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fix windows 7 rebootingEvery morning I get up, switch on my PC and then go and prepare breakfast. By the time I’m done, Windows has booted up and I can start work.

But not today.

Unfortunately something had gone wrong with Windows 7 and the operating system was refusing to boot. Instead, the computer was caught in a reboot loop, unable to load the operating system and constantly restarting.

In previous versions of Windows this might have required a full reinstall or at least some messing around. Fortunately thanks to the way in which Windows 7 was designed it is possible to resolve a reboot loop in a relatively short space of time.

What Is an Infinite Reboot Loop?

Have you ever encountered an infinite reboot loop?

You would probably recall if you have. It is instantly recognisable by the failure of Windows to correctly load up after switching on your PC or laptop. Instead, the computer will reach a certain stage before the logon screen only to then reset back to the boot screen, at which point it will attempt to load Windows again, becoming caught in the loop (although in some cases it might successfully boot) again and again.

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The error occurs because of a problem with the Windows 7 system registry. Unfortunately without booting into Windows the registry cannot be fixed, leaving the operating system unreachable.

It’s a Catch 22 situation.

In order to overcome this problem, the tools provided in the Windows 7 System Recovery Options can be used.

Booting Into the System Recovery Options Screen

First you will need to boot your computer into the System Recovery Options screen. This is usually done with the installation DVD, which should be inserted into the optical drive. When the computer boots, Press any key to boot from CD or DVD as requested, select your language preference and then click Repair your computer. A list of installed operating systems should be displayed – select Windows 7 and click Next.

fix windows 7 rebooting

The System Recovery Options screen will appear. Select the first option, Use recovery tools that can help fix problems with Windows, and then select Startup Repair.

(If your computer has a pre-installed recovery partition, the process is a little difference. In this case, boot to the Advanced Boot Options screen, select Repair your computer and tap Enter. Next, select the keyboard language type, then your username and password before selecting Startup Repair in the System Recovery Options screen.)

With Startup Repair selected, Windows will attempt to automate the repair; this might work – otherwise, further action will be required.

Preparing Windows 7 Recovery

If the Startup Repair option fails, you will receive a message reading Windows cannot repair this computer automatically. At the bottom of the message, click View advanced options for system recovery and support to return to System Recovery Options, and instead click Command Prompt.

The black command line interface will open with X:\ selected by default; this is the Windows internal RAM disk that is used by System Repair. You will need to navigate to your Windows system drive, which will by default be on the C: drive.

To open this, type C: and press Enter. Type DIR and press Enter to check that you are in the right drive – the contents listed should include the Program Files, Users and Windows folders.

how to fix windows 7 reboot loop

You will then need to change directory. Enter CD \windows\system32\config and then DIR to check that the correct files and folders are listed:

  • RegBack
  • SAM

With access to the correct directory and the required folders present, enter MD mybackup to create a backup folder. Enter copy *.* mybackup to copy everything to this location, agreeing to the overwrite warnings when they appear.

how to fix windows 7 reboot loop

The RegBack folder stores automatic Windows registry backups. To check if these can be used in restoring your system, enter CD RegBack and then DIR to view the contents. In the folder, you should have the following:

  • DEFAULT, SAM and SECURITY files, each around 262,000 bytes
  • SOFTWARE file, around 26,000,000 bytes
  • SYSTEM file, around 9,900,000 bytes

Note that these figures are approximate, but recognise that if any of these files display a size of zero bytes then you will have to resort to another method of restoring Windows 7.

Running the Windows 7 Recovery

With your RegBack folder containing the data you need to restore Windows 7 and rescue it from the reboot loop, you will be able to copy the contents and use them to get the operating system back up and running again.

how to fix windows 7 reboot loop

Begin by entering copy *.* .. – note the two trailing dots. These indicate that the contents should be pasted to the level above – the Config folder. Agree to all prompts concerning whether you want to overwrite files, and once the process has completed enter exit to close the command prompt.

fix windows 7 rebooting

On the System Recovery Options screen, click Restart to reboot your PC – if everything has gone as it should, Windows 7 should now start correctly!


