Question Brand New PC stuck in Boot Loop "Preparing Automatic Repair" (Very Strange)

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
I just finished building this PC last night (Image). I booted it up without trying to install an OS or anything, I just wanted to take a peek at the BIOS, check temps, etc. This is what I saw the very first time I booted. Unfortunately, that's the only pic I took. I may have tampered with some things in the BIOS that I shouldn't have, but nothing too drastic as far as I can remember. The main thing I remember doing was setting the DOCP profile to Profile #1, to change my memory speeds from the auto 2133 MHz to what my rated speeds should be (3200 MHz). I now realize that may have caused instability issues, although I'm not sure that was the problem. I also went into the EZ tuning Wizard, and it basically calculated and applied a small overclock on my CPU, DRAM, and CPU Fan (Something like 5-8%, I don't remember the exact values now). don't think I changed anything else, maybe the Aura Sync from Always On to Stealth or something (Just changes whether the LED's on the mobo stay on or off when the PC is off). Again, I NOW realize I should have left everything alone on my first boot. Anyways- saved my BIOS settings then shut it down. I put Windows 10 on a USB, put it in the new PC, went into the BIOS and set it to boot from the USB.

I hit f10 to save BIOS settings and boot from my USB with Windows 10 on it. It booted to the Windows Setup menu and whatnot. I went through it, and when it wanted me to choose a drive to install Windows to, I clicked my 1tb M.2 SSD and hit next (Without formatting the drive or anything, as those options were grayed out anyways). Keep in mind, neither of my HDDs, nor my M.2 SSD had any data on them beforehand, as they are brand new, so I believe this was fine. It proceeded just fine, and installed Windows 10 onto the M.2 like I wanted. I proceeded to open Microsoft Edge to try and download Opera GX (trusted web browser) and Steam. At this point, I was unaware Windows was doing a bunch of Driver updates or something to that extent in the background, as I unfortunately learned from this video AFTER everything went down last night, although again, I'm not sure trying to install 2 programs is the issue at hand. I hit Ctrl+Shift+Esc and took a quick look at what my hardware was doing. I was stoked to see 0-1% CPU usage and 5% RAM usage, everything looked good, etc. I proceeded to run the Steam installation, and after going through a couple steps....

Out of nowhere, my PC shut down, and restarted. Or tried to anyways, it loaded this screen allowing me to open the BIOS if I wanted (I did not, just let it continue), then a couple seconds later I got this message, which tried to load for a couple more seconds, then my PC turned off and immediately back on again, showed the same 2 screens, then shut off, and so on. After it did this several times, I opened the BIOS from that first screen. It launched just fine and did not crash on me or anything. I tried booting from my M.2 SSD, but it just gave me the same message and did the same boot loop. I basically hit F5 which I believe should reset the motherboard to all of its default settings (Reset the DOCP and overlocking stuff and anything else I had changed in the BIOS earlier). I hit f10 to save and restart, but I had the same boot loop issue. I opened the BIOS again, did a hard shut down, and went to bed.

Now, since then, I have researched a bunch of stuff literally all day today, and obviously nothing has worked as I'm now typing this massive essay. I re-seated my RAM and GPU. I wiped the usb I had installed Windows 10 on and did a clean install again. But whether I try to boot from my M.2 or USB, I just get the same boot loop. The only difference is when I try to boot from the M.2 drive, I get the "Preparing Automatic Repair" message. When I try to boot from the Windows 10 USB, I get this loading screen. No matter what, I CAN get into my BIOS, and I have tried changing a few things I've seen threads about and what have you, but to no avail. I cleared CMOS and tried to boot off the USB, cleared CMOS and tried to boot off the M.2. I cleared secure boot keys in key management, tried to secure boot Windows UEFI mode (rather than Other OS) from my usb, then installed default secure boot keys again. No change. I hit F5 and cleared CMOS again. Tried the same thing but from the M.2. Nothing. I've tried some other stuff too I think, I don't even remember what, but I know it didn't work, lol.

