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How to fix the ‘checking media presence’ error?

Switching operating systems on the fly has become effortless thanks to virtual machines and modern processors that can run two or even more operating systems simultaneously without a problem. However, even if you’re booting off a traditional boot drive, the process has become far simpler and easier to debug. 

This article discusses how to fix the “checking media presence” error you might see when trying to boot your PC.


What causes the ‘checking media presence’ error?

The error is mainly caused when your primary boot device isn’t reachable. This prompts the bootloader (Windows in this case) to check for the device’s presence before attempting to boot. There are several reasons why you might be seeing this error. 

  • Incorrect boot order.
  • The boot device (SSD/HDD/USB) isn’t connected properly.
  • Corrupt or damaged boot drive. 

Also read: Windows error 0xc1900106: 7 Fixes


7 ways to fix the ‘checking media presence’ error

Here are seven solutions you can try to fix the ‘checking media presence’ error.

Check the boot order

The first thing you should do is check to see if your boot order is set correctly. In most cases, if your computer was booting properly before the error, there’s a good chance that the problem is your boot drive, but you should check the boot order just as a precaution, mainly if you recently used a removable drive to boot your system. 

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Make sure you’ve set the right boot order.

Ensure your primary OS (Windows in this case) is set to the top of the boot priority list. If you can’t change the list order, try changing your SATA options from Rapid Store Technology to AHCI. Once you’re done changing the boot order, revert the SATA change. 


Check the boot drive

Next up, check to see if the boot drive is connected correctly and is being detected by your PC. If your computer can’t see the boot drive, there’s a good chance that your SSD/HDD is dead, or there’s some issue with the SATA or M.2 port connecting the drive to the motherboard. 

Also read: How to fix the PCI encryption/decryption controller issues?


Enable UEFI boot 

Pretty much every motherboard offers a legacy and a UEFI boot mode. The legacy mode works better for older operating systems that aren’t compatible with modern-day hardware.

However, this is the opposite the other way around too. If your boot settings are set to legacy, the bootloader won’t be able to detect the operating system. Head into your BIOS, change the boot mode to UEFI and try again. 


Update your BIOS

Updating your BIOS is also a good idea if you’re frequently running into BSODs or, for that matter, their red counterparts. However, keep in mind that the process for updating the BIOS differs greatly depending upon the make and model of your PC’s motherboard,

So, consult with an expert if you don’t know what you’re doing.


Run an SFC scan

Running an SFC scan can find and fix corrupt or damaged files that may keep your system from booting up properly. 

Step 1: Boot your computer using the Windows installation media. Click Repair your computer.

Step 2: On the blue screen recovery window, click on Troubleshoot.

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Step 3: Select Advanced options.

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Step 4: Then select Command Prompt.

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Step 5; Type the following command to run a system file scan.

sfc /scannow

Step 6: Once the SFC command has run, run the following command to restore the system image. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Now try restarting your computer. If the ‘checking media presence’ error isn’t resolved, continue to the following method.

Also read: How to fix ‘OverflowError: Math range error’?


Run the Check Disk utility

Manually running the Check Disk utility once in the Safe Mode can also iron out any errors. 

Step 1: Boot your computer using the Windows installation media. Click Repair your computer.

Step 2: On the blue screen recovery window, click on Troubleshoot.

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Step 3: Select Advanced options.

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Step 4: Then select Command Prompt.

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Step 5; Type the following command to run a scan.

chkdsk C: /f /r

Restart your PC once the scan is done, and you should be good to go. 


Repair your system

If nothing else works, simply reinstalling or repairing your OS is the best way to eliminate the ‘checking media presence’ error. 

The Windows Media Creation tool is a great way to install Windows and repair the OS. Using this, you can perform a clean installation or repair your OS without affecting your data.

You can download the Media Creation Tool here

Also read: Windows error 0x0 0x0: 6 Fixes

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