Windows 8.1 automatic repair loop (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE)


Today, my pc with Windows 8.1 installed suddenly started crashing on start up, and then rebooting and showing the 'Automatic repair' screen. I tried solving this in multiple ways already:

  • I tried creating a USB drive with a copy of Windows 8.1 on it on my laptop, and then on my pc select refresh pc - when I insert the USB drive it says the inserted media isn't valid. I don't have the original installation cd

  • I tried using startup repair, it just runs for a minute and then it says the problem can't be fixed using startup repair

  • I tried a system restore, but it gives the error '0x80070057'. Unfortunately, there's only one system restore available
  • I tried using the following commands in the command prompt:

    bootrec /fixMBR     
    bootrec /Fixboot     
    bootrec /rebuildBCD

    However, after the last line it says that no installations were found (I made sure to activate the windows partition using DISKPART)

I didn't recently install any suspicious programs, and I've been running Windows 8.1 for over a year now without any problems. Can anyone please help me? I really need to be able to use my pc

I gives the error INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. I've disconnected all my hard drives except the SSD that Windows is installed on, I made sure it is booted from, I changed the SATA cable, but nothing helped. Also, when I try to enter safe mode from the Automatic Repair screen, the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error message still shows

asked on Super User Apr 22, 2016 by Jonan • edited Apr 23, 2016 by Jonan

2 Answers


This appears to be a known problem with Windows 8.1 - dubbed the "Automatic Repair Loop" by many. Given that you have managed to make a recovery USB drive, the following has worked for some people:

Step 1: Boot from your USB drive.

Step 2: Select "Advanced repair options"

Step 3: Select "Troubleshoot"

Step 4: Select "Advanced Options"

Step 5: Select "Start up settings"

Step 6: Select "Restart"

Step 7: The computer should restart. Now you want to hit the 4 key, which is safe mode.

Step 8: You should be able to log in now. Restart the computer and the computer should boot normally.

There are some alternatives to try if the above doesn't work:

Step 1: Boot from your USB drive.

Step 2: When the install screen pops up, look to the bottom left and select "Repair Your Computer".

Step 3: You will now see a screen that says "Choose an option". Select "Troubleshoot", then "Advanced Options", and finally "Command Prompt".

Step 4: You should now see the command prompt. Type "bcdedit" (without quotes) and hit enter.

Step 5: A list should have appeared. Towards the top, you should see "resumeobject" (It is under "default"). Highlight the long number, including the brackets, and copy.

Step 6: Now type "bcdedit /set (the long number you copied) recoveryenabled No" (Without quotes). Hit enter.

Step 7: You should now see the message "The operation completed successfully"

Step 8: Type "Exit" (Without quotes)

Step 9: Reboot

If this does not work, I would suggest returning to Command Prompt and following these steps, to check there isn't an issue with your SSD.

Step 1: Type "chkdsk /r C:" (Without quotes) The scan should start.

Step 2: This could take several hours depending on the size of your SSD

Step 3: Once the scan is done, type "exit" (without quotes).

Step 4: Reboot

answered on Super User Apr 23, 2016 by Unencoded

Easiest way to get outta this automatic loop is to get into advanced options and choose command prompt. Then type this exactly all on one line .

copy c:\windows\system32\config\RegBack\*   c:\windows\system32\config 

This will throw you back into your login screen with a temp profile. Get yourself into user accounts and make a new account. Make sure you give it admin privileges . Reboot. At windows user screen login with new account. Delete previous user account. Reboot and presto problem all gone.

answered on Super User Mar 23, 2018 by Jordon Bee • edited Mar 23, 2018 by bertieb

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