The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error

If when you are trying to use a recovery disk, and you receive error message The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error, here is what you need to do to solve this problem. This problem mainly occurs when you try to use a recovery disk to restore your Windows machine to factory settings. You may also receive some other message such as Setup is preparing your computer for first use and more.

The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click “OK” to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.

The computer restarted unexpectedly

The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error

Click OK once and see if it helps. If it does, great. If it does not, and your Windows goes into a reboot loop, then do the following.

When the error dialog box is present, on the same screen, press Shift+F10 keys to bring up the Command Prompt.

If this does not work for you, need to click OK and on restart boot into Advanced Startup Options. To access it, keep pressing the F8 key before Windows starts. You will see the Advanced options screen.

windows-10-boot 7

Click on Command Prompt to open a CMD window. Now in the command prompt type regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

Once it opens, navigate to the following key:


In the right-hand side double-click on setup.exe. If the value is 1, change it to 3.

The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error

Close the Registry Editor, restart your computer and check.

This should help!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Private Nemesis

    so how do you do this on a tablet? no keyboard!

  2. Kai Harrison

    What annotation software did you use to edit the image in this article? Looks very smart – also, thanks for the help. This fixed the problem for me on Win 7 Pro x86

  3. Rizwan Ahmed Soomro

    i try this but after restart i have new error Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation..

  4. Tommy fett

    Windows 10, I did that and it just keeps flashing between preparing, then a quick flicker of the blue screen saying 64%, and it does that for an hour or so

  5. Tommy fett

    I did this, and it just flickers from preparing, to the Dell screen, to a quick blue screen saying 64% complete and it just repeats

  6. Collins Mbaka

    Same here, