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Solved: Stuck In Endless Repair Loop – “Preparing Automatic Repair”

Siddharth Rawat
Siddharth Rawat Updated On - 10 Jun 2020

“I installed Windows 10 updates a couple of days ago. In the midst of using my laptop, the Windows froze, and went into “not responding.” Even after leaving the Windows to unfreeze for some time, it didn’t work out. After giving a few more minutes, it gave me the dreaded blue screen. It states that there is a problem with Windows and is collecting information. After waiting for an awful lot of time, it changed from 0% to some percent, and it eventually went into “Preparing Automatic Repair” and then cut to a black screen. This cycles over and over again. How can I get out of it?”

Automatic repair on Windows 10 is a handy repair feature that can troubleshoot issues that stop you from booting correctly. If the computer fails to start properly for two consecutive times, then Automatic Repair will be triggered as a system’s response to rectify the booting issue. Many of the users are complaining that after installing the latest Windows updates, they got stuck in the “Preparing Automatic Repair” boot loop. Even after spending a lot of time trying to get out of this loop using various methods, they are unable to find a solution. In this post, we will walk you through the steps required to get out of this dreaded situation and recover deleted files.

Scenario 1 Automatic Repair Couldn’t Repair Your PC- No Boot Loop

If you get a message stating that “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC” with no boot loop then this section is for you, you can apply the methods and steps described in this section to get out of this issue.

Method #1 Using Command Prompt to Access Boot Menu Options

You can use bootrec.exe to update the master boot record, partition bootsector, and the boot configuration data to correct boot issues on Windows. The detailed steps are outlined below:

  1. Click on the Troubleshoot button > Advanced Options > choose Command Prompt from the list.
  2. Click on the Troubleshoot button

  3. In the Command Prompt enter the following commands one-by-by
  4. bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

    bootrec.exe /fixmbr

    bootrec.exe /fixboot

  5. Running chkdsk alongside the bootrec.exe can be helpful in these situations. Chkdsk checks the metadata of a drive for logical and physical errors and is used with parameters. Try running the following commands:
  6. chkdsk /r c:

    chkdsk /r d:

    Note: If you have more partitions, then replace the drive letter in the previous syntax with the drive (letter) you want to perform chkdsk on.

  7. Restart your PC to check if the problem is resolved. Move to the next fix, if not.

Method #2 Boot in Safe Mode to Repair Windows 10 Image

If your system has performance or boot related issues, then System File Checker (SFC) tool can be used to scan, detect and replace the corrupted or missing system files using the Windows 10 recovery image. But, if the replacement files inside this recovery image are itself damaged, then the SFC command won’t work. Hence one can use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to scan and repair the install.wim image. Which can then be used to run the SFC tool. The detailed steps are outlined below:

  1. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  2. Next, click on the Restart button.
  3. After the restart, from the list of options, choose Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
  4. Enable Safe Mode

  5. When in Safe Mode, if you suspect a driver issue associated with any of your software, then you should download the updated driver from the manufacturer’s website and save it to an external drive for later use.
  6. Hold +X and select Command Prompt (admin) from the list.
  7. In command prompt enter the following command and press enter:
  8. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

  9. It might take a while for the process to complete, so be patient.
  10. After the process, restart your PC and install the updated driver that you have downloaded in step 4.

Method #3 Run the Windows Startup Repair
You can run the Windows startup repair as a troubleshooting method.

  1. Go to the Advanced Options button and click it.
  2. Choose the Troubleshoot button and click Advanced Options.
  3. Click the Startup Repair button and let the Windows 10 run the diagnose for you.
  4. After the successful diagnose, check the results and see if the problem continues to persist.

Method #4 Check the hardware specification of your computer
If Windows 10 is not able to overcome the endless repair loop issue, then the issue could be with the hardware and not the software. Perhaps, the RAM of the computer is not able to load the Windows on a hard drive or the hard drive (SSD or HDD) may be failing to handle the large Windows files. There are multiple troubleshooting methods to check the hardware specification of your computer.

