Fix: Preparing Automatic Repair on Windows 10

New versions of the Windows Operating System have quite a track record of being highly unstable and buggy when they are first released to the general populous, and Windows 10 did nothing but add to this reputation. When it came out, Windows 10 was simply riddled with problems and issues, one of which was the “Preparing automatic repair” loop. The “Preparing automatic repair” screen is the screen that a Windows 10 user sees when something goes wrong with their computer and Windows 10 attempts to fix it by itself.

The Preparing Automatic Repair Screen stuck

Users who suffered from the “Preparing automatic repair” loop would be able to successfully install and use Windows 10, but only until their first reboot. As soon as they rebooted their computer after the installation of Windows 10, they would see the “Preparing automatic repair” screen, after which their computer would force reboot and the Windows fill fail to start, and so on. The only way to interrupt the cycle is to cut the power to the computer, but the same thing starts happening the next time the computer boots up, rendering it pretty much useless. However, there are a couple of solutions that have proven to be able to fix this problem for users who have experienced it in the past, and if you’re suffering from the same issue, you should definitely try these:

Pre-Requisite: Booting into BIOS to change Boot Order

Changing the Boot Order is very important to be able to perform the steps below. Here, we have indicated the method to get into the bios of your computer.

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Enter your computer’s BIOS (or UEFI) settings as soon as it starts up. The key that you need to press to enter these settings depends on the manufacturer of your computer’s motherboard and can be anything from Esc,
  3. Delete or F2 to F8, F10 or F12. This is displayed on the post screen and the manual that was supplied with your system. A quick google search asking “how to enter bios” followed by model number will also list results. Navigate to the Boot.
  4. You must know how to boot and change boot order since this will be needed to perform the solutions below.

How to Get Out of the Automatic Repair Loop on Windows 10?

Solution 1: Enable XD-bit (No-Execute Memory Protect) in your BIOS

It seems that, until or unless XD-bit (better known as No-execute memory protect), a feature available in every computer’s BIOS settings, is turned on, a Windows 10 user remains prone to suffering from a “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. XD-bit is disabled by default, and the following are the steps you need to go through to enable it:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. At the first screen that your computer displays when booting up, press a specific key that will get you into its BIOS This key will be available in your computer’s user manual and on the first screen that it displays during startup. (see how to boot to bios above)
  3. Once in your computer’s BIOS, peruse through the tabs and locate XD-bit.
  4. Enable XD-bit and Save your changes.
    Enabling Intel virtualization technology
  5. Restart your computer, and it should boot like it is supposed to. If it doesn’t you should try the next solution.

Solution 2: Expand your computer’s System Reserved partition

The “Preparing automatic repair” loop can also be given birth to if your computer’s System Reserved partition is smaller than it should be. If that is the case, you need to:

  1. Go here and download the MiniTool Partition WizardInstall and then run the MiniTool Partition Wizard.
  2. When the program opens, you should see a map of your computer’s HDD’s or SSD’s partitions. Right-click on the partition you installed Windows 10 on and click on ShrinkShrink the partition by 250 MB. This will create 250 Megabytes of unallocated space.
  3. Move the System Reserved partition right next to this unallocated space by dragging your partitions around.
  4. Right-click on the System Reserved partition and click on Extend.
  5. Restart the computer and check to see if the issue has been resolved.


Solution 3: Perform a System Restore

System Restore is a really handy little feature that comes with Windows 10 and is ideal for fixing problems with the OS such as this “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. Since the loop prevents you from accessing your computer’s Operating System, you are going to have to boot your computer from a Windows 10 installation disc or USB and then perform the following steps:

  1. Configure your language and other preferences. On the screen where you see an Install now button at the center, click on Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.
  2. Select the Operating System you want to repair.
  3. At the recovery options menu, click on System Restore.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the computer to an earlier point in time.
  5. Once the System Restore has been completed, restart the computer, and it should progress past the “Preparing automatic repair” screen and not get stuck on it.