So what I'm thinking so far: I messed something tf up and resetting my motherboard/clearing CMOS/booting from a new USB isn't fixing anything. I'm lead to believe the problem could be something to do with my M.2 SSD. Maybe some important files were corrupted while Windows was trying to install and I was doing other things (setting up steam). Or maybe my PC just crashed due to some hardware error, possibly because of my going where I shouldn't in the BIOS, which perhaps corrupted some important files.

Maybe I can wipe my M.2 SSD from the BIOS somehow? Maybe that would do something? If I have to try and take it out I will, but I wanna be sure there's nothing else I can try first, because that thing is going to be a HUGE PAIN to remove, and I'm clueless as to whether that's even the problem. If you have read this far thank you SO much for your time, I really appreciate it!! And if you have ANY ideas please let me know, I am so frustrated having a $3k build, and I can't evEN BOOT THE THING REEEEEEEEEEE
 
Feb 18, 2020
8
0
10
0
Try in bios to run cpu with only 2 cores i had the same problem i of rebooting and memory test kept crashing till i went and changed the cpu to 2 core and windows booted fine
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
Advise PC specs.


The problem is likely you installed Windows with more that one drive attached. You need to disconnect any drive other than the install USB and the OS drive. Go into the BIOS and make sure it has been set to the default values and the USB is set as the first boot drive, then follow these instructions. https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/
Thank you, I'm going to try this first. These are my specs. Would you recommend leaving the OS Type in the BIOS as "Other OS" or "Windows UEFI Mode?"
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
Last edited:

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
I checked the BIOS configuration and I could not find those choices. If there are only these two, than Other OS, unless you configured your hdd with GPT configuration. Whatever the default configuration is I would leave it alone. https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/SocketAM4/ROG_CROSSHAIR-VII-HERO/E13835_ROG_CROSSHAIR_VII_HERO_UM_WEB.pdf

If you have a problem I would first enable CSM in the boot section. 3-20
That's the Crosshair VII Hero, I have the Crosshair VIII Hero. Either way, I tried both Other OS and Windows UEFI Mode in the BIOS, I still got the same boot loop with both.
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
First confirm you are booting from a USB install media and there is only one drive attached. Since the original install probably went awry with multiple drives connected, you will need to start from scratch

I checked the Vlll hero which is pretty much identical to the Vll, , still I can't find those choices, but that may be the result of a BIOS upgrade. https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/SocketAM4/ROG_CROSSHAIR_VIII_HERO/E15379_ROG_CROSSHAIR_VIII_HERO_UM_WEB.pdf Again, set the BIOS to default settings and if that bombs, than check page 3-21 to enable CSM.
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
First confirm you are booting from a USB install media and there is only one drive attached. Since the original install probably went awry with multiple drives connected, you will need to start from scratch

I checked the Vlll hero which is pretty much identical to the Vll, , still I can't find those choices, but that may be the result of a BIOS upgrade. https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/SocketAM4/ROG_CROSSHAIR_VIII_HERO/E15379_ROG_CROSSHAIR_VIII_HERO_UM_WEB.pdf Again, set the BIOS to default settings and if that bombs, than check page 3-21 to enable CSM.
I unplugged the SATA and power for both of my other drives so my only drive was my M.2 and of course USB, I set Boot Option #1 to my USB and disabled any other boot options. Same problem. I'm now going to enable CSM, should I enable that and leave all other options default:

Boot Device Control - UEFI and Legacy OPROM
Boot from Network Devices - Legacy Only
Boot from Storage Devices - Legacy Only
Boot from PCI-E/PCI Expansion Devices - Legacy Only

Or should I change any of these? And should I keep the Boot Config as Default again? (Other OS)

Edit: I enabled CSM and left everything else Default. I got the same boot loop. But when I opened the BIOS and looked at the boot options, there are now 4 options instead of 2, and the USB is listed twice (once as UEFI). The M.2 is listed twice as well. Keep in mind I DID make sure that Boot Option 1 was USB and Boot Option 2 was DISABLED then hit f10 to save those settings. Pics: [IMG 1] [IMG 2]

This is what it looked like before: [IMG 3]
 
Last edited:

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
Try in bios to run cpu with only 2 cores i had the same problem i of rebooting and memory test kept crashing till i went and changed the cpu to 2 core and windows booted fine
Thanks for your response, can I ask how you ran it using only 2 cores and why that worked for you? Did you have the same problem that I'm having, where originally Windows did install but then you crashed and from there on had a boot loop?
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
Remove the Graphics Card and then see the problem is fixed or not. If your problem is fixed after removing the Graphics Card, it may be the problem with PSU.
Thanks for your interest in helping me, I will give this a try if all else fails. My GPU is gonna be a huge huge huge pain to remove completely, as my cooler is so massive than I can barely see the tab to release the GPU. D:
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
The boot order should be 1) boot manager 2) USB without UEFI prefix

IOW, looking at img #2. Boot Option #1, should be what is shown as Boot Option #2
Boot Option #2, should be what is shown as Boot Option #4 and drive for USB priorities should remain the same; all others should be disabled. Check that Secure Boot and Fast Boot are disabled.
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
So if I understand correctly, this is what it should look like? as you can see in the 2nd photo, secure boot is enabled and I can't change it, it's grayed out. I did disable fast boot, and disabled Hard Drive BBS Priorities. Is that what you were saying? Sorry if I didn't quite understand. I tried booting with these settings but same boot loop.
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
Sorry I somehow deleted the last half of that message. I did enable hard drive Priorities and add the other m.2 option as boot 3 but I got the same boot loop (with the preparing automatic repair message).
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
I'm getting close to being tapped out. Try putting the USB in the #1 boot. If that doesn't work, try booting the USB in UEFI mode; using the UEFI - USB in the #2 boot. and if that doesn't work move it to the #1 boot.

At this point I would try to create another USB install media, because it should boot regardless of most the other BIOS option. You may also try to use another drive rather than the m.2.

As a final option I would look at this link https://www.techjunkie.com/disable-secure-boot-asus/
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
This apparently can be an issue.

Hello All,
Have a question but I am going to give you the specs first.
M5A99 EVO Rev 2.0
32GB RAM
2 ATI 380 4GB's
197GB Partition non solid state
UEFI and Secure Boot turned off
Windows 10 ISO (Version 1607 to my knowledge)
So now that we have that out of the way. I have been in IT 20+ years have experience on Microsoft Platforms going back to 3.1 and still do sandboxing at home. Last night I decide to do a clean install on this workstation start the install at 10pm. This morning when I got up at 7am the install was finally at the product key screen. I put in product key and then of course next, next. Get to drive selection screen and then of course dreaded hour glass again. Why does Windows 10 take so long to install. It has to be something with Windows 10 mechanism and I am guessing hardware. I mean this is not the only box I have seen this on. Why is it so damn horrible. Is just because uefi and secure boot are off or what. I mean my boxes are not lean by any means. I mean this is just unsatisfactory. Not sure who developed this but to take 14-24 hours to install an OS on a fresh clean partition with high end hardware is just crazy. If it is because UEFI and secure boot is there any way around this. I have never seen a Windows install that is this utterly horrible.
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it. I will give all these options a go here in a bit tonight. If nothing works, is it possible that I could get into a discord call with you or something of the sort at some point tomorrow? I feel that could be a lot more effective than this forum. 😂
 

onespeedbiker

Respectable
Apr 13, 2019
2,327
176
2,390
133
Hopefully you can get this done. I pretty sure at this point the USB should be the first boot option. other than that, you should be able install windows with the default BIOS and a MSMCT created install USB. If you can get into the Recovery Enviornment, I would use the Diskpart the command prompt and delete the partition(s) Windows may have created so you start with a blank drive.
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
I absolutely think you're right, I believe if I can get into the recovery environment I can wipe my m.2 and hopefully be golden from there. At least I'm hopeful, it still doesn't explain why I had that crash after I had set up windows just fine the very first time I booted. But I will let you know what happens. Thanks again!
 

purplealligator

Honorable
Dec 23, 2014
23
0
10,510
0
I don't know. I tried a bunch of boot configurations. I tried yet another clean Windows install on a different USB, and more boot configurations, to no avail. I'm not sure what to do at this point. There is ASUS Secure Erase, which is looking more and more compelling for me to try. It would wipe my M.2 completely. But my drive is not listed on their compatible SSD's list, and the warning says if it's not compatible it could render the SSD completely unusable. So. I just feel completely stuck.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS