Several Windows users have been reaching us with questions after being unable to exit the Diagnostic PC mode. After waiting it out for several hours, some affected users have tried restarting to escape but reported that their PC enters a dark screen, shows the logo and then the Diagnostic PC screen is displayed once again. The issue is encountering on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
What’s causing the ‘Diagnosing your PC’ issue?
We investigated this particular issue by looking into various user reports and by testing various repair strategy that some affected users have recommended. As it turns out, several different scenarios will get some PC stuck inside the Diagnosing your PC screen. Here’s a likely list of scenarios that might trigger this problem:
- Insufficient System Space – As it turns out, this particular issue can also occur in instances where the system doesn’t have enough space to load up all processes and services that are necessary to the startup procedure. In this case, you should be able to resolve the issue by booting your computer in Safe Mode and clearing out some space so the operation can complete without issues.
- System File corruption – System file corruption can also be responsible for the apparition of the System Diagnostic tool at every system startup. It will become stuck in a loop if the utility is also affected by corruption. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to resolve the issue by running repair utilities like DISM and SFC or by restoring the Windows installation to a healthy state using System Restore.
- Glitched Automated Repair Utility – As several different users have reported, this issue can also due to some unidentified system drive issues. In this case, the Automatic Repair utility will try to open at every startup in an attempt to resolve the issue, but it won’t be able to identify the culprit. One way to avoid this issue is to bypass the Automatic Repair screen by disabling the utility from an elevated CMD window.
- Corrupted BCD Data – In more severe cases, this issue can also occur due to a case of corrupted booting data that’s preventing the startup operation from completing. In this case, you can refresh every OS component including booting data by doing a clean install or repair install.
If you’re currently struggling to find a repair strategy that will allow you to get past the Diagnosing your PC screen, this article will provide you with several different troubleshooting guides. Down below, you’ll find some methods that are confirmed to work by a lot of affected users. Each of the potential fixes featured below is confirmed to work by at least one affected user.
For the best results, follow the potential fixes in the same order that we arranged them in – We tried to order them by efficiency and severity. Eventually, you should stumble upon a fix that is effective in your particular scenario.
Method 1: Boot in Safe Mode and Clear Space
As some users have reported, this particular issue can also occur in situations where the system doesn’t have enough space to start along with all 3rd party processes and services that are scheduled to be loaded during the startup procedure. If Windows tries to load everything during the startup sequence and fails, it will automatically boot into Diagnostic Mode in an attempt to figure out what component fails.
However, in situations where the required space cannot be cleared, the PC will become stuck in the Diagnostic Mode loop. Several users in the same situation have finally been able to resolve the issue by booting their computer in Safe Mode and clearing some space.
Here’s a quick guide on doing this:
- Power on your computer and then start pressing the F8 key repeatedly as soon as you see the initial screen. This will eventually open the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- After you manage to access the Advanced Boot Options menu, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode or press the corresponding key (F4)
- Wait until the next booting sequence is complete. Once your Windows is fully loaded, press Windows key + R to open up a Run command. Once inside the Run box, type “cleanmgr” and press Enter to open up the Clean Manager utility.
- Once you’re inside the initial Disk Cleanup screen, start by selecting the disk that you want to clean. In our case, we want to clear up space from the OS drive, so select C (or whatever your Windows drive is named).
- Once you’re inside the Disk Cleanup screen, go to the Files to Delete section and select everything non-essential that you want to delete. The Downloads folder, Recycle Bin, Temporary files, and Delivery Optimization Files should be enough to get you started.
- Once you select everything that you want to delete, click on Clean up system files to start the process of cleaning up some space.
- After the process is complete, restart your computer so it boots back in normal mode and sees if it manages to get past the Diagnostics screen without getting stuck.
If you’re still encountering the same behavior, move down to the next method below.
Method 2: Running SFC and DISM Scans
As it turns out, it’s also likely that this issue is being caused by some degree of System File corruption that’s preventing the booting sequence to complete. Under normal circumstances, you would open an elevated CMD window and just run the two utilities.
But since you can’t get past the Diagnostics screen, you’ll need to perform the scans before the Booting sequence. To manage this, you’ll need to open an elevated Command Prompt using the Advanced Options menu.
Several Windows users who were previously struggling with the same problem have reported that they were finally able to boot up normally after they performed the instructions below.
Here’s what you need to do to run SFC and DISM scans from a CMD opened from inside the Advanced options menu:
- First things first, insert the installation media and restart your computer. Before you see the startup sequence, start pressing any key to boot from the Windows installation media.
