• How to get out of Windows’ Automatic Repair loop

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    SUPPORT By Randy McElveen There are hundreds of reasons why your PC might get stuck trying to repair itself, putting your PC into an Automatic Repair
    [See the full post at: How to get out of Windows’ Automatic Repair loop]

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    • #2487019

      Randy, the bottom line here is that Windows 10 and 11 lack the kind of repair install that was possible with Windows 7, essentially refreshing the operating system with the original package of software in the ISO used to do the repair.

      As I always, I say “Make sure that the hardware is 100% functional first, then muck with the software”, else one runs the risk of contaminating the software further.

      That said, I have yet to find a way to repair Windows 10/11 with consistent and positive results, having followed many, if not all, of the steps in your article.  Then, too, more than half, for sure, of the Windows 10/11 “repairs” that hit here are due to hard drives gone wonky.

    • #2487021

      And to the point made in the wrap up of your article, most often, the “repair” of Windows 10/11 here is the replacement of the storage device, reinstallation of Windows, only after saving client data onto an SSD connected via USB.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2487054

      We use HP workstations and from time to time we run into problems rebooting after working under the hood on Windows 10 or after deleting apps using Revo Uninstaller.

      If a system fails to reboot after going through multiple repair cycles, we get an HP screen that offers multiple options for recovering the system.

      If all else fails, we use the HP recovery option that allows us to go to System Repair and restore the computer to a state that it was in before we broke the system.

      And System Restore almost always works.

      Of course, we have multiple backups if all else fails.

      Bottom line, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2487070

      Except for a munged Windows Update or a bad driver update, the only repairs I have ever been successsful with in Windows since Windows 10 came on the scene, are:

      Macrium Reflect Image Backup restore.

      or, Full Reinstall of Windows without saving my Data.

      For this and other reasons (some relating to today’s ever-increasing complexity of hardware and firmware) I now keep all my data and notes on all of my settings handy in multiple copies on different mechanical hard drives. These drives only connect with my computers when performing backup or restore operations. (Data can be kept up to date on flash drives and SSDs between major backup operations.)

      I never expect success with any other repair options for today’s Windows.

      In fact, I’ve begun taking a similar attitude toward restoring and repairing Linux. Trying to track down and remedy an issue is often more time consuming and frustrating than just blowing away the present installation and starting over from a know-stable point in the past.

      My Home Directory is my data backup in Linux, plus a few configuration system files which I save and create after a fresh install.

      In Linux I don’t even bother with Timeshift and similar programs. They just don’t guarantee rock-solid repairs or restorations.

      (For Linux instead of Macrium Reflect, I have Clonezilla or its newer GUI version, RescueZilla.)

      I’m just an end-user, not an IT Pro or a technician, so others may be able to make more sense of troubleshooting tools than I can.

      -- rc primak

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2491503

        Forget Rescuezilla. It does not work properly. Still seeking a working, powerful Linux backup and restore program with a nice GUII, to rival Macrium Reflect for Windows.

        -- rc primak

    • #2487125

      In his article, Randy mentions using chkdsk /R to try and get a disk up and running by repairing the file structure. He subsequently mentions that chkdsk /R will take a while on an SSD and even longer on a regular spinner (HDD).

      Pardon me, but I seem to recall reading several authoritative missives both here and on other sites that running chkdsk /R on an SSD was very strongly NOT recommended, and that the only part of chkdsk one should use on an SSD is the chkdsk /F option.

      Has that guidance changed in the last couple of years or last few months? If so, can links please be provided to this newer guidance?

      The reason for these questions is that I seem to recall reading that running chkdsk /R on an SSD would either dramatically shorten its life or actually damage the chips used for the SSD because of what it does in addition to what the chkdsk /F option does.

    • #2487144

      Thanks @Randy McElveen!  Your columns are insightful and an educational experience for me.

      I have a question.  Is there any particular reason you do the “chkdsk /r” repair first, and then the “chkdsk /f” repair?  I’ve always done it the other way ’round. My rationale is that if the issue is only with the logical file structure, I’ll be up and running much more quickly.  If the “/f” switch scenario takes a lot of time, and/or a bunch of errors are found and can’t be fixed, then I would run the “/r” switch.  I am curious to know if I’ve been doing it in the wrong order and the reason(s) why.

      • #2491612

        From Command Prompt chkdsk /r /?

        “/R Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information
        (implies /F, when /scan not specified).”

        If chkdsk /r has been run, /f has also been run, and there’s no need to repeat it.  If one chooses to run chkdsk /f again, it will indeed run, it’s just unnecessary.  Chkdsk /r is the only switch I use.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do to our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2487210

      What a timely article! Have one on my bench now that lost a lan connection and after client tried system restore was going through the loop. Initial diagnostics showed bad hdd. Got an image and file backup. Chkdsk brought it back to life after running most of the day and now drive tests good. Going to replace with SSD anyway though.

      Never Say Never

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