Inaccessible Boot Device error effectively. We’re categorically showing how to do this with the solutions presented below.
1. Use Safe Mode and Restart your Computer
The simplest way to fix the Inaccessible Boot Device error is switching your Windows computer to Safe Mode and restarting it thereafter.
When you run Windows in Safe Mode, all essential files are reloaded. Your system gains access to the boot device, and thereby, prevents a blue screen error such as ‘Inaccessible Boot Device.’
Disconnecting External Devices
If one or more external devices are connected to your system, Windows may encounter the Inaccessible Boot Device error. This happens when either of those devices isn’t compatible with your system.
Try to unplug these devices to see if it fixes the problem. In most cases, it is an external hard drive that causes the Inaccessible Boot Device error. And, disconnecting the external hard drive allows Windows to run upgrades and access the boot device.
2. Check if Your Hard Drive is Corrupted
The Inaccessible Boot Device error revolves around a faulty hard drive. Corrupted files on your hard drive can cause this error in majority of cases.
There’s a clear-cut fix for the Inaccessible Boot Device error if it is caused by a corrupted hard drive.
To fix a corrupted hard drive,
- Go to Windows 10 Start menu
- Type ‘cmd’ in the search box
- Locate the Command Prompt program
- Right-click on it and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu
- When you open the Command Prompt window, type ‘chkdsk /f /r’ and press the Enter key
- While the scan is being executed, you’ll be asked for an input
- Press the ‘Y’ key at that time
- Now, press the Enter key to submit your input
This method detects the corrupted hard drive files, repairs it automatically, and restores the hard drive back to normal. You can restart your computer to see if the Inaccessible Boot Device error persists.
Also, if you cannot restart your Windows, you can run ‘chkdsk /r C:’ command from the recovery console.
Run SFC Scan
There’s an easier way to check for corrupted files on your Windows computer. You can scan your PC with the System File Checker (SFC) program. This scan checks all files in your computer, detects the corrupted ones and automatically repairs them.
To run an SFC scan,
- Go to Windows 10 search box
- Type ‘cmd’ and press the Enter key
- Select the Command Prompt program
- Right-click on it and click ‘Run as administrator’ from the dropdown menu
- Type the command ‘sfc /scannow’
- Press the Enter key to execute the scan
- The scan takes a couple of minutes to finish
- Restart your PC thereafter
You should always run an SFC scan to detect corrupted files. The scan displays its summary at the end, and denotes the corrupted files it couldn’t fix.
Now, you can note down those files and try to repair them manually (by replacing or reinstalling them) or with online tools.
3. Turn On AHCI Mode in Your System BIOS
Some Windows 10 users fixed the Inaccessible Boot Device error when they enabled the AHCI mode in their system BIOS.
When your computer’s Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) turns on the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode, Windows is able to boot devices easily.
- Hold-press the keys – Escape (Esc) + Delete + Function (Fn)
- Now, your computer is running its BIOS menu
- Look for Advanced Options menu and click on it
- Find ‘Set AHCI Mode’ in this menu
- Change the value of the mode to ‘Enabled’
- Close the BIOS menu and restart your computer normally
This solution allows your Windows to re-access the boot device, and fixes the error instantly.
4. Uninstall ‘Update Pending’ Packages
In some cases, Windows Updates get stuck in a never-ending limbo. Some call it as the “Windows 10 Inaccessible Boot Device loop”.
In Windows 10, facing the Inaccessible Boot Device error after update (2018) has become a common headache. To get rid of this loop, you need to remove the ‘Update Pending’ packages.
To uninstall these packages,
- Go to the Start menu
- Click on the gear icon to open Settings menu
- Go to the Update & Security section
- Click on Recovery
- Go to Advanced Startup
- Select the Restart Now link and open it
- Go to Troubleshoot and then to Advanced Options
- Now, click on Command Prompt to open the window
- After you’ve opened the Command Prompt window, type the following three commands line after line
reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software reg delete "HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\SessionsPending"/v Exclusive reg unload HKLM\temp
- Press the Enter key after typing each line to execute the commands one by one
Now, reopen the Command Prompt window as illustrated above. You need to move all the pending updates packages into their own temp files.
- Type the command –
dism /image:C:\ /get-packages
- Press the Enter key to execute it
- To create the temp folder, type the command –
- Press the Enter key
- Finally, type the below command to relocate the pending packages
dism /image:c:\ /remove-package /packagename:[package name] /scratchdir:c:\temp\packages
- Press the Enter key after pasting this command
While this method is a bit complicated, it is one of the most effective fixes for the Inaccessible Boot Device error.
Faulty drivers can corrupt the hard drive and cause Inaccessible Boot Device error. You need to update your system adaptors and drivers to prevent this from happening.
- Press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ keys together
- This launches the Run application
- Type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the Run dialog box
- Click on OK
- Right-click on each system adapter and driver
- Select ‘Update Driver Software’
- Click on the option that says ‘Search automatically for update driver software’
Let the update installation wizard complete and restart your computer later.
5. Uninstall Newest Software Packages
There’s another reason why you’ve encountered the Inaccessible Boot Device error. We believe that a recently-installed update can trigger this error.
Particularly on Windows 10 systems, you may face the Inaccessible Boot Device error after installing certain software or packages.
As discussed earlier, the Inaccessible Boot Device error throws up specifically when you run upgrades on Windows 10/8/7 computer. These recently-installed upgrade packages can be removed to fix this error.
To uninstall a recently-installed package on Windows 10,
- Click on the Start menu
- Click on the gear icon to open the Settings window
- Go to the Apps section
- Identify the recently-installed software and click on it
- Now, click on ‘Uninstall’
- Let the setup wizard complete the uninstallation process
Make sure that you restart your computer to put this change into effect. Now, see if the Inaccessible Boot Device error persists.
6. Disable Antivirus Software
In many cases, third-party antivirus software causes the Inaccessible Boot Device error on your Windows computer. It prevents Windows from reading data present in specific, unknown locations.
If you face the Inaccessible Boot Device error while running a program, you can try temporarily disabling the antivirus to fix this issue. This way, you don’t need to remove the third-party antivirus software.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users can disable antivirus software by following the steps below:
- Go to the taskbar on your Windows 10 desktop
- Go to the notifications area and locate the antivirus software icon
- Right-click on it
- Click on ‘Disable’ or ‘Disable temporarily’
- Check if this fixes the Inaccessible Boot Device error
You can always re-enable the antivirus software by following the same steps. The only difference is that you’ll see the ‘Enable’ option when you right-click on the icon. Just click on it to turn on the antivirus.
We hope the solutions presented above help you fix the Inaccessible Boot Device error on Windows 10/8/7.
Since this error is one of the common blue screen errors on Windows 10, try to keep a check on your system’s hard drives from time to time.