Method #5 Run the System Restore
System Restore is ideal to fix issues like the endless repair loop. When the issue is stopping you from accessing the Windows 10 operating system, you need to boot the computer from a Windows installer DVD or USB drive and go through the below steps:

  1. Choose your language and other preferences. On the same screen, where you see the Install button, there is Repair your Computer button on the left-hand side.
  2. Select the Windows Operating System to repair.
  3. Choose System Restore on the menu.
  4. Follow the given instructions and install Windows with point-in-time recovery.
  5. Restart the computer after the completion of System Restore and if the process was followed clearly, then you should be no problem in opening the Windows.

Scenario 2 Automatic Repair Couldn’t Repair Your PC- Stuck in Boot Loop

It can also be the case that you got stuck in “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC” boot loop and couldn’t find a way to get out of it. In this section, we will discuss several fixes that can aid you in this situation.

Method #1 Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware

Early Launch Anti-malware (ELAM) drivers are the first line of defense against the malicious boot-start drivers as it helps the Windows kernel decide whether they should be initialized or not. This might falsely classify any crucial boot-start file as malicious hence can cause issues during the boot. To disable ELAM, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. In the boot menu, choose to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  2. From the list of options, choose Disable early launch anti-malware protection.
  3. Restart the PC to check if the problem is resolved or not.

Method #2 Get Rid of Problematic Files

It might be the case that a problematic file is causing the Automatic repair boot loop issue. Hence, deleting the problematic file might be the right thing to do. To delete the problematic file, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. In the boot menu, choose to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  2. Enter the following command in the prompt:
  3. C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt
    SrtTrail.txt

  4. This will show you the boot critical files.
  5. To delete the boot critical files then in the command prompt, enter the following command:
  6. cd c:\windows\system32\drivers
    del <Enter the name of the corrupt file with extension>

  7. Restart the PC and check if the problem is solved.

Method #3 Disable Automatic Startup Repair

  1. In the boot menu, choose to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  2. Now in command prompt run:
  3. bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled No

  4. This will disable the startup repair.

Method #4 Restore Windows Registry
A corrupted Windows registry might be the reason behind the Automatic repair boot loop. To restore your registry, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. In the boot menu, choose to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  2. In the command prompt enter the following comment:
  3. copy c:\windows\system32\config\RegBack*c:\windows\system32\config

  4. If asked to overwrite the files, then type All and press Enter.
  5. Exit the command prompt and restart your PC.

Method #5 Refresh or Reset Your PC

If you are still facing issues, then resetting and refreshing might fix the issue. This will remove the installed applications, but Universal apps will be saved if you chose the refresh options. Reset option will delete the installed files, settings and apps. It is advised to back up the important files before trying out this option.

Reset Your PC

After choosing the appropriate option, follow the instructions to complete the process.

Kernel for Windows Data Recovery

If these methods do not work successfully, then it implies that you need a reliable third-party tool. Kernel for Windows Data Recovery software is just the tool that you might need. It is highly capable of recovering lost and inaccessible files. It can help you to recover your lost data in various situations such as hard disk failures, bad sectors on the drive, corrupted registry and disk partitions, virus infection, physical damage, and more. If you have a large amount of data to recover, then the recovery needs to be performed in multiple settings. Hence the Snapshot feature of the tool allows you to do just that. One can pause and save the snapshot; later, this snapshot can be upload into the tool to resume from where you have left. Therefore, it can be regarded as the best tool to restore files from corrupt drive.

Windows Data Recovery Software

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have extensively discussed two scenarios that can be useful to solve “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC” using manual methods. If you still could not boot into Windows, then it implies that there could be several reasons causing this issue. This demands a need for a reliable third-party tool such as Kernel for Windows Data Recovery that can quite easily fix and repair bad sectors in Windows. We highly recommend this tool as it can offer several beneficial features.