Reboot loops have long been a problem with Windows. While previous versions offered a couple of ways out in the recovery options, these solutions were far from comprehensive.

The same is true in Windows 7 but there is at least a much better success rate of dealing with infinite reboot loops.

When following the steps outlined here, please take care to follow them precisely. Errors that you make while using the command line interface cannot be undone. Note also that these steps don’t guarantee success – you should be prepared to reinstall Windows in the event that fixing the reboot loop fails.

  1. mojo706
    October 5, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Worked partially for windows server 2008 r2 but then I got stuck at Applying Computer Settings.

  2. Cole
    September 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    My problem is that I will start up my computer and see see [enter password] in a white box. It didn't do that in the beginning after I pressed a button, and I don't remember what button it was, and then it shows the Toshina start up screen and ask for my HDD/SSD and I put it in and repeat. I tried a bunch of things like Shift+R but still doesn't stop the cycle. Help?

    • Christian Cawley
      September 19, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Sounds as though you need to get back into your BIOS. Try F8, f12 or DEL when the computer first switches on.

  3. Alan R.
    September 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Hi Christian,

    I left a comment back on July 6, 2016. I see in the past couple of comments that you replied to them so maybe you can go back to July 6 and tell me if there is anything more I can do?!


  4. Kaelani
    August 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Ty it works

    • Christian Cawley
      August 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Glad to hear it!

  5. ts
    August 20, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I was having a really bad day and came home to an infinitely looping reboot. Tried so many things but yours was what fixed it! I'm so happy that people like you exist in this world!


    • Christian Cawley
      August 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Happy to have helped you out.

  6. Robin Utomo
    August 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Hey, i have succeeded on following your instructions before. But then i tried updsting my windows, and when it is installing the pc suddenly restarts and thus started the loop. And this time i failed. Any ideas?

    • Christian Cawley
      August 31, 2016 at 10:18 am

      During a Windows update/install, things are quite different. Are you dual booting?

  7. pj
    August 11, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    you saved me! i can't thank you enough!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!!! from the bottom of my heart! thank you!

  8. Alan R.
    July 6, 2016 at 3:51 am

    DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE, SYSTEM all show up with 0 bytes.

    What is this other "method of restoring Windows 7"?

    Can I copy DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE, SYSTEM from another computer with Windows 7?

    • Alan R.
      July 6, 2016 at 4:57 am

      UPDATE: I copied the DEFAULT, SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE, SYSTEM from another computer, restarted, and it STILL loops infinitely!

      I previously already did a FULL reinstall of Windows 7, which also formatted the HDD, so this should run as if it is fresh out the box. It doesn't. It just loops.

      The laptop (Toshiba Satellite L655-S5161x) is old, slow, and has essentially been replaced already, and ALL of my important files were manually removed using CMD prior to the reinstall... but that's not the point! The point is to get this thing to work!


  9. Help!
    June 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    What if we do not have a Windows 7 disc?

  10. Denys
    June 3, 2016 at 3:49 am

    I did this correctly but still when I restart it puts me back to the reboot screen

    • Mihai Ionescu
      June 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I guess it means the error in registry was propagated into the backup. that's not fun then. but i don't really know when windows decides to replace the registry backup with another backup

  11. Mihai Ionescu
    May 31, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Your article was my last chance to recover my win7 on my mac! You are indeed a savior ! :D I love you man !

  12. abhimanyu
    May 26, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    thanks a lot Christian Cawley, you are a savior, love u.

  13. abhimanyu
    May 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Thnaks Christian Cawley, love are a savior

  14. Ronan Cahill
    May 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Fair Play, I'd tries a lot of other earlier google results but to no result. This worked a treat and very clearly explained. Many Thanks. Ronan, Cahill Computers

  15. ruki
    May 3, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Dear Christian, you helped us a lot! This is the only working "solution" that we found in the net. There was nothing left we didn't try desperately, until we found your solution instruction, Thanks a lot, you are great! :)

    • Christian Cawley
      May 3, 2016 at 7:06 am

      Always good to see someone else has got results from a solution. :)

      I wonder if you have any plans to upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 7 is now 7 years old!