Solution 4: Reinstall Windows 10

If none of the solutions listed above worked for you, there is a pretty good chance that the problem is localized to your specific installation of Windows 10. If that is the case, simply reinstalling Windows 10 should be able to fix the problem. If you are a bit foggy on the steps involved in performing a clean install of Windows 10, follow this guide.

Solution 5: Check your hardware

If reinstalling Windows 10 doesn’t get rid of the issue either, the issue might not be software related but related to your computer’s hardware instead. For example, your computer might have a failed or failing HDD or SSD that is causing the “Preparing automatic repair” screen loop. If that is the case, use this guide to determine whether or not your HDD or SSD has failed or is failing. Also, be sure to check your RAM to make sure that it is not at fault because this error is also caused by a faulty or mispaired RAM stick.

Solution 6: Performing Startup Repair

Sometimes, you might be able to get past this screen but the startup might still fail. Therefore, in this step, we will be trying to repair windows at startup to fix this issue. For that:

  1. Click on the “Advanced Options” button.
  2. Select the “Troubleshoot” button and select “advanced options”.
  3. Click on the “Startup Repair” button and let Windows automatically diagnose and fix your PC.
    Selecting “Startup” repair
  4. After the diagnosing process is completed, check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 7: Performing Command Prompt Fixes

In addition to the steps above, we can try some command prompt fixes to fix our issue. In order to do that:

  1. Click on the “Advanced Options” button.
  2. Select the “Troubleshoot” button and select “advanced options”.
  3. Click on the “Command Prompt” option and type in the drive letter of your main drive.
    Clicking on the command prompt option

    Note: In most cases, the letter is “C:”.

  4. Press “enter” and type in the following command.
    cd \windows\system32\config
  5. Press “Enter” and then type in the following command.
    md backup
  6. After pressing “Enter”, type in the following command and again press “enter”.
    copy *.* backup
  7. Now type in the following command and press “Enter” to execute it.
    cd regback
  8. At this point, type in the command listed below and press “Enter” once more to execute this as well.
    copy *.* ..
  9. The command prompt will now ask if you want to overwrite the files, type in “A” and press “Enter” to select the “yes” option.
    Selecting the “Overwrite” option
  10. Closeout of the command prompt and click on the “Continue” option.

Solution 8: Updating Drivers

In some cases, this particular issue is mostly related to the display drivers installed on the computer. Therefore, in this step, we will be updating the display drivers after booting into the safe mode with networking. In order to do so, follow the guide below.

  1. Click on the “Advanced Options” button.
  2. Select the “Troubleshoot” button and select “advanced options”.
  3. Select “Startup Settings” from here and then press the “F5” key to select the “Safe Mode with Networking” option.
    Startup Settings in Advanced Options
  4. After booting into the safe mode with networking, make sure to connect your computer to the internet using an ethernet connection.
  5. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the Run prompt and type in “devmgmt.msc” to open the device manager.
    Type devmgmt.msc and Press Enter to Open Device Manager
  6. After that, double click on the “Display Adapters” option to expand it and then right-click on your display driver.
    Display Adapters in Device Manager
  7. Select “Update driver” from the options and then select “Search Automatically for updated driver software” button.
    Search Automatically For Updated Driver Software
  8. Wait for Windows to automatically download new drivers and install them on your computer.
  9. Check to see if the issue persists after installing this new driver.

Solution 9: Repairing Corrupted Data

In some cases, the issue might be related to data corruption on the hard disk. Therefore, it is recommended that you disconnect the SATA cable connecting the hard disk to your computer and remove the hard disk completely. After that, connect it to another computer and try to boot up from it, at bootup, it might give you an option to repair the HDD, if it does, select that option and check if the issue persists. Furthermore, select the normal boot drive on this new computer and try running an SFC and health scan with the HDD connected.

Note: Furthermore, you can try to downgrade your Windows.

Solution 10: Bios Update

In some cases, updating the computer’s Bios can help get rid of some hardware incompatibilities between the motherboard and the CPU, GPU, or any other component on the board. Therefore, it is recommended that you try to perform a Bios update to get rid of any issues related to incompatibilities.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Preparing Automatic Repair on Windows 10

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