- Once the initial Windows screen is loaded, click on Repair your computer (bottom-left corner of the screen)
- At the next menu, start by selecting the Troubleshooting tab, then click on Advanced Options. And from the Advanced Options menu, select the Command Prompt tab.
- Once you’re inside the elevated Command prompt, type the following command and press Enter to initiate a System File Checker scan:
Note: SFC uses a locally cached copy to replace corrupted files with healthy copies. Keep in mind that interrupting this utility in the middle of the scan might produce additional logical errors. So wait patiently until the process is complete.
- After the scan is complete, restart your computer and re-follow the steps above to return to the elevated CMD screen at the next system startup. Once you return, type the following commands and press Enter after each one to investigate and fix corruption issues using:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Note: This utility relies on Windows Update to download healthy copies of the system files that are affected by corruption and need to be replaced. Because of this, make sure that your Internet connection is stable before initiating this procedure.
- Once the procedure is complete, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.
If you still can’t get past the ‘Diagnostic your PC’ screen while you attempt to boot up normally, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Running the System Restore utility
If the methods above didn’t allow you to resolve the issue, chances are you’re dealing with a severe corruption issue that cannot be resolved conventionally. In situations like this, the best way to start is to go for the damage-control approach.
System Restore is capable of resolving most startup issues caused by system file corruption by restoring the machine to a healthy state in which every component was functioning properly.
But keep in mind that for this utility to work, this tool needs to have previously created a snapshot that can now be used for the restoring process. System Restore is automatically configured to create new snapshots regularly (after every major system change like an installed update).
Keep in mind that if you decide to go this route, any change made since the snapshot was created will be lost. This includes app installations, user settings and anything else.
If you are prepared to accept the risks, here’s a quick guide on running the System Restore utility via the Advanced Options menu:
- Insert the installation media and restart your computer. As soon as you see the booting screen, press any key to boot up from the installation media.
- Once the Windows Setup is fully loaded, look into the bottom-left corner and click on Repair your computer.
- Inside the initial repair menu, access the Troubleshoot menu. Inside the Troubleshoot menu, click on Advanced Options, then select Command Prompt from the list of available utilities.
- Once you’re inside the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter to open up the System Restore utility:
- Once you’re at the initial screen of System Restore, click on Next to advance to the next screen.
- At the next screen, start by checking the box associated with Show more restore points. Once you do this, start to look at every restore snapshot and select one that is dated before the apparition of the Diagnostics issue. Once the appropriate snapshot is selected, click Next to advance to the next menu.
- Once you get this far, the utility is ready to go. All that’s left to do now is click on Finish. As soon as you do this, your computer will restart and the old machine will be restored at the next system startup.
- Wait to see if the next boot sequence managed to get past the Diagnostics screen.
If you’re still encountering the same issue, move down to the next method below.
Method 4: Disabling the Automatic Repair
If you’ve come this far without a result, it’s clear that you’re dealing with a system drive-related issues. Whenever this happens, the Automatic Startup Repair utility will open at every system startup. But if the utility is glitched, it might prevent you from getting past the startup screen.
Several Windows 7 and Windows 10 users that were in this exact scenario have managed to resolve the issue by disabling the automatic Startup Repair utility to avoid the ‘Diagnosing your PC‘ screen.
But to do this, you’ll first need to boot in Safe Mode to get past the error screen and disabling the Automatic Repair:
- Press the F8 key repeatedly as soon as you see the initial screen. Doing this will eventually take you to the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Once you’re inside the Advanced Boot Options menu, select Safe Mode with networking by press the corresponding key (F5) or by using the arrow keys.
- Once the booting sequence is complete, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the text box, type “cmd” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt. When you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
- Once you’re inside the elevated CMD prompt, type the following command and press Enter to disable Automatic Repair utility from the startup sequence:
bcdedit /set recoveryenabled NO
- After the command is successfully processed, restart your computer to boot up normally. At the next startup sequence, you should no longer see the Automatic repair loop.
If you’re still encountering the same issue or you’re not encountering a different error, move down to the next method.
Method 5: Performing a repair install or clean install
If none of the repair strategies presented above have allowed you to resolve the issue, chances are you’re dealing with a severe system corruption instance that can’t be resolved conventionally. In this case, the best way to resolve the issue is to reset every Windows component including any booting-related process that might be causing the Automatic Repair loop.
You can always go for a clean install, but keep in mind that going this route essentially means that you’ll be losing any data that is currently stored inside your Windows installation. Personal files, apps, games, documents and any other type of media will be lost if you go for a clean install.
A better solution would be to perform a repair install (in-place upgrade). This will also reset every OS component including booting data, but it won’t affect your files. Applications, games, personal media and even some user preferences will be preserved.