  16. Vicky
    April 27, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hi Christian Cawley,You have Really Done a Great Job My Writing this article and helping out tons of People,I'm Glad to say that it Works like a charm,Keep Rocking?

    • Christian Cawley
      April 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks Vicky, happy it helped you!

  17. dan
    March 28, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Thank you I have been up all might fixing my pc and this was the final step and it worked

    • Christian Cawley
      March 28, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Great - glad it has worked for you!

  18. Adnan Habib
    March 11, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I thank you so much bro. I was stuck and nothing could help me and finally this post came to my rescue.

  19. nelson
    March 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I'm a computer technician and this article makes me look like a pro. thanks. works like a charm

    • Christian Cawley
      March 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Great to read this works for you!

  20. Manjit Kaur Aujla
    January 23, 2016 at 5:10 am

    my system is stuck with loop. i followed your steps but after clicking on repair your computer top up menu is not opening. PLz help me.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Hi, can you recall how the problem started?

  21. Regina Mize
    December 29, 2015 at 12:44 am

    I am on an Alienware I-7 machine with Windows 7 and am stuck in an update failure loop with the message, "failure configuring windows updates, reverting changes, do not turn computer off" for 24 hours now. I finally tried rebooting, but it just goes back into the same loop unless I tap F8 upon restart, then I can get to the Safe Mode Screen.

    I am in safe mode with networking now and followed the instructions above but when I try to use the 'copy *.*' command I get the message that all 5 folders (SAM, SECURITY, DEFAULT, SOFTWARE, & SYSTEM) are in use by another process. So I can't continue. Any ideas why I am getting this message and what I need to do next?

    Just FYI, I also tried to repair my computer from the Startup Repair prompt but it said it could find no problems. Then I tried to do a System Restore. There were three restore point dates, but the restore failed on all of them. I also tried resetting my computer to the last known good configuration but that did not work either.

    I am now at a total loss and am wondering if I need to just restore the computer to factory settings. I don't have a disc drive, but there is an Alienspawn Restore option under the system recovery menu.

      January 22, 2016 at 2:33 am

      You have to boot in start up repair. Not in safe mode.

      • Regina Mize
        January 22, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        Thanks for the reply, but You must have missed where I stated that I already tried to boot up in start up repair and that didn't work.

        Since my comment was over a month ago, I did eventually find a solution. Here is what I finally had to do after all other attempts to repair and restore failed, and after spending 4 hours on the phone with Microsoft tech support.

        First, since my Alienware laptop has no CD/DVD drive, I had to get on another computer and download the operating system onto a blank flash drive. This took almost an hour. Then I had to go into the advanced boot drive screen in System BIOS (how you access this is different depending on your computer, but on my system you hit repeatedly upon powering up) and change the boot option to external drive. Then you save and exit and turn off the system. Next you put in the USB flash drive and restart. This allows the computer to boot up from the USB drive, bypass the failure loop, and reinstall the operating system. However, this does completely wipe your computer to factory settings and does require that all software be reinstalled.

        I ended up installing Windows 10 and have not had any problems since. Hope this helps someone else who is having the same issue where start up repair and system restore does not work.

        • Regina Mize
          January 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm

          The key you hit repeatedly to get into BIOS on my system was F2.

        • Regina Mize
          January 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

          I also forgot to mention that after the new operating system is installed you have to rremove the USB drive, and restart the computer and go back into the System BIOS and change the boot drive back to what it was before. Then again save and exit and restart.

  22. Dude
    December 7, 2015 at 8:06 am

    works a treat, thanks muchly.

  23. Sidfro
    December 6, 2015 at 5:56 am

    When I enter CD \windows\system32\config and then DIR it doesn't show the files you have listed
    out of these only it shows SAM and Security nothing else and after that I can't proceed further plz help me out plzzzzzzz !!!!!!!!!

  24. Loloe
    November 17, 2015 at 6:46 am

    had been trying to fix my laptop for weeks. thanx a lot for this article. worked like a charm

  25. David
    November 12, 2015 at 1:13 am

    I had resorted to reinstalling Windows due to this issue. When my computer continued with the infinite loop cycle after trying to boot from cd to reinstall..... I was prepared to buy a new HDD. One final web search produced this article.

