2021 Quick Fix: Windows 10 Preparing Automatic Repair Loop

Windows Automatic repair can get stuck in a loop of repairing, then restarting only to go back into the repair, or be stuck in the "Preparing Automatic Repair" screen. Depending on your specific situations, there are a few fixes that will help you get out of the problem. If you need to quickly access files from your stuck PC and save them elsewhere, you can apply the data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

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Help! My Windows 10 computer has been stuck in a Windows Automatic Repair loop for a couple of days.
About days ago, I started my laptop, it came up with the 'Preparing Automatic Repair' screen. I shut it down, then it rebooted automatically with an Automatic Repair loop. How can I fix this?

Is your computer keeps restarting with an error message, telling that "Preparing Automatic Repair" or "Automatic Repair couldn't repair your PC"? Calm down and stay here with us.

On this page, we'll offer you a complete guide to quick fix the "Preparing Automatic Repair" loop in Windows 10 or Windows 8.1/8 without losing any data:

  1. #Guide 1. Windows Preparing Automatic Repair Error
  2. #Guide 2. How to Rescue Windows Data from Preparing Automatic Repair Loop
  3. #Guide 3-1. How to Fix Windows Automatic Repair Loop with Blue Screen
  4. #Guide 3-2. How to Fix Preparing Automatic Repair Error with Black Screen

Your Quick Guide: By following through the guides, you'll successfully restore your computer from the "Preparing Automatic Repair" loop on your own. If you are not interested in learning the causes of this error, you may start from Guide 2.

#Guide 1: Windows Preparing Automatic Repair Error

In this guide, you'll learn:

  1. 1. What is Windows Automatic Repair Error?
  2. 2. What does it mean when your computer says preparing automatic repair?
  3. 3. What causes Windows Preparing Automatic Repair error?

Automatic Repair is a Windows built-in feature designed to fix boot-related issues when a startup problem arises automatically. Sometimes, when it fails to work, the "Automatic Repair loop" error comes out, making your computer reboot again and again.

As a result, you will encounter computer boot failure, and all the programs, services, and files on the computer will become inaccessible.

Symptoms of Windows Preparing Automatic Repair Error

When Automatic Repair fails, your computer will have one of the following symptoms:

  • Computer stuck on a black screen with "Preparing Automatic Repair" or "Diagnosing your PC" error message.
  • Windows says "Preparing Automatic Repair" but results in a black screen with nothing on.
  • Automatic Repair stuck on a blue screen, saying "Your PC did not start correctly", or "Automatic repair couldn't repair your PC." If you click "Restart", your computer will reboot and catch the Automatic Repair loop.

Windows Automatic Repair loop

Causes of Windows "Preparing Automatic Repair" or "Automatic Repair Loop"

The "Preparing Automatic Repair" issue happens more on Windows 10/8.1/8 computers. Usually, the Automatic Repair or startup repair loop issue occurs right after a Windows update or an unexpected Windows shutdown.

But causes this error? Here is a list of common causes:

  • Issues with Windows Registry
  • BOOTMGR (Windows Boot Manager) file corruption
  • Missing or damaged system files
  • Issues with the hardware driver (hard drive driver, motherboard driver, graphics driver)
  • Other unknown reasons

So how do you solve the "Preparing Automatic Repair" error? Follow Guide 2 and Guide 3 thoroughly, you'll make the computer work normally again.

#Guide 2: Rescue Windows Data from Preparing Automatic Repair Loop

No matter what kind of situation you are in, either a blue screen or a black screen of the "Automatic Repair" loop, the most important thing is to get your data out of the "dead" computer first.

Here, you'll get methods to rescue your Windows data from this error:

  1. Method 1. Recover Data with Bootable Data Recovery Software
  2. Method 2. Manually Get Data on Another Computer

 If you prefer an easy and efficient way, Method 1 is worth trying.

Method 1. Recover Data from Automatic Repair Computer with Bootable Data Recovery Software

Reliable bootable data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard with bootable media can help you boot up the computer with the "Automatic Repair" loop error from a created bootable disk.

Then you can scan and recover all data from the "unbootable" or "dead" computer.

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

Prepare an empty USB. If you have important data on it, copy the data to another device. When you create a bootable disk, the data on the USB will be erased. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will help you create a bootable disk.

Connect the USB drive to PC, launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition. Select the USB drive and click "Create" to create a bootable disk.

create a bootable disk with easeus

Step 2. Boot from the bootable USB

Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. For most users, it works well when they restart their computer and press F2 at the same time to enter BIOS. Set to boot the PC from "Removable Devices" (bootable USB disk) or "CD-ROM Drive" (bootable CD/DVD) beyond Hard Drive. Press "F10" to save and exit.

