Automatic Repair is a handy feature on Windows 10 devices that allow users to troubleshoot issues that keep Windows from booting properly. If a Windows device fails to boot correctly for two consecutive times, then this feature will do what it’s supposed to. It will launch to fix the booting problem.
Although it seems like a useful tool, some users are complaining that it’s throwing error messages after installing the latest Windows Update. According to them, they are stuck with the “Preparing Automatic Repair” boot loop error. No matter what solutions they try, some cannot find a way to get out of the loop.
If you are among those who are getting “Preparing Automatic Repairs” loop on Windows 10, then you have just found what you’re looking for. In this post, we will discuss what triggers this error and provide solutions that can get you out of such a dreadful situation.
What Causes “Preparing Automatic Repairs” Loop?
Users can encounter this error due to different reasons. However, the most common causes are as follows:
- The bootloader or the booting files are missing.
- The Master Boot Record (MBR) is corrupt.
- The Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is missing.
- There are changes in the BIOS settings.
- A hard disk is corrupted.
- A firmware or Windows drive has been corrupted.
- There is an issue with the system’s installed drivers.
- A malware entity or virus has infected the system.
- There is an underlying software issue.
What to Do About “Preparing Automatic Repairs” Loop on Windows 10
Several solutions have worked for users who experienced this issue before. So, if you are suffering from the same problem, try the recommended fixes below.
Fix #1: Enable the No-Execute Memory Protect feature
Some users said that enabling the XD-bit or the No-Execute Memory Protect feature on Windows 10 can prevent the boot loop error to occur. Because this feature is disabled by default, you have to manually enable it by following these steps:
- Reboot your computer.
- While your screen is booting up, press the key that will get you into the BIOS settings. You should see this key in your user’s manual or at the bottom-most part of the screen upon startup.
- Once you are in the BIOS menu, locate the XD-bit tab.
- Enable this feature and select Save to apply your changes.
- Now, restart your computer and check if it boots in a way that it’s supposed to.
Fix #2: Perform a System Restore
Windows 10 has this handy feature that can be used for fixing OS problems like the “Preparing Automatic Repair” boot loop error. This feature is called System Restore. Since the error keeps you from accessing your computer’s OS, you need to boot your device from an installation media. After that, follow these steps:
- Set your preferred language.
- On the window where the Install Now button is being displayed, select the Repair Your Computer option.
- Choose the operating system you want to fix.
- At this point, the Recovery Options menu should appear. Select System Restore.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to proceed with the system restoration.
- Once completed, reboot your computer and it should no longer be stuck in the “Preparing Automatic Repair” loop.
Fix #3: Reinstall Windows 10
If the first two solutions did not work, there is a chance that the error is triggered by your Windows 10 installation. And in this case, reinstalling Windows 10 should do the trick.
To reinstall Windows 10 the easy way, follow this guide:
- Open the Settings app.
- Choose Update and Security.
- Select Recovery.
- Navigate to the Reset This PC section and hit the Get Started button.
- Choose the “Remove everything.” Take note that this will remove and wipe all your settings and files, so be sure you have prepared a backup.
- Windows 10 will now be reinstalled. Wait for the installation process to be completed and check if the boot loop error is gone.
Fix #4: Check your hardware components
If reinstalling Windows doesn’t eliminate the error, it is possible that the problem is hardware-related. For instance, your computer has a corrupt or failing HDD or SSD. In this case, check your HDD or SSD if there are problems.
Fix #5: Run a Startup Repair
There are times when you can get past the error screen but the startup still fails. So, in this fix, we will try to resolve startup problems. Here’s how:
- Click the Advanced Options button.
- Hit the Troubleshoot button and navigate to Advanced Options.
- Select Startup Repair and wait as Windows diagnoses and fixes any underlying startup problems.
- Once the diagnosing process is done, check if the error persists.
Fix #6: Use the Command Prompt
You can also use the Command Prompt to resolve the boot loop error. To do that, here’s a quick guide:
- Hit the Advanced Options button.