    And it worked perfectly!!

  26. Dave
    November 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks a lot - worked perfectly.

  27. Ionescu Cristian
    November 5, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Is there anything I can do if I don't have enough space on my drive?

    • Christian Cawley
      November 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Delete files you don't need. Naturally, this will involve removing the HDD and installing it in a second PC.

  28. Saad S. Khalis
    October 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Great job.. a life savior.

  29. Michael Whitehorn
    October 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Couldn't find the various folders in the C: Drive, found them in the F: Drive though, and when I copied them over and checked the DIR they all had 0 bytes. Have tried reinstalling windows but when restarting the reboot loop continues.

  30. Adam Roussis
    September 25, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Thank you my friend, it worked great, I saved time and money thanks to you. You are my saver.

  31. Gerdi Freitag
    September 14, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Hi there, it worked fantastically, and the description is wonderful to understand even for me as a german. Thank you very much for posting such solutions and go on like that.!!!

  32. Mark Jackson
    September 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Awesome article! Worked like a champ!

  33. Sreevathsav S
    August 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    in the last stage files display a size of zero bytes, what to do? how to resort to normal installation in this situation, my windows are being installed in the D drive

  34. Prence Genesis
    July 31, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Worked for me. Thanks!

  35. Eric Bruce
    July 23, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    for Rinaldo. Look in your installed updates and uninstall the Windows WAT update KB971033 is you see it. Paste the KB # into the search bar and if you see it, uninstall it. This causes the fake Windows not genuine error. MSFT got sneaky and tries to always offer it with automatic update. You don't want it and it doesn't do anything good for you if you go get it. They will say its for a security issue but it's really just to try and catch people with non genuine Windows. If you have a genuine Windows that starts up with that message or see that not genuine thing in bottom rt corner of desktop get rid of that update. Do not try to install the so called WAT removers utilities as they almost all contain malware and viruses and don't do anything to fix the initial issue. Actually even having a Windows serial keygen or crack or windows activator/WAT remover somewhere and Windows detects it, and you have the WAT update installed you will get that fake "not genuine" message even if your windows is genuine. If you are doing a clean install and don't have that update yet, keep a close eye for it if you use Windows update as soon as you see it offered you need to hide that update or they will keep trying to make you install it. They will offer it every time until you hide it.

  36. Eric Bruce
    July 23, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    This doesn't work. So what is the repair option for when this doesn't work? No matter what option selected from Advanced boot menu (f8) still just boots to the recovery environ. Please no replies about using System Restore or clean installing Windows. That is not acceptable answers to how to repair anything. Windows 7 sp 1 64 bit

  37. Dawnry Davocol
    June 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    it didnt work,when i followed the instructions and restarted my computer it always take me to a start up repair window.

  38. Nick
    May 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I'd specifically note where there are spaces in the command inputs. It was pretty hard for me to tell this the first time around. But the fix works great! Now I just have to figure out why windows keeps messing up the registry periodically even when I haven't changed anything from one boot to the next...

  39. Rinaldo
    May 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Chris, works for me!! But when I login windows displays "this copy of windows is not genuine"
    Can you help please?

  40. Anonymous
    May 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Thank's for this

  41. Rimvydas
    May 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Works like magic!!! After hours of try/fail this fix worked! Thanks a lot. Keep doing great job.

  42. Nauman
    May 2, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Thanks brother! It worked!

  43. Lui Calibre
    March 22, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Where do u get the cd

  44. Helder
    March 17, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks! Saved me windows install after the KB3033929 botch...

  45. Cata P.
    March 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this, it worked perfectly! You saved me today :) Thank you!

    • Christian Cawley
      March 16, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Always good to hear we've helped someone!

  46. Nikhil
    January 22, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Note that these figures are approximate, but recognise that if any of these files display a size of zero bytes then you will have to resort to another method of restoring Windows 7. I'm asking about this apparently i'm stuck here. And the windows is now not reading any USB devices or DVD ROM. HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Nikhil
    January 22, 2015 at 1:55 am

    What is the other alternate way you are talking about? Can you please help me with that one.