Step 3. Recover files/data from a PC/laptop hard drive that won't boot

When you boot from the USB, you can run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the WinPE bootable disk. Select the drive you want to scan to find all your lost files. 

selet the drive

Click "Scan" to start the scanning process.

let the software scan the drive

Recover data from the computer or laptop. After the scan completed, you can preview all recoverable files, select the targeted files, and click the "Recover" button to restore your files. You'd better save all of the recovered data to another place to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the computer

Method 2. Manually Get Data Off Automatic Repair Computer Drive on Another PC

Step 1. Unlock the computer case from your computer with an "Automatic Repair" error.

Step 2. Remove the hard drive connection cables and unplug them from your computer.

Step 3. Reconnect the hard drive to another healthy computer as an external disk.

Connect disk to anther PC and get off disk data

Step 4. Restart the new PC and access the old computer drive data via File Explorer.

Step 5. Copy and save all the hard drive data to another secure external hard drive.

After this, it's time that you take action to fix the "Windows 10 preparing automatic repair" error. 

All Workable Solutions for Automatic Repair Loop with Blue & Black Screen

Depending on the specific situation you are in, you will have different solutions. Here is a table of all workable solutions that can bypass automatic repair on your computer with two cases: black screen or blue screen:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix Automatic Repair & Blue Screen

Fix 1. Extend the System Partition ...Full steps
Fix 2. Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware...Full steps
Fix 3. Run System File Checker & CHKDSK...Full steps
Fix 4. Rebuild BCD ...Full steps
Fix 5. Restore Windows Registry...Full steps
Fix 6. Perform System Restore...Full steps

Fix Automatic Repair & Black Screen

Fix 1. Perform a Hard Reboot...Full steps
Fix 2. Boot into Safe Mode...Full steps
Fix 3. Disable Automatic Repair ...Full steps
Fix 4. Reset PC...Full steps
Fix  5. Free install or Reinstall Windows 10...Full steps

#Guide 3-1: How to Fix Windows Automatic Repair Loop with Blue Screen

When an Automatic Repair fails, your computer will get a blue screen with "Your PC did not start correctly" or "Automatic repair couldn't repair your PC." If you click "Restart", the computer will go through the same process, resulting in the Automatic Repair loop.

Automatic Repair loop in Windows 10 - Your PC did not start correctly

Follow the methods and check out how to restore your computer from the blue screen of Automatic Repair error on your own. 

Fix 1. Extend the System Partition

Windows and some applications require enough space to work correctly. If the system drive on your computer is almost full, you may encounter problems like "Your PC ran into a problem" or Windows stuck at "Preparing Automatic Repair".

To make more free space for the system and applications, professional partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master can extend the system partition from a bootable disk and rescue the computer from a blue screen of Automatic Repair error:

#1. Create a Bootable Disk on Another Healthy PC

Step 1. To create a bootable disk of EaseUS Partition Master, you should prepare a storage media, like a USB drive, flash drive or a CD/DVD disc. Then, correctly connect the drive to your computer.

Step 2. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, find the "WinPE Creator" feature on the top. Click on it.

create easeus partition master bootable disk

Step 3. You can choose the USB or CD/DVD when the drive is available. However, if you do not have a storage device at hand, you can also save the ISO file to a local drive, and later burn it to a storage media. Once made the option, click the "Proceed" button to begin.

create easeus partition master bootable disc

When the process finishes, you have successfully created an EaseUS Partition Master WinPE bootable disk. Now, you can manage your hard disks and partitions through the bootable drive whenever the computer fails to boot normally.

If you have RAID drives, load the RAID driver first by clicking Add Driver from the menu bar, which can help you add the driver of your device under WinPE environment, as some specific device cannot be recognized under WinPE environment without drivers installed, such as RAID or some specific hard disk.

#2. Extend System Partition from Bootable Disk

Connect the bootable disk USB to your problematic computer and restart the PC. Press F2/F11/Del to enter BIOS. Set PC to boot from the bootable disk.

When the computer boots up from the EaseUS WinPE bootable disk, enter EaseUS Partition Master and extend the system drive with the steps below:

Option 1. Extend System C drive with unallocated space

  1. 1. Right-click on the System C: drive and select "Resize/Move".
  2. 2. Drag the system partition end into the unallocated space so to add it to the C: drive. And click "OK". 
  3. 3. Click "Execute Operation" and "Apply" to execute the operations and extend the C drive.

