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Quick Fix: Windows Automatic Repair Loop in Windows 10/8.1/8

Updated on Aug 12, 2019 by Abby Haines to Resource


Windows Automatic repair can get stuck in a loop of repairing, then restarting only to go back into the repair. There are a few quick fixes that will help most people get out of the loop. If these don’t work, there are a few more advanced repairs that will get you out of the Windows Automatic Repair Loop in Windows 10/8.1/8. If you need to quickly access files from your stuck PC and save them elsewhere, you can download data recovery software.

Overview of Windows Automatic Repair Loop
Three Quick Fixes for Automatic Repair Loop
Two Advanced Methods to Solve the Repair Loop

"My Windows 10 PC has been stuck in a Windows Automatic Repair loop for a couple of days. I didn’t do anything differently, I just started my laptop and up came the "Preparing Automatic Repair" screen. It then rebooted automatically and goes right back into Automatic Repair. I figured I should just wait it out, but it’s been caught in this loop for days now. How do I fix this?"

The Windows Automatic Repair Loop

Automatic Repair is a built-in feature designed to fix PC issues for you. But far too often, it can do more harm than good by getting stuck in a startup repair loop. It is a well-documented issue Windows 10/8.1/8 and there are two common variations of the Windows Automatic Repair loop:

1. Windows Automatic Repair gets stuck on a black screen with "Preparing Automatic Repair" error message.
2. Windows Automatic Repair fails and says, "Automatic repair couldn't repair your PC".

Windows Automatic Repair loop

When Automatic Repair fails to complete and gets stuck in a loop, unfortunately, waiting it out usually does not solve the problem. However, there are reliable methods available to fix this issue, without requiring a Windows disc.

Quick Fixes for the Windows Automatic Repair Loop

Fix 1. Refresh or Reset PC

The official Microsoft solution to an endless 'Preparing Automatic Repair' loop is to directly refresh or reset the PC. They state:

"Upon the 'Preparing automatic repair' window, press-and-hold Power button 3 times to forcefully shut down the machine. The system will enter boot repair page after 2-3 times of reboot, choose Troubleshoot, then go on to Refresh PC or Reset PC." 

refresh pc to fix windows 10 preparing automatic repair loop

Fix 2. Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware Protection

Another way to get out of the Windows Automatic Repair loop is to disable early launch anti-malware protection. You can do this from Command Prompt in the Windows Boot Options menu which will begin to appear after your restart your computer several times.

1) Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings. Your computer will restart then present you with a list of options.

2) Choose "Disable early launch anti-malware protection".

3) Restart your PC and check if you can boot into Windows.

Windows Boot Options menu

Fix 3. Delete a Problematic File

Occasionally Windows will be stuck in an Automatic Repair loop due to certain corrupt files. To check if this is your issue, and resolve it:

1) In the Windows Boot Options menu, choose "Troubleshoot Advanced Options > Command Prompt".

2) In the command line, enter: C: cd Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt. SrtTrail.txt

If you see something like Boot critical file c:\windows\system32\drivers\vsock.sys is corrupt, navigate to the specified location using the Command Prompt and enter the del command to delete the problematic file.

Delete the problematic file to fix Windows Automatic Repair loop issue in Windows 10

The corrupted file can vary, so you might need to navigate to a different folder and delete a different file in your case.

These are the quick fixes that can often get out of the Windows Automatic Repair loop with the least amount of effort. If they cannot help, continue on to the more involved solutions to resolve this issue. 

Advanced Fixes for Windows Automatic Repair Loop in Windows 10/8.1/8

Method 1. Manually Repair MBR and Rebuild the BCD

If the Master Boot Record (MBR) and Boot Configuration Data store (BCD) are missing, corrupted, or not properly configured; Windows won't be able to start. If this is the case, to enter Windows, manually repair the MBR and rebuild the BCD.

To do this:

1) In the Windows Boot Options menu, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

2) When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines in succession: 

bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

bootrec.exe /fixboot

Method 2. Perform a System Restore or Reset

If the Windows Automatic Repair loop issue still exists, try the final method – perform a system restore.

1) In the Windows Boot Options menu, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore.

2)Follow the Wizard instruction and select the appropriate restore point. Finally, click Finish to restore the system.

These are all the possible solutions that might fix the Windows Automatic Repair loop issue in Windows 10/8.1/8. If none of these solutions were successful for you, you can recover your data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro with Bootable Media which is able to recover data when a PC won't boot or start. Save your data to another location, reinstall your OS, then restore your data. This is the last-ditch effort to save your PC. In most cases, the problem will be solved by one of the previous methods, so you won't have to go through the trouble. in Windows 10/8/7/Vista.