  48. Tony
    January 5, 2015 at 2:08 am

    I don't ever leave comments like these but I felt I needed to for this one because your solution worked perfectly.
    I use cmd.exe as my shell, although recently I changed it back to explorer - and the problems came rolling in. After following this guide, not only was the boot loop broken but I was returned to my usual cmd shell. Thank you.

  49. Anonymous
    January 3, 2015 at 6:35 am

    That works finally! Thank you!!!!

  50. Anonymous
    January 1, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Thanks mate. Worked out for me :)

  51. harsha
    December 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    After i press CD windowssystem32config says that the path will not exist .What i have to do if path does not exist

    • Tony
      January 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

      You must seperate each directory with forward slash or backshlash.
      So the command is "cd c:/windows/system32/config/"

  52. oliverh
    December 11, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    im having this issue with an infinite reboot loop. but a bit different. its windows 8, and when i select to boot from cd drive, it doesnt do that, like it doesnt recognize the setting.

    computer reboots on black screen right before OS logon screen.

    anyone got any ideas

  53. Billy
    January 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm


    When I run dir on the C: drive I get "File Not Found".

    I know C: is my system drive and I have tried ever other letter just to be sure.

    Any ideas?



  54. Lisa
    January 15, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Thank you so much for your simple and easy explanation on how to solve the Windows 7 looping problem on startup. My work laptop went into a loop and although I was delayed for half a day, I was able to repair it and get everything working again without having to send it off to our IT guy who charges a fortune and was talking about a full system wipe. Thanks again your help was invaluable!

  55. Lashana
    December 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Did nothing keeps saying cannot find the path so thanks for nothing

    • Christian Cawley
      December 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

      From the conclusion: "Note also that these steps don’t guarantee success – you should be prepared to reinstall Windows in the event that fixing the reboot loop fails."

      Sorry that you didn't manage to fix your problem, Lashana. Don't forget to let us know how you resolve it.

  56. Brenden Barlow
    December 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

    i had this happen to me the other day....not fun....your article would have helped a lot then lol

  57. billy
    November 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    thanks mate...good save...i got stuck at copy *.* .. for all those stuck there its actually
    (copy [space] *.* [space] ..

    Note: the 2 spaces and the 2 dots..

  58. venkatesh
    November 17, 2012 at 4:45 am

    i used windows7/windows8 os on my pc before ,now i format it and i'm using windows7 only but when i start my pc it will ask chose your os windows7 or windows 8,
    how to clear this problem?

    • Christian Cawley
      November 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

      This isn't really a reboot loop problem of course - your will need a boot menu editing tool to remove Windows 8 and thereby end the OS choice menu

  59. Will
    November 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Christian, thanks for your article.

    I've not been able to start windows7 for about a week since the last Windows update and my kids installed latest iTunes. I've tried repair and reverting back to previous save points incrementally until I'm pretty much back to the original win7 configuration (which for this machine was early 2012). I then tried your fix above but no luck. Still fails on Starting Windows -> bluescreen of death -> startup repair.

    Can still get to cmd prompt.

    Feels like the next option is reinstalling Win7.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanx Will

    • Christian Cawley
      November 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Will

      Sadly as mentioned, this isn't a universal fix. There are times when these steps won't work, at which point the only option is to reinstall 7

      • Will
        November 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        Thanks Christian anyway - worth a try.

  60. Karandeep Ajmani
    November 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I want to buy you a beer man. You just saved my ass. Thanks a lot for this

  61. Fernando
    October 30, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Hello and thanks for this great article, it is incredibly clear and easy to follow.

    However, I still have a problem.
    My "loop" started after installing Windows Updates a few nights ago.

    Following your article, everything went well up until the copy function 'copy *.* ..' from the regback folder.
    Everything but Software gets copied and gives me an error message indicating that it is not able copy it due to an I/O error; but it copied the rest, a total of 6 files.

    The Software file is about twice as large as mentioned in the article, displaying 47mil bytes; yet it still fails to be copied.

    Booting up results in the same loop as before; Startup repair starts and then mentions that it can't be automatically fixed.

    Anything I can do?


