How to fix the “inaccessible boot device” BSoD error on Windows 10 – 0x0000007b

If your Windows 10 computer is showing the notorious blue screen of death (BSoD) error, you may be at your wit’s end trying to solve this problem and get your computer functioning again. The inaccessible boot device error with code – 0x0000007b prevents your computer from being able to boot, and it happens to be more common than one would think in Windows 10 computers.

While it might seem like all is lost when this error occurs, fear not! Below we have come up with a few ways in which you can troubleshoot your Windows 10 computer and fix the inaccessible boot device BSoD.

What is the inaccessible boot device BSOD Error?

Firstly, the inaccessible boot device error, also referred to as the 0x0000007b error, typically appears on Windows 10 computer as seen below:

Inaccessible boot device error message

This error appears when your computer is unable to access the boot partition in its hardware.

What is a boot device?

A boot device is a hardware drive that stores files necessary for a computer to start. Common examples of boot devices include:

  • Hard drives
  • USB jump drives
  • CD-ROM drives
  • Floppy disk drives
  • DVD drives

What causes the inaccessible boot device error?

As with most computer issues, there are a number of possibilities as to why your Windows 10 computer is experiencing the inaccessible boot device error. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes for this error.

  • Your bootloader files have become corrupt or have gone missing.
    This is the leading cause of the inaccessible boot device error. As you might have guessed by the name, if your computer is experiencing an issue with bootloader files, chances are, it’s going to show an error like the inaccessible boot device error to warn you of possible bootloader problems. Bootloader files can go missing, become corrupt, or get misconfigured due to disk write errors within the files. Power outages or configuration errors from manual installation can also be major culprits for this particular cause.
  • Viruses are affecting the boot sector.
    Another common cause of the BSoD due to an inaccessible boot device error comes down to a computer virus. Viruses can affect your computer’s boot sector, in turn preventing your computer for being able to boot.
  • The BIOS configuration is incompatible with the UEFI setting.
    If you’ve recently upgraded the basic input/output system (BIOS) of your computer to UEFI, this could also cause an incompatibility problem within the hard drive, as this software can sometimes be incompatible with your computer.
  • There’s a problem with the SATA controller.
    Also pertaining to the BIOS, an error can occur if your computer’s SATA controller work mode is not correctly selected. Since there are three common work modes for the SATA controller, your computer’s hard drive may not be able to support one or the other. In addition, Windows 10 might have configured the wrong mode on your computer, preventing the device from being able to boot.
  • Your computer’s Windows Registry has been damaged.
    If this happens, that means part of your computer’s registry has become corrupt, making it unable to properly read disks.
  • The Windows 10 EFI bootloader has become corrupt.
    Lastly, the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) bootloader within your computer may also be corrupt. The EFI is a partition that stores the UEFI boot files.

Fixing the inaccessible boot device error

We’re sure that by now you’re ready to get to the bottom of this frustrating error. If you suspect your computer’s error may be caused by a virus, you’ll want to rule out viruses or other malware before trying these other options.

One easy way to confirm or rule out this possibility is by easily running an antivirus software to see if it can detect and solve your computer’s issue prior to getting into any of these more technical troubleshooting solutions.

After you’ve done this general virus scan, if your computer has not detected any problems, you’ll want to try out the following potential solutions.

Uninstall the most recent updates

Oftentimes, all it takes to solve the inaccessible boot device error on Windows 10 is uninstalling the most recent updates on your computer.

You will want to work backwards and uninstall each most recently installed update package individually. This will help you figure out which update might be responsible for the BSoD error. Before you do this, be sure to save your work, as you will need to restart your device once complete.

  1. Go to your Settings app and then access the following tabs in this order:
    Update and Security -> Recovery -> Advanced Startup -> Restart Now
  2. You will then see a blue screen, in which you can try two methods:
    1. Select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Uninstall Updates, or
    2. Select Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Prompt

We recommend trying the Uninstall Updates first, as it’s a little easier to do, but if that doesn’t work, you will need to use the more advanced Command Prompt.

  1. When you select Command Prompt, this will restart your computer into the Command Prompt app, where you will conduct the next few steps.
  2. If your Windows has been installed on the C drive, type in “dir c:” and hit Enter.
  3. Next, run the following command: Dism /Image:c:\ /Get-Packages
  4. From here, you will be able to view all installed packages. Look for the dates to find the most recent installation.
  5. Type in “dism.exe /image:c:\ /remove-package /[package name]” using the most recent installation name where it says “[package name]”.
  6. Reboot the computer.

If you’re still seeing the BSoD, then you can try removing the next most recent update package.

Update Your Drivers

If uninstalling the most recent updates on your computer doesn’t solve your problem, your next step is to try updating your drivers. Outdated drivers can sometimes be incompatible with Windows 10, causing your hardware to not be used correctly.

An easy way to troubleshoot for this type of error is by updating your drivers.

To do this, you can go about it in two ways:

  1. Firstly, open Device Manager and then open the IDE ATA/SATA controller sub-menu.
  2. Once there, right-click on “Standard SATA AHCI Controller.”
  3. Then choose the Update Driver option to automatically search for driver updates.
Updating the SATA driver

If the automatic update doesn’t fix the problem, you can take the more tedious route by accessing the official website for your computer’s manufacturer. Be sure to select the correct drivers for your machine’s model, and then download the latest drivers. You can then install the updated drivers manually or download an automatic installation software.

Eliminate “Update Pending” packages

Still not working? You can also try eliminating any packages that are pending, as Windows updates can sometimes get caught in a loop where they never actually install, leading to the inaccessible boot device error.

To get rid of any “Update Pending” packages, go to the Command Prompt you went to in solution one and follow these steps:

  1. Go to Update and Security -> Recovery -> Advanced Startup -> Restart Now -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> Command Prompt.
  2. Run these commands to delete any pending sessions, being sure to hit Enter after you enter each one:
    1. reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software
    2. reg delete HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Current Version\Component Based Server
    3. reg unload HKLM\temp
Delete update pending packages

Once you’ve followed these steps, your pending updates will then be moved into the correct temporary files. To check for a list of pending packages, type in “dism/image: \ /get-packages” and write down the ones that say “Install Pending.” Then, continue to proceed with the following steps:

  1. You will want to create a temporary file for these pending installations by typing in “MKDIR C:\temp\packages” and hitting Enter when it’s complete.
  2. Then, move the pending packages to the correct temporary file by typing in “dism / image : C: \ remove package / package identity:/scratchdir:c:\temp|packages” and then hitting Enter.

Change the BIOS mode to AHCI

If the error is still stubbornly appearing, try changing the BIOS mode to AHCI. Since your computer’s BIOS menu may differ from other manufactures, we will present a general method for troubleshooting.

To access the BIOS, you will likely have to do it while your device is booting. Here are the steps:

  1. First, you need to access the BIOS. One of these options should work: Press either the Delete key, Escape key, or one of the Function keys (usually F2).
  2. Choose Advanced Options and find where it says “Set AHCI Mode.”
  3. Select “Enabled” and then reboot your computer to test out this solution.

What if my computer is still showing the error?

We hope this tutorial for fixing the BSoD has successfully solved your computer problem. But, if you’ve exhausted this list of possible solutions, and your computer error hasn’t been resolved, you may be wondering what next?

At this point, we recommend having a professional computer technician troubleshoot your device so that you can quickly get back to using your computer again.

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