Option 2. Extend System C drive without unallocated space

  1. 1. Right-click a big partition with enough free space on the system disk, select "Allocate Space".
  2. 2. Select the system drive at the Allocate Space From (*) To section, and drag the end of System C drive into the unallocated space. Click "OK" to confirm.
  3. 3. Click "Execute Operation", it will list the pending operations, and click "Apply" to save the changes and extend the C drive.

#3. Restart PC from Original OS Disk

After extending the system drive, you can now restart the PC from the original system disk:

Step 1. Restart PC and press the F2/F11/Del key to enter BIOS.

Step 2. On the boot menu, switch and set the original system disk as the boot drive.

Step 3. Save the changes, exit BIOS, and restart the PC.

Wait for the computer to boot up. If you see the login window, congratulations and you've successfully solved this issue. If the problem still exists, move to the next fixes for help.

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 with the following steps:

Step 1. Restart PC and click "Advanced options" on the Automatic Repair blue screen.

Step 2. Click "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Startup Settings".

Your computer will restart then present you with a list of options.

Step 3. Choose "Disable early launch anti-malware protection".

Windows Startup Settings - Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware Protection

After this, restart your PC and check if you can boot into Windows.

Fix 3. Run System File Checker & CHKDSK Disk Utility

If the computer system files are damaged or missing, that's probably where the issue originates. Windows provides a built-in System File Checker and CHKDSK Disk Utility for users to check and repair missing or corrupted system files.

Warning
Running chkdsk can hopefully fix the system files issue, however, it can also result in total data loss. So, perform data recovery in advance, and then continue with the CMD method.

To use the tool, you need a Windows installation media connected to your computer and fix the blue screen error with the steps below:

Step 1. Reboot your PC from the Windows installation media.

Step 2. On the Windows Setup window, choose "Next".

Step 3. Choose "Repair your computer" > "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 4. Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

Step 5. Type chkdsk /f /r /x C: and hit Enter.

Run CMD to fix automatic repair loop error

Step 6. Type exit to close Command Prompt and restart the computer.

Fix 4. Rebuild BCD

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

 When your computer fails to start, bootrec.exe can be used to fix the Master Boot Record (MBR), Boot Sector, Boot Configuration (BCD), and boot.ini.

Step 1. Connect the Windows installation media/disc to your PC.

Step 2. Start and boot your PC from Windows installation media or DVD.

Step 3. On the Windows Setup window, choose "Next" > "Repair your computer".

Step 4. Choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 5. When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines in succession:

  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd
  • exit

Afterward, restart the PC and check if your computer boots up normally. 

Fix 5. Restore Windows Registry

The Registry is a database that contains the configuration information of the operating system and most of the applications. When Registry corrupts, it may lead to serious problems like the Automatic Repair loop.

The good news is that the registry makes a backup of configuration data automatically. You can use the backup to restore the Windows registry to a working version.

Step 1. Choose "Advanced options" on the blue screen of Automatic Repair error.

Step 2. Navigate to "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 3. Select the account and enter the password.

Step 4. Enter the following commands one by one and hit Enter each time:

  • C:
  • CD Windows\System32
  • CD config
  • DIR
  • CD regback
  • DIR
  • CD..
  • REN default default1
  • ren sam sam1
  • ren security security1
  • ren software software1
  • ren system to system1
  • CD regback
  • copy * c:\windows\system32\config

Step 5. Type exit and hit Enter.

In the "Choose an option" screen, choose "Turn off your PC" and then start your computer.

Fix 6. Perform System Restore

If you have created a Windows restore point before the Automatic Repair loop occurs, you can perform a system restore to cope with the issue.

Note that performing system restore will overwrite your files on the system c drive, remember to get your data out of the computer first. You can revert to Guide 2 and get your data in two reliable ways.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. One the Automatic Repair blue screen, choose "Advanced options".

Step 2. Navigate to "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "System Restore".

Perform system restore

Step 3. Choose a restore point, click "Next" to restore your computer to a healthy state.

Step 4. Wait until the restore process finishes and then restart your computer.

Fix Windows Automatic Repair issue - Perform a System Restore

#Guide 3-2: How to Fix Preparing Automatic Repair Loop with Black Screen

When you are stuck on the "Preparing Automatic Repair/Diagnosing your PC" black screen, the computer screen will stay black after preparing for an Automatic Repair.

Preparing Automatic Repair Loop with black screen

Here are some fixes that can help you out:

Fix 1. Perform a Hard Reboot

When the computer doesn't respond with a black screen, warning "Preparing Automatic Repair", perform a hard reboot first. A hard reboot is a way or restarting your computer manually instead of using the operating system controls (soft reboot).