  62. Derek
    October 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

    You sir have made my night, like hell I would have figured out the registry trick on my own.... and here I was worried my SSD was dead.
    many many <3's

  63. Travis
    October 19, 2012 at 1:37 am

    I tried doing these steps but there is a problem. First, when the first screen comes up to select a driver, it comes up with Windows 7, Partion size 0 location unknown. I still click next and follow the steps and the list of things that should come up do not. I dont know what to do

    • Christian Cawley
      October 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      What is displayed when you click Next?

  64. AG
    October 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Im still having trouble with this. Its once i opened command prompt to attempt to fix my computer. What happend was i did what i was supposed to do in the first steps which was, type in "C:" and then dir. However it wasn't intill it came to the next step
    CD \windows\system32\config that it would say "the system cannot find the path specified. I don't know what that means and im afraid to say that im a noob to computers. My computer is stuck in a infinite system restore cycle and i can't even get close to the login screen. can someone help me i really need my computer to work soon.

    • Christian Cawley
      October 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Hi AG - did you use the full path, i.e. cd c:\windows\system32\config or just as you described above?

      • alex
        October 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

        I have the same problem and I have just tried cd c:\windows\system32\config

        I don't know what else to do. I, also am a novice PC user. Really lost on this.

      • Katerina Hartmanova
        October 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

        I'm having the same trouble, the path cannot be found and I used the full path. Any ideas? Is there still way how to fix this without having to format my harddisc?

        • Christian Cawley
          October 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

          Unfortunately, these steps aren't a catch all, get-out-of-jail-free solution to Windows reboot loops.

          Sometimes, a reinstall simply has to be performed.

        • Katerina Hartmanova
          October 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm

          I wish I had found this tutorial few days ago, I guess the problem is that they tried to fix this at Best Buy by installing a Windows 8 at the top of it. So I guess that's why it will have to be formated now. Anyways, is it possible that my personal files have been overwriten by the instalation of Windows 8? I'd like to at least save my files but I can't find them in the Windows.old folder, the User folder there is empty. Is my data lost for good? Thanks for reply

  65. Emily
    October 16, 2012 at 2:16 am

    What is an "I/O device error?" I get to the command prompt line and try to get to the C: drive, but it just takes a few minutes of doing nothing and says it cannot find the drive due to an I/O device error.

  66. Vijay
    October 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    How to Fix Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working Problem
    Sometimes, just when you thought your computer is in a perfect condition, your windows explorer stops working, freezes up, and restarts. You get error messages like “windows explorer has stopped working” followed by “windows explorer is restarting”. You have done nothing wrong but the machine keeps stressing you out. Worry no more as this article will you show you how to solve the problem.

    You do NOT need to perform a system restore to solve this problem. Nothing is wrong with your computer either. Inserting your OS installation disc and booting off the disc cannot fix the problem. The solution to the problem is very simple and only involves changing your thumbnails to icons. Follow the steps below to fix the problem and your computer will return to stability.

    1. Click on the “Start Menu” and go to “Network”

    Start Network

    2. Click on “Organize” at the upper right corner of the window. A drop down window will pop up. Click on “folder” and “search options”.

    search options

    3. On the folder option window, you will see three tabs at the upper right-hand corner. Click on “view” and SELECT “always show Icons, never thumbnail”. Next, DESELECT “display files Icon on thumbnails” as illustrated below.

    Display Files Icon on Thumbnails

    4. Click OK and you should be good to go.

  67. Bill
    October 14, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Thank you so MUCH! You really saved my computer! I was trying to get it to stop the reboot loop and was to the point of thinking I might need a new mobo.

  68. dolemitey
    September 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Great article helped me solve the problem quickly. Thanks for the time it took to put together. Great job and thanks a ton.

  69. Usman Mubashir
    September 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I figured this out by monkeying into some options there, but this article sure gave me some insights as well.

  70. nilesh
    September 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    what if, the above all steps does'nt work??

    Is der any way to replace some files via application (which is already installed inside windows say linux or ubuntu) to avoid such start up repair loop ... i.e.infinite loop ??

