Windows 7 won't boot up: "The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible"


  • Hi.

    I've been a big '7' fan despite a number of blue screens of late, but I've just been hit with the following message, and can't boot up . . .

    "Windows Boot Manager
    Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
    1. Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
    2. Choose your language settings and click "Next."
    3. Click "repair your computer."#

    Status: 0xc000000e

    Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible"

    I have an HP Dv5t with a 500gb hard drive by the way.

    This may be unrelated, but today my battery was failing and the system went into standby or hibernation. So I replaced the battery, with the computer not plugged in by the way, and turned it back on. All the programs that were originally open were still open.

    But, on reboot I get the above message.

    I called HP, spent $100, but it really comes down to Windows 7. I don't have a disc for as repair, nor did I create an emergency boot disc, or clone the drive as I like to do. Basically I messed up, and I have huge amounts of data den images I don't want to lose.

    I've tried 'restore to last good configuration' and so on, but without success.

    Does anyone have any suggestions pleeeeease?! Better still, a magic wand?!

    Many thanks!
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 7:08 AM


  • JTB -

    Yes... You can also remove the hard drive, pop it in an external USB case and salvage files that way as well.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 6:20 AM
  • Your boot priority may have changed. Restart the laptop and when the POST appears press F1 to get into setup. Make sure the hard drive with your system is configured to boot.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 8:06 AM

All replies

  • Thought you had to have Iso burned to install. Don't know if you could just download another on working PC - You have one to be Comm. here; burn new, try boot repair with it. 

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:22 AM
  • JTB -

    Do you have your original Windows 7 DVD? If so, you can still do what is known as an "in place upgrade"... What that entails is installing Windows 7 RC on top of itself.

    What you'll need:
    1.) The Win 7 RC DVD as you burned it prior to installing it.
    2.) The product key as was given to you when you started downloading the ISO for the DVD.

    Note: If you no longer have the product key, you can go back to the same web site you got your ISO from and get another key by starting the  download process again. You don't have to download the ISO a second time - unless you no longer have the original RC DVD.

    Insert the DVD into the computer and boot from the optical drive. When the setup starts, do an upgrade of Windows 7 RC - BUT, whatever you do, DO NOT FORMAT the hard drive. Just simply install it on top of itself. When prompted for the product key, enter the one you've got or got from the web and let it go about it's business installing itself.

    The in-place upgrade will leave everything else (data files, pictures, and programs you've installed) alone but you will need to visit Windows Update after you're done and you'll need to activate Windows 7 again.

    Oh.. And when you do get your system back up on it's feet - for cripe's sake - BACK IT UP! ;-)

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:51 AM
  • Thank you both for your replies, as every little helps.

    I'm especially interested in a method that saves my files!

    I'm traveling so it will take a couple of days to get this done, and I'll post the results.

    One other thought though, if I were to place the hard drive in an external usb case, I'd be able to read and copy all my important files, right?

    Thursday, August 6, 2009 5:16 AM
  • JTB -

    Yes... You can also remove the hard drive, pop it in an external USB case and salvage files that way as well.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 6:20 AM
  • Your boot priority may have changed. Restart the laptop and when the POST appears press F1 to get into setup. Make sure the hard drive with your system is configured to boot.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 8:06 AM
  • Hello again.

    I've not been able to log on for a few days, but have been trying to resolve this issue in the meantime . . .

    I burnt the Win 7 files to DVD, and the first time I tried to boot from the disc I was successful. I opted to run the repair but after many hours I had to cancel rather than leave the laptop in an unguarded hotel room! Surely it wouldn't have taken so long anyway?

    Since then I've tried to boot to the disc but without success. I get 'standard' options via pressing F8 and so on, but none get me back to the disc startup window.

    The one time I did there was a system recovery option, and oh how I wish I'd chosen that first!

    Does anyone know what else I could try besides holding down ctrl, standing on one leg, and reciting some kind of George Harrison mantra?!

    Many, many thanks once again.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:13 PM
  • Can you get into the BIOS setup screen?
    Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:55 PM
  • JTB -

    As Mr Seven was starting to say - go into the BIOS settings and make sure that the first boot drive is the CD/DVD drive. From there, boot the system and when it says press any key to boot from CD - do so and boot from the Windows 7 DVD. From there you can do an in-place upgrade as noted above.
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:24 AM
  • Thank you both.

    I've done exactly as you have suggested in recent days many times over, but all that action leads to is a blank screen, black, with the mouse pointer sitting at center screen.

    This was while 'booting from the disc' after changing the boot up priority in the BIOS.

    Another screen I get frequently is one whereby the laptop, not the disc, gives me the option of a repair. Then after choosing 'repair' I'm told to insert the Windows CD and reboot. That never functions as it should either.

    Do I have any other options please?!

    Many thanks.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 4:03 AM
  • It shouldn't make a difference but does. What method did you use to create the DVD?

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:45 AM
  • I downloaded the file 7100.0.090421-1700_x86fre_client_en-us_retail_ultimate-grc1culfrer_en_dvd, and it automatically opened Record Now to burn the disc when I open it.

    I was able to boot to the disc the first time I used it, but not since.

    Thank you again.
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 11:41 AM
  • When you used the disk to boot for the first time was there another operating system present and working?

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:08 PM
  • Good question but no, as I installed Win 7 over Vista.

    I'm entirely dependent on Win 7!

    Thank you again.
    Thursday, August 13, 2009 5:07 AM
  • JTB -

    Ok.. So when you installed Win 7 on top of Vista, did you run the installer from within Vista or did you merely boot from the optical drive?
    Thursday, August 13, 2009 11:01 AM
  • JTB -

    Ok.. So when you installed Win 7 on top of Vista, did you run the installer from within Vista or did you merely boot from the optical drive?

    Hi Wolfie and thank you for hanging in there on this. I'm just back home from a long road trip and can now give this my full attention.

    After I bought the laptop I asked a local 'geek' to roll Vista back to XP which he was unable to do because of HP driver issues. He then suggested a Windows 7 beta option which I took.

    To answer your question I have no idea which option he took.

    However when I upgraded Windows 7 to 'RC' I installed from within Windows.

    Since getting home I've tried to boot to the Windows 7 disc I made without success, even when I tap F8. Do you have any more suggestions please?

    Thank you, thank you!
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:55 AM
  • Try the disk on another computer just to see if you can get it to boot.
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 6:17 AM
  • That was a good suggestion, but it's not the culprit as it worked fine in another machine.

    Just in case though I burnt another disc and got the same story . . . the disc boots on another machine but not the laptop in question.

    It's very puzzling.
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 10:51 AM
  • Shut off your computer and remove the cmos battery to reset it. You will lose your bios settings and have to reconfigure it. Unplug confused hardware for a few minutes so it can reset, replug and restart.
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 10:59 AM
  • Another good suggestion, but even though I did that twice it's still refusing to boot to the disc.

    I also got an F1 option which allowed me to reset the BIOS. I changed the boot order via F10 when prompted.

    I thank you again, and am wondering if I have any more options pleeeeease?!

    In the meantime I'm running the start-up and hard disk tests again.

    Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:41 PM
  • Well after numerous re-boots in an attempt to get the Windows 7 repair option window without success, I have the replaced the hard drive with an identical sized one, and am currently loading Win 7 onto that.

    It's the hard way round of course, but at least I should be able to retrieve all my data from what is now an external drive.

    A couple of questions though . . . is there a 'nice easy way' to copy everything over, programs and all, to the new drive?!

    Or . . . can I repair the copy of Windows 7 on the old drive using this new one and the disc drive? I imagine one can, but I don't know how to go about that.

    Once again, any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Friday, August 21, 2009 6:15 AM
  • I have had the exact same problem in the past. What i done was i extracted and moved all my files i needed onto an external hardrive using my caddy. Then i wiped everything of the internal hardrive (Formated it) and re-installed windows. as soon as that was finished, I simply moved all my files onto the computer again and it was exacly the same as before. As i read you are unable to re-install because you have no disk, i would advise going to see werever you baught your comptuer from. or just give them a quick ring to see if they have it. If not do what i done. Ask around to see if any of your friends have any spare. One of my mates did and it worked perfectly.
    Sunday, October 17, 2010 1:59 PM
  • This is common problem when you try to clone disc with windows 7 installation.Solution is simple if you have windows 7 installation media. Insert windows 7 installation disc. Boot from DVD and at the installation screen choose repaire my computer.
    • Proposed as answer by HEIIIA Friday, February 25, 2011 1:40 PM
    Friday, February 25, 2011 1:39 PM
  • Hello HEIIIA, i have the same problem above,can you help me here, as am very much confused,what is windows 7 installaion media and do you think that will solve the problem? i don't mind loosing my files at the moment it's better that loosing my computer.


    Thanks very much

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011 7:34 AM
  • A Major problem I've occurred in the past was just getting Windows (XP/ME/98), etc.  to go back onto the drive after a former operating system was in place. I've solved the problem in the past by using the manufacturer's diskette or CD (you can download it from their websites and burn it to a CD/disc/disk/flashdrive).  Western Digital (which uses Data Lifeguard Diagnostics in DOWNLOADS/Seagate and others which has diagnostic software free from their site) and has a "bootable" solution set of files within that when booted to LOW-LEVEL format (that is, buring "0"'s and "1"'s to the drive, hence erasing everything down to the core level, whereas it's destructive to even remove hidden and boot-level info back to the condition when the drive was first created, pristine state).

    After it low-level formats, one can either high-level (format) it, or run Windows on CD, etc. to install Windows back.  The premise was that one can place a specific operating system on the former condition drive and by installing a different one (ex. 32bit to 54 bit, or in 98, etc, difference operation layers which tend to cause changes/upgrades going forward to fail.

    This has worked for me on numerous occasions and I was able to put any Windows (provided it's supported by the BIOS or operating system met the system requirements (RAM, etc).

    Always good to know.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 8:49 PM
  • i had the same issue with both of my HP laptops... come to find out the CDrom is both computer died, i replaced the cdrom and it worked just fine and i will able to boot to the dvd/cd
    Friday, June 10, 2011 6:01 PM
  • if you want to solve this problem you can reply  my  msn    i will tell you in detial 
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 11:34 AM
  • I put in the windows 7 cd and clicked repair my computer. It fixed the problem itself.
    Friday, May 3, 2013 2:36 PM
  • Yep,

    This is the way to fix it.

    Boot your computer with your Windows 7 CD.

    Select the language, and then on the next screen select Repair.

    It should detect the issue, reboot, and viola! Desktop is back.

    Still have no idea what the missing device was though.

    Saturday, September 13, 2014 12:26 AM