Automatic Repair is a built-in feature of Windows operating systems that is designed to fix computer issues for you. Sometimes, however, it can be an inconvenience rather than a source of relief, as it can get stuck in a startup repair loop.
Automatic Repair not working, stuck in continuous loading screen, is a well-documented issue in Windows 10/11 and 8. This article will serve as your quick guide to confidently navigate this problem on your own.
Why Automatic Repair Is Not Working
Windows Automatic Repair can get stuck in a loop of repairing and restarting, only to return to the repair stage.
Picture this: you left your computer in peace as you planned to get away for, say, a week. When you came back, you couldn’t play your favorite games on your desktop anymore; the problem persisted for three days and escalated to you being unable to get into your desktop anymore. And then the message flashed: “Automatic repair failed.”
You went to Advanced Options and tried to reset, but the system said it couldn’t be done and nothing could be changed. You tried the command prompt to fix any corrupt files, but to no avail as well.
It’s still unclear what exactly causes this Automatic Repair issue, whether it’s corrupted files or something else, but note that there are two common variations of the problem:
- Automatic Repair gets stuck on a black screen, showing the “Preparing Automatic Repair” error message.
- Automatic Repair fails and states: “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC.”
Unfortunately, there’s no amount of patience that can solve this problem; waiting it out typically doesn’t do the job. But there are a few reliable fixes you can try before going to a computer technician.
How to Fix Automatic Repair Not Working Issue
Before trying these solutions, make sure that you nothing is amiss in the hardware or the usual operations of your Windows computer. This is why it’s very important to get in the habit of using a Windows optimizer tool to clean out junk files and unnecessary stuff that get in the way of your machine’s steady, stable operations.
Now, let’s get to work and work our way down the following solutions:
Reset or Refresh Your Computer
No fix for this Automatic Repair issue can be simpler than directly refreshing or resetting your computer. In fact, it’s Microsoft’s prescribed solution to the endless loop. Microsoft provides the following steps:
- With the “Preparing automatic repair” window, press and hold the Power button three times. This will forcefully shut down your machine.
- The system will then enter the boot repair page. After two to three instances of reboot, choose Troubleshoot.
- Proceed to Refresh PC or Reset PC.
Disable Your Anti-Malware Software
Another method to crawl your way out of the Windows Automatic Repair loop is to disable your early launch anti-malware protection. Here are the steps to take:
- Go to Command Prompt in Windows Boot Options, which will show up after restarting your machine a few times.
- Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
- Once your computer restarts, it will offer a list of options.
- Select Disable early launch anti-malware protection.
- Restart your machine and check if you can finally boot into Windows.
Remove a Problematic File
Time and time again, you will come across problems because of corrupt files, including the Automatic Repair loop. Try to look into this possibility by following these steps:
- Go to the Windows Boot Options menu.
- Select Trouble Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.
- In the command line, type in C: cd Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt. SrtTrail.txt.
- When you see the message “Boot critical file c:\windows\system32\drivers\vsock.sys is corrupt,” go to the specific location via the Command Prompt.
- Enter the del command to delete the erroneous file.
Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10/11
Sometimes, even after performing basic solutions, Automatic Repair still won’t work and remains stuck in a continuous loading screen. In this case, a clean install has a good chance of working.
A clean install means installing a clean copy of the latest version of Windows 10/11 Home or Windows 10/11 Pro, as well as removing apps that you installed or came pre-installed on your computer. The good thing is you have the option to keep your personal files.
Note, however, that there are caveats to doing this. Using Microsoft’s clean install tool will remove all apps that don’t come standard with Windows, including Office and other popular Microsoft apps. You won’t be able to recover removed apps, which means you would have to manually reinstall them later in case you need them.
Make sure that you meet the system requirements for clean-installing Windows 10/11.
At one point, you might find that your Windows computer is stuck in a Windows Automatic Repair loop for days and days on end, without you doing anything differently before the problem arose. Try one of the solutions we provided above to address this Automatic Repair not working issues and get back on track.
Have you ever come across this annoying, persistent issue? What worked in your case? Do let us know in the comments below!