- Choose Troubleshoot and select Advanced Options.
- Click Command Prompt and input the drive letter of your primary drive.
- Hit Enter.
- Now, input the commands below. Make sure to hit Enter after each command:
- md backup
- copy *.* backup
- cd regback
- copy *.* ..
- Command Prompt will now ask if you wish to overwrite the files. Input A and hit Enter.
- Proceed by selecting Yes.
- Close the Command Prompt and hit Continue.
- Check if the error is now gone.
Fix #7: Update your device drivers
Sometimes, the “Preparing Automatic Repairs” error is triggered by device driver issues. So, in this fix, we will try to update any outdated device driver.
To do so, refer to the steps below:
- Click Advanced Options.
- Select Troubleshoot and go to Advanced Options.
- Choose Startup Settings.
- Hit F5 to choose the Safe Mode with Networking option.
- Once your computer has booted into Safe Mode with Networking, press the Windows + R This will launch the Run utility.
- Into the text field, input devmgmt.msc to launch Device Manager.
- Double-click on Display Adapters and right-click on your current display driver.
- Click Update Driver and select the Search Automatically for updated driver software button.
- Wait for Windows to find and download new drivers for your PC.
- Once the new device drivers have been installed, check if the issue persists.
If you feel that the steps are too technical for you, feel free to use a Driver Updater tool instead. This will allow you to update your device drivers in just a click without having to worry about compatibility problems.
Fix #8: Repair any corrupted data
If a corrupted hard disk is causing the issue, then disconnect the SATA cable and remove the hard disk completely. And then, connect it to another computer. Try to boot from it. If you see the Repair the HDD option, select it and wait for it to be fixed.
Fix #9: Rebuild CBD
If your computer’s boot files have gone missing or are corrupted, you may encounter the “Preparing Automatic Repair” error on Windows 10. To fix this, some users tried rebuilding the boot record by following this guide:
- Insert a Windows bootable installation media into your computer.
- Boot your computer from this media.
- Choose your language preference.
- Hit Next to proceed.
- Select the Repair Your Computer option.
- Click Troubleshoot.
- Choose Command Prompt.
- Into the command line, input the commands below and hit Enter after each command.
- bootrec /fixmbr
- bootrec /fixboot
- bootrec /scanos
- bootrec /rebuildbcd
- Now, input exit and hit Enter.
- Restart your computer.
Fix #10: Restore the Windows Registry
If all else fails, try to restore the Windows Registry. For a guide on how to do this, refer to the instructions below:
- In the Windows Boot Options window, select Troubleshoot.
- Navigate to Advanced Options and select Command Prompt.
- Once the Command Prompt launches, input the cd C:\windows\system32\logfiles\srt\ command followed by Enter. Make sure to change your drive letter accordingly.
- Next, input txt to open the file in notepad.
- After that, press the CTRL + O keys simultaneously.
- Choose All Files and navigate to this location: C:\windows\system32.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt and select the Run as Administrator option.
- Backup your files by renaming the Software, SAM, Default, and Security files.
- Input the commands below. Make sure to hit Enter after each one of them.
- rename DEFAULT DEFAULT.bakrename SAM SAM.bak
- rename SECURITY SECURITY.bak
- rename SOFTWARE SOFTWARE.bak
- rename SYSTEM SYSTEM.bak
- Now, input copyc:\windows\system32\config\RegBack c:\windows\system32\config and hit Enter.
- Restart your computer.
Automatic Repair is quite useful in repairing problems on Windows 10. But like other tools, it has flaws and limitations. Sometimes, it fails to work and throws error messages like the “Preparing Automatic Repair” boot loop error. Fortunately, it can be fixed with minimal help.
In this post, we have shared useful fixes that can get rid of the “Preparing Automatic Repair” issue on Windows 10. If the error message still shows until now, then other more serious things could be causing it. This requires help from professional and certified Windows technicians.
Which of the above fixes resolved the “Preparing Automatic Repair” problem for your case? We’d like to hear about your experience below.