The Automatic Repair Loop can be one of the most frustrating things to happen to your Windows PC. Ironically, it never actually repairs anything, instead putting your PC in a futile bootloop that locks you out of Windows. It tells you that “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC” (thanks for that), then gives you the options to Shut down your PC and presumably give up on it forever or go into “Advanced options.”
It’s a critical problem in need of fast – and sometimes drastic – solutions, and we’ve compiled a bunch of fixes for you right here.
How Do Automatic Repair Loops Happen?
First up, an explanation. The most common reason for automatic repair loops is when Windows doesn’t get to shut down properly – due to a power cut, for example, a crash, or your laptop battery running out of charge. if this happens, data in the registry can be filled with incomplete and corrupt entries that wouldn’t have occurred had you shut down, your hard drive could get corrupted because the reading arm didn’t have time to go to its standby position, and all manner of other issues.
So the simple lesson to learn from your automatic repair loop – always shut down!
Right, enough preaching. Onto the solutions.
Start Windows Normally
Let’s start with the simplest solution. Sometimes the automatic repair loop can occur not because there actually is an issue with your PC but because Windows mistakenly thinks there’s one. So to work around the loop, try pressing F8 repeatedly when your PC is booting to go into Windows Boot Manager, then just select “Start Windows Normally.”
With a bit of luck, this solution will work, and you’re in the clear. If not, read on.
Perform a System Restore
The next step is to try performing a system restore. Bear in mind that you’ll need to have previously enabled system protection in Windows for this to work.
Your automatic repair loop should lead you to the blue Advanced Startup Options screen. Here, select “Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> System Restore” and select a date before the troubles started.
Use the Command Prompt
If that doesn’t work, then your Windows is really in a bit of a pickle, and you’ll need to do some Command Prompt magic to try and get it working again.
In the Advanced Startup Screen, click “Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options.”
From there, select Command Prompt, and enter the following commands, separated by Enter.
Note: for the last command, the “c:” will depend on the letter of your Windows drive.
bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd bootrec.exe /fixmbr bootrec.exe /fixboot bootrec.exe /chkdsk /r c:
Hopefully one of these solutions of increasing complexity will get you back up and running on Windows. The worst-case scenario, however, is that you’ll need to reinstall Windows. You can potentially do this from the advanced Startup screen. Just go to “Troubleshoot -> Reset your PC” and follow the instructions.
If that fails, create a bootable Windows 10 CD or flash drive. It’s free to make one, and we created a guide on how to do it right here. To use this bootable media, from the Advanced Startup Options on your looping PC, select the “Use a device” option then follow the instructions.