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HP PCs - Error: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible (Windows 7, 8)

This document applies to HP computers with Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Windows fails to start, and an error message appears: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.
Why does this error occur?
When your computer starts, the system BIOS begins to check a pre-determined list of drives and devices that may contain an operating system (Windows 7 or Windows 8). Normally, the computer boots from your primary hard drive, or a boot device that you have selected, where the operating system is stored. If the boot device is damaged, or if the computer attempts to boot from a different device, the operating system does not start up and you receive an error message. There are numerous possible causes and solutions for this error. Use this document as a guide through the troubleshooting process.
How can I fix this error?
Try the following troubleshooting steps, in order, until Windows starts normally.
Step 1: Check the computer cable connections
Make sure that all computer cables are connected properly to the correct ports. Check the connections at both ends of each cable. If you recently moved a cable to a different port on the computer, move it back to the original port, if possible. When finished, restart the computer.
Step 2: Remove all external devices
Disconnect all peripheral devices from your computer (for example: printers, memory card readers, external hard drives, and external CD/DVD drives), except the keyboard, mouse, and monitor (if applicable). With all devices disconnected, restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, it was attempting to boot from one of the external devices. Reconnect the devices one at a time, restarting each time, to identify which device was causing the problem.
Step 3: Select a different boot device
The boot order may have been changed, or a partition was added or removed, causing the computer to attempt to boot from the incorrect device or partition. Reset the default boot order or select a different boot device using the steps in the appropriate section for your computer:
 note:
BIOS configurations vary depending on the computer model. The BIOS settings are generally found in the Maintenance and Service Guide, available on the HP product page for your computer model.
 note:
The steps for modifying the boot order can vary depending on the computer model. Use the following steps as a guide while paying attention to the on-screen instructions. Some steps may be slightly different on your computer.
Step 4: Repair startup with the Windows installation disc or recovery media
If you have the Windows installation disc that came with your copy of Windows, or if you created Windows recovery media (DVDs or USB drive), use the Startup Repair (Windows 7) or Automatic Repair (Windows 8) feature to fix the startup error:
Step 5: Use the bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment
If you have the Windows installation disc that came with your copy of Windows, or if you created Windows recovery media (DVDs or USB drive), use the bootrec.exe tool to troubleshoot and repair the Master Boot Record.
If you are using Windows 7, perform the steps in Use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows (in English) from Microsoft support.
If you are using Windows 8, perform the following steps:
  1. Insert the Windows 8 installation disc, or recovery media.
  2. Press a key when prompted.
  3. Select the language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method, and then click Next.
  4. Click Repair your computer.
  5. Click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Troubleshoot
    Troubleshoot
  6. Click Advanced options.
    Figure : Advanced options
    Advanced options
  7. Click Command Prompt.
    Figure : Command Prompt
    Command Prompt
  8. In the Command Prompt window, type bootrec.exe /fixmbr, and then press Enter.
  9. When finished, remove the Windows 8 recovery media or installation disc, and then restart the computer. Windows should start normally.
    If Windows does not boot, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
Step 6: Test the hard disk drive
Use the instructions in one of the following HP support documents to test the hard disk drive in your computer:
If the results indicate the hard drive has failed, the hard drive needs to be replaced. Have the computer serviced, or look up the hard drive replacement procedure in your product's Maintenance and Service guide, available on the HP product page for your computer model. After replacing the hard drive, use recovery discs to reinstall your operating system on the new drive. If you did not make a set of recovery discs, refer to Looking for Recovery Discs? for information about ordering recovery discs from HP.
If the hard drive is working normally but Windows still does not boot, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.
Step 7: Perform an HP System Recovery
If a new hard drive was added, hard drive partitions were created or removed, or you installed a different operating system, and if none of the previous troubleshooting steps have corrected the error, you may need to perform a recovery on your computer to fix the error. Use the steps in one of the following HP support documents to perform a system recovery:

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