How to Fix Windows 10 Start-Up Problems – Automatic Repair Loop, Infinite Boot, Black Screen

Recently, there have been several reports from Windows 10 users facing different kinds of startup issues with Windows 10. These issues include but are not limited to:

  • Automatic Repair Loop; where Windows attempts to boot but crashes and pops a blue screen saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”, then after some time it says “Automatic repair couldn’t repair your PC”, it then restarts automatically and goes back into automatic repair, hence creating an automatic repair loop.
  • Infinite Booting; where Windows gets to a certain stage of booting (e.g. spinning circle) and remains there with the circles spinning indefinitely and never getting to the desktop.
  • Black Screen; where Windows attempts to boot up and gets stuck on a black screen (with or without a mouse pointer) and remains there with no further information on the boot status.

In this tutorial, you will find three possible ways to fix these problems or some other start-up problems you might be experiencing with Windows 10. There are several possible reasons for such start-up problems.

Among many other possible reasons, it could happen after Windows has installed certain updates that it finds incompatible with the software distribution or after you make certain changes to your system settings. It could even be due to certain applications you have installed on your PC or some activities that triggered abrupt shutdown hence altering your boot configurations.

If you’re able to figure out the event that led to this problem, then you wouldn’t need to try all three methods, you could simply pick the method that is more likely to solve your problem and implement it. So, was it after installing some system updates or drivers, was it after attaching some hardware components to your PC or was it after installing some applications?

Generally, the first method is most suitable if you have just installed some applications before you began experiencing this problem, the second and third methods are more suitable in just about any other cases with a slight exception which I will explain later in the post.

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METHOD 1: Troubleshoot in Safe Mode

Here the idea is to boot into Windows safe mode and from there you can modify or uninstall the application(s) that might be causing this startup problem. To do that, the first step is to hard restart your computer three times when it gets to the spinning circle, automatic repair, or black screen.

So, for instance, while on the spinning circle screen, simply press and hold down the power button for about 5 seconds till you observe a sudden shut down of the computer. Then press the power button to turn it on again. Repeat this process two or three more times.

After the third hard restart, you should see a screen that says “preparing automatic repair”, “diagnosing your PC”, “attempting repairs”, or some other similar messages.

If your PC is able to repair this problem automatically, then from here you should have it boot back to your desktop. If not, then you will see a blue screen like this which says “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC”, and it gives you the option of either shutting down or going to advanced options, here choose Advanced options.

On this page, select Troubleshoot.

It should bring you to this page. Here select Advanced Options once again.

Then on the page that follows, click on Startup settings.

On the page that follows, click on Restart.

Upon restarting, it should show the startup settings page again, this time with numbers next to each startup option. As shown here, 4 will boot you to safe mode, so by pressing f4 or just the number 4 on my keyboard, your PC should boot to safe mode.

While in safe mode, you can simply go to my Windows search and type add or remove programs, then click on the add or remove programs from the search result.

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It should take you to the apps and features page.

Here you need to locate the application or applications that you recently installed and uninstall them. Then restart your computer and see if it boots up fine.

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METHOD 2: Manually Edit Your Registry Configuration

Here the idea is to edit your startup registry using the registry backup command regback. What this command does is to replace your registry configuration with the last known good configuration you have on your PC.

So basically changing your registry configuration to the configuration of your most recent successful boot-up. To do that you will need to go back to this advanced options screen again, you can do the three hard restarts again if you can’t get through from the previous fix. On this page click on the command prompt option.

It should open up this command prompt terminal. Here, type the letter of the disk drive where you installed your operating system, usually is the drive c or in some cases, it could be drive d if you have configured it so. Here type in c: and hit enter. Next, type dir and hit enter.

Here if you find the folders such as Program Files, Program Files (x86), together with other folders like Users, and Windows, then you’re in the right drive otherwise type in another drive letter e.g. d: and hit enter, then dir again. Do this until you find the drive with the kind of files described above as shown in the image below.

Before running the regback command, back up the current registry in case you have some need to restore it afterward. For that, type the command cd \windows\system32\config, and hit enter. Next, type MD backup and hit enter. Now type, copy *.* backup and hit enter.

After that, type in CD regback and hit enter. Next, type “dir” once again, and here you should have a bunch of items with some 6, 7, or 9 digit numbers next to them.

NOTE: If you do not see the kind of numbers described above or if you have zeros as I have in this case, then just exit this fix and move to the next fix in this video. For this solution to be feasible and to avoid further complications to your computer, please check that you have the kind of numbers I mentioned here, otherwise just type exit and move to the next fix.

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If you have valid numbers here, then go ahead and type the command copy *.* .. and hit enter. Then type in to overwrite all.

Finally, type exit and hit enter to complete the process. It should take you back to this page below, and from here you can choose to continue to start up your computer or shut down.

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SOLUTION 3: Using the Start-up Repair Tool

The third fix is similar to the second only that this time we will be using the start-up repair tool. So again you need to get back to this blue advanced options window. From here click on start-up repair.

Then select the user account you want to fix, enter the password and hit continue. It should start diagnosing your PC. After some time it starts attempting some repairs.

This could take quite some time depending on what your computer is trying to fix, if this continues for an unusually long period of time, say 20 to 30 minutes, then you should consider stopping the process and trying some other fix. If this gets successful you should be able to log back into your computer.

If all three fixes fail, then you can consider running a system restore, for that you will need to make a bootable USB with Windows 10 installation media. Then on the initial setup screen, select “Repair your computer”, on the screen that follows select “Troubleshoot”. Then next select “Advanced options”, and “System Restore”. This will try to restore your system to some initial state if you have set some restore points previously.

You can also see this article for other suggestions that can help resolve Automatic Repair Loop Issues in Windows 10.

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Hope this was able to help you out. If you have any questions regarding the procedures, please post in the comment section to get more help. The video below demonstrates most of the suggestions discussed above.

The following video demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.

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