  71. Aseal
    August 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I tried this and never worked my computer goes to starting windows does the animation but does not go to login screen instead it just restarts. Has been doing this since 2days ago. Any suggestions on how to fix this irritating problem. My computer is not even a year old. I would really appreciate your help

  72. Christian Smith
    August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I realized c: went to d: under cmd. Went through the steps & worked like a chram, 100% fixed!!! Thnx so much!

  73. Christian
    August 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I get "Volume in c is System Reserved" and can't view dir or any fldrs in cmd. Other drives open up fine, is there another way to open c:?

  74. Alex Livingstone
    August 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This has happened to a number of my clients and its a relatively easy fix once you do it once or twice.

  75. pahaysaz
    August 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Never experienced this issue. Hope I don't, but it's nice to be prepared. Thanks!

  76. Andrei
    August 5, 2012 at 11:25 am

    It's Windows. Just reinstall on top of the old one, or use an Ubuntu live disk to transfer important files and reformat the system partition

  77. Eric Wardowski
    August 5, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Excellent article. Especially on how to handle the registry when all you have is the command prompt.

  78. moni
    August 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I hope this never happens to my laptop!! The only problem is that it's not shuting down!! the only way to turn it off is to keep the ON button pressed ... :(

  79. Elijah Swartz
    August 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    It would also be good to note that if you do not have the Windows 7 install disc, whether from losing it not not being given one, you can download the .iso image for free from Microsoft's Digital River storefront. You can find the links listed over in this wiki. Just download the image, burn it to a dvd with a program such as ImgBurn, and boot to it.

    Alternatively, if your laptop doesn't come with a dvd drive, you can use a usb drive just as well. Microsoft has a little program to put it on a flash drive for you. You can find it here.

  80. VS Vishnu
    August 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm


  81. Trevor Lenten
    August 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Infinite reboot loop... I thought that was called windows update? ;P

  82. Sahil Dave
    August 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Will this method be the same for Windows XP sp2 or a little bit different?

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Windows XP SP2 is a quite different process as the repair console isn't as advanced as with W7

  83. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 4, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Safe mode rebooting?

  84. Jcanman
    August 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

    How about rebooting in safe mode?

  85. Gideon Pioneer
    August 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    "Begin by entering copy *.* .. – not the two trailing dots. These indicate that the contents should be pasted to the level above – the Config folder."

    I think you meant to say "note", not "not" :)

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Gideon, not sure how that got through!

  86. Igor Rizvi?
    August 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Im having a rpoblem,when i installed win/7 win8 and ubuntu linux,i deleted win8 an win7,now when i want to restart my pc it doesnt respond at all,so i have to shut it down and turn on again.Is this the same issue regarding thsi article or?

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Your problem is quite different Igor. The culprit is probably a setting on your boot manager, although it might be worth reinstalling Ubuntu

      • Igor Rizvi?
        August 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

        Oh gosh,i posted a wrong question,uninstalled ubuntu (installed trough wubi),and deleted win8 that was o nthe separate partition.I used a progrma (cant remember the name of it) trough wich i setup the bio load menu on the default.So i think that program messed something up.Thansk for the response:)

  87. Richard Steven Hack
    August 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    The fun part comes when this part...

    "...then click Repair your computer. A list of installed operating systems should be displayed – select Windows 7 and click Next."

    ...does not work as advertised.

    I've had Windows 7 boot process hose itself so bad that even though it displays the installed OS, it cannot SELECT that OS...and thus never brings up the System Recovery Options - which you need in order to get to a command line.

    In other words, Microsoft made it impossible to get to the command line a la the previous forms of Recovery Consoles in this situation! A MAJOR PITA!

    The only thing you can do then is boot a live CD which has had some sort of Windows 7 boot database editor installed - which is hard because most of them rely on .NET which usually isn't installed on a Live CD - although it is possible. If you don't have something like that, you are totally SOL - the only recourse AFAIK is a complete re-install...

    It's almost as if Microsoft really wanted to make it much harder for PC support techs to fix these sorts of problems. They tried to automate the process but at the same time did not allow for the possibility of their "automated repair process" to itself fail miserably.

    Fortunately I only saw this occur on two Windows 7 machines shortly after installation. Subsequently they ran for a year with no problems. But it happened twice on one machine early in its history, both times requiring a full re-install.

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