How to Fix Inaccessible Boot Device Error in Windows Server 2016

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Introduction

Some Windows admins have reported receiving “inaccessible boot device” error in Server 2016 after a Windows update. If you receive “inaccessible boot device” error in Server 2016″ you can fix it using the solutions discussed in this guide.

Other Causes of “inaccessible boot device” Error in Server 2016

Apart from Windows update, “inaccessible boot device” error in server 2016 may be caused by one of the following:

  1. Device driver update
  2. Software installation or update
  3. Bad sectors on your hard drive
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Inaccessible Boot Device Server 2016 Fix

Based on the identified potential causes of “inaccessible boot device error” in Windows server 2016 error, here are the fixes.

All the solutions suggested below involves booting Windows Server 2016 to Automatic Repair mode. Then perform the following:

  1. Roll back recent updates
  2. Uninstall newly installed device drivers or Software
  3. Fix the boot record with BootRec command

How to Boot Windows Server 2016 to Recovery mode

Follow the steps below:

  • Press the power button on your server to boot it up. Wait for the circles to show up. Then press the power button to shut the server down.
  • Press the power button to boot the server again. When the circles show up, power the server off using the power button.
  • When you boot the third time, Windows Server will start Recovery mode.
inaccessible boot device server 2016 fix - boot to repair mode
Forcing Windows server to boot to Recovery mode involves interrupting the boot 3 consecutive times.
For each step described below, you will boot to Repair mode as described above.
When you try the first method, reboot your Server to check whether “Inaccessible Boot Device” error in Server 2016 is fixed. If not proceed to the next method.

Method 1: For Inaccessible Boot Device Server 2016 Fix, Roll Back Recent Updates

If you received “inaccessible boot device” error in server 2016″ after installing a Windows update, here are the steps to fix it:

  • Interrupt Windows Server boot to force it to boot to Repair mode.
inaccessible boot device server 2016 fix - boot to repair mode
  • Next, click See advanced repair options.
See advanced repair options.
  • Then click Troubleshoot.
  • Next, click Command Prompt. Then click the Admin account to load Command Prompt.
  • Enter the password for the administrator account and click Continue. Windows Command Prompt will load as shown in the second image below.
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  • At the Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter:
reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software 
The above command will load Windows registry to HKLM\temp. In the next step, you will access Registry from HKLM\temp.
type and run "reg load HKLM\temp c:\windows\system32\config\software" in command prompt
  • Next, you need to delete the SessionsPending registry key. Execute the command below:
reg delete "HKLM\temp\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\SessionsPending" /v Exclusive 
  • When you press Enter to execute the command above, you will be prompted to confirm. Type Y. Then press Enter key.
  • Before you proceed to the next step, unload the registry using the command:
reg unload HKLM\temp 
inaccessible boot device server 2016 fix - reg unload HKLM\temp

Delete “Install Pending” Packages

The next step to fix “Inaccessible Boot Device” error in Server 2016 is to delete all “Install Pending” Packages. Follow the steps below:

  • Create a temp folder to move the “bad” updates to. Type the command below:
MKDIR c:\temp\BadUpdates 
MKDIR - cerate a temp directory to move  bad updates
  • The next step is to list al installed updates. To list all installed packages, at the command prompt, type the command below. Then press Enter.
dism /image:C:\ /get-packages 
inaccessible boot device server 2016 fix - dism /image:C:\ /get-packages
The next step is to delete all updates with “Install Pending” status. These are the packages likely causing the “inaccessible boot device” error.
Before you run the next command, look through the list of the result for packages with status, “Install Pending”. Note their Package Identity.
  • To remove a package with “Install Pending” status, run the command below:
dism /image:c:\ /remove-package /packagename:Package-Identity  /scratchdir:c:\temp\BadUpdates  
In the last command, replace Package-Identity with the name of the package. You have to run this command one by one for all packages you wish to remove.

Method 2: For Inaccessible Boot Device Server 2016 Fix, Uninstall newly installed device drivers or Software

If you received the error after installing a device driver or a software, follow the steps below to fix the problem.

  • Interrupt Windows Server boot to force it to boot to Repair mode.
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  • Then select See advanced repair options.
  • Next, click Troubleshoot.
  • Then click Startup Settings. Finally, click Restart.
  • When your server restarts, it will load Advanced boot options. Use the up/down arrow key to select Safe Mode. Then press Enter to boot to safe mode.
inaccessible boot device server 2016 fix - Windows server 2016 advanced boot options
  • When your server boots, login as normal. Then uninstall any recently installed device driver or software.
To confirm that you are on Safe mode, when you login “Safe mode” will show on the four corners of your screen.

Method 3: Fix the boot record with BootRec command

This is the last method that could fix the error message. Follow the steps outline in this guide Run BootRec /FIXMBR.

Conclusion

I hope you were able to get your Windows Server up and running using one of the methods in this guide. If you have any question or comment use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of the page.

Alternatively, you could share your experience with this error message and how you fixed it.

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