Step 1. Press and hold the power button on the computer until it shuts down.

Step 2. Afterwards, repress the power button and start the computer.

Reboot computer to fix automatic repair loop

Step 3. Check and see whether the issue persists.

Fix 2. Boot into Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode of Windows. In Safe Mode, you can fix some system-related problems by uninstalling/updating incompatible software/driver, deleting problematic files, removing viruses, and more.

When the computer is stuck on the "Preparing Automatic Repair/Diagnosing your PC" screen or the computer's screen goes black and stops responding, you can run the PC from Windows installation CD/DVD and boot into Safe Mode to fix this issue.

If you do not have an installation disc, follow the Microsoft guide to creating a Windows Installation Media.

Here are the steps to enter Safe Mode:

Step 1. Connect the Windows Installation Media to the computer.

Step 2. Restart PC and Press F2/F11/Del to enter BIOS.

Step 3. Choose to boot from the installation media from the screen. Wait for the program to be loaded.

Step 4. On the Windows Setup window, choose "Next".

Step 5. Choose "Repair your computer" > "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options" > "Startup Settings".

Enter advanced options

Step 6. Choose a Safe Mode - Enable Safe Mode, Enable Safe Mode with Networking, and Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Windows Startup Settings - Choose Safe Mode

Step 7. Fix computer issues after entering Safe Mode:

  • Run antivirus software to scan for and remove virus
  • Delete problematic files that may result in the "Preparing Automatic Repair" stuck
  • Uninstall suspicious software or drivers
  • Update the hardware driver using a CD/DVD/USB that contains the driver

Fix 3. Disable Automatic Repair

The Automatic Repair itself can also be the reason why your computer can't boot properly. You can disable Automatic Repair in Windows to fix this issue.

You need to enter Command Prompt like in method 3 to finish the task.

Step 1. Insert or connect a Windows installation disc/media to your PC.

Step 2. Start and boot the computer from Windows installation media.

Step 3. On the Windows Setup window, choose "Next" > "Repair your computer".

Step 4. Choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Command Prompt".

Step 5. Type bcdedit /set {current} recoveryenabled No and hit Enter.

You can also delete problematic files with the command line: C: cd Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt. SrtTrail.txt

Delete problematic files

If you see something like Critical Boot 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.

Step 6. Type exit to close Command Prompt and restart the computer.

Fix 4. Refresh or Reset PC

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

Note that refreshing or resetting the PC will cause serious data loss, remember to get your data out of the computer first. We've addressed this issue in Guide 2 in two reliable ways.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Upon the 'Preparing automatic repair' window, press-and-hold Power button three times.

Force to shut down the machine.

Step 2. The system will enter the boot repair page after 2-3 times of reboot.

refresh pc to fix windows 10 preparing automatic repair loop

Step 3. Choose "Troubleshoot", then go on to "Refresh PC or Reset PC."

Follow the on-screen guidelines to complete resetting your PC. After this, restart your computer and you'll be able to work on it again. 

If this solution fails to bring you the repair page, continue with the following methods.

Fix 5. Fresh Install or Reinstall Windows 10

Issues related to Automatic Repair in Windows could trouble you for hours or days. And the last way that you can try is to reinstall Windows 10 on your computer.

You can either use Windows installation media to Reinstall Windows 10/8.1/8 or Download the Latest Windows 10 Update to fresh install Windows 10 on your PC.

Windows 10 20H2 October Update Rolls Out:
Starting October 20, Microsoft is making the newest Windows 10 October Update with its new features available for mainstream users to install.
If you haven't received it yet, you can manually download it from a variety of channels.
To install the latest Windows 10 20H2 update, click to Download Latest Windows 10 Update from Microsoft's official site.

It's Your Turn, Bring Life Back on Your Computer

On this page, we explained what is Automatic Repair and what causes the Automatic Repair loop error on Windows 10/8.1/8 computers.

If you are having this issue, we suggest you follow through with this complete guide. If your data matters a log, remember to follow Guide 2 and apply EaseUS bootable data recovery software to get your data out of the unbootable PC first.

You can then try the fixes as shown in Guide 3-1 and Guide 3-2 based on your situation - whether you are having a blue screen "Automatic Repair" or a black screen "Preparing Automatic Repair" error.

Last but not least, we would also recommend you create a system backup image immediately. It will always save your life and bring your computer back to life anytime when your computer dies. 

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Updated by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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