Dealing with a Windows 10 drive that does not boot and instead displays an error message saying “No bootable disk” can be frustrating. However, there are several potential solutions that can help get your PC booting again.
What Causes the “No Bootable Disk” Error?
There are a few common reasons why you might encounter the “no bootable disk” error message in Windows 10:
- Corrupted boot files – The boot files like bootmgr and bootcfg that Windows needs to start up properly may have become corrupted.
- Damaged hard drive – If your hard drive is failing or has bad sectors, it may prevent Windows from booting.
- Boot order change – An incorrect boot order in the BIOS could cause it to fail booting from the drive Windows is installed on.
- Disconnected drive – If the boot drive was disconnected or changed, Windows would not be able to locate the boot files.
- Missing operating system – If the drive had the operating system deleted or reformatted, it would show as having no bootable OS.
Fix 1: Startup Repair
The first solution to try is using Windows’ built-in Startup Repair utility. Startup Repair can automatically detect and repair common issues that cause the “no bootable disk” error.
To run Startup Repair:
- Insert the Windows installation media or recovery drive and boot your PC from it.
- On the first screen, select your language and other preferences and click Next.
- Click “Repair your computer” at the bottom left corner.
- Select “Troubleshoot” from the next screen.
- Then choose “Advanced options” > “Startup Repair”.
- Startup Repair will run and automatically attempt to fix the issues it finds.
After Startup Repair completes, reboot your PC normally and see if Windows boots correctly. This automated repair process works in many cases to get Windows 10 booting again.
Fix 2: Rebuild BCD
If Startup Repair did not resolve the problem, the next thing to try is rebuilding the BCD (Boot Configuration Data). The BCD contains boot information like the bootloader path and OS entries. Rebuilding it can often fix corrupt or missing entries causing the “no bootable disk” error.
To rebuild BCD, follow these steps:
- Boot from the Windows install media or recovery drive as explained in Fix 1.
- Instead of choosing Startup Repair, select the “Command Prompt” option.
- At the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter:
- Restart your PC when this completes and Windows should now boot normally.
Fix 3: Check Drive Connections
If you dual boot Windows with Linux or have multiple hard drives, the “no bootable disk” message may indicate Windows is not detecting the proper boot drive.
Check these basic hardware issues:
- Make sure the drive containing Windows is properly connected via SATA and has power.
- If using an M.2 drive, check it is properly inserted in the slot.
- For external USB drives, connect it directly rather than through a hub.
- Inspect cables for any damaged pins and secure connections.
Additionally, entering your PC’s BIOS setup utility to confirm the boot order correctly has the Windows drive listed first can resolve boot issues after hardware changes.
Fix 4: Check Disk for Errors
Corrupted system files or bad sectors on the hard drive can also prevent Windows from starting up. Checking the disk for errors using the CHKDSK command is worth trying.
To run CHKDSK:
- Boot from the install media as before into the Command Prompt.
- Type the following command:
chkdsk C: /f
(Replace C: with whichever drive letter Windows is installed on)
- This will check the disk for file system errors and attempt to repair them.
After it completes, reboot and see if Windows boots up properly.
Fix 5: System Restore
If issues began after recently installing an app or driver, performing a system restore to roll back system files can help.
To restore Windows 10:
- On the Choose an Option screen when booting from media, select “Troubleshoot”.
- Go to “Advanced options” > “System Restore”.
- Choose your Windows installation drive and select a restore point prior to when you had boot issues.
- Reboot once it completes and Windows should load using the restored system files.
This can be an easy fix if the “no bootable disk” error started after a bad update or software change. If an older restore point is not available, this option will not work.
Fix 6: Check boot files
Damaged boot files like bootmgr and bootcfg can prevent Windows from booting properly. You can rename these files to force Windows to rebuild fresh copies of them on the next start up.
To rename the boot files:
- Boot into the Command Prompt from the Windows media again.
- Rename the bootmgr and bootcfg files by typing:
ren C:\bootmgr bootmgr.old
ren C:\boot\bootcfg bootcfg.old
exitand restart your PC.
- Let Windows automatically rebuild new boot files which should resolve the issue.
Fix 7: Startup Settings
Corrupted startup settings can also prevent Windows from loading correctly. You can reset these to default settings very easily.
To reset startup settings:
- Boot from Windows media and go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options.
- Select “Startup Settings” > “Restart”.
- After your PC restarts, you will see a list of startup settings. Select 4 or F4 to initiate a “Safe Mode” boot.
- Log in with your account and restart back into normal mode. This will reset startup settings.
Attempt booting as usual and Windows should now start up without the error.
Fix 8: Run SFC and DISM
System File Checker (SFC) scans Windows system files for corruption and restores them. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) repairs the Windows image.
Running these utilities can fix system file errors causing start up issues:
- From the Command Prompt, run SFC with:
- Once that completes, run DISM with:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Restart your PC after it finishes and boot errors should be resolved.
Fix 9: Repair or replace drive
If all else fails, the issue may be caused by a deeper hardware problem with your boot drive itself. Damaged sectors or failed components on a HDD or SSD can result in data corruption and prevent booting.
Try these hardware troubleshooting steps:
- Use HDD manufacturer diagnostic software to check the S.M.A.R.T. status and run scans.
- For SSDs, upgrade firmware and run drive checker software.
- Check disk health using the CHKDSK command as explained earlier.
- Repair or replace cables/ports between drive and motherboard.
- Update BIOS/UEFI and motherboard firmware.
- Replace failing drive if necessary.
Advanced hardware troubleshooting may be needed to pinpoint and resolve a faulty disk causing boot issues.
Fix 10: Clean Install Windows
If no other solutions work, performing a clean install of Windows 10 will definitely take care of any software errors causing booting issues:
- Backup data and license key. You will lose everything when reinstalling Windows.
- Boot from the Windows 10 installation media.
- Delete all existing partitions during setup until only unallocated space remains.
- Install Windows on unallocated space to perform clean install.
- Install drivers and restore data after completing setup.
This will give you a fresh Windows 10 installation. While time consuming, it will rule out any corrupt system files or settings that could cause the “no bootable disk” problem.
Several solutions exist for troubleshooting and fixing a Windows 10 PC stuck displaying the “no bootable disk” error on startup. Try the repairs in order presented here to automatically restore boot files, reset startup settings, check and correct errors on the drive, and ultimately perform a clean install if nothing else resolves the problem.
Advanced options like BOOTREC commands or startup settings give you ways to manually rebuild Windows boot files. Hardware issues can also manifest as boot errors, so check connections, boot order, and run drive diagnostics if needed.
Getting Windows 10 to successfully startup again may require patience. But methodically working through these solutions should resolve any underlying issues causing your bootable disk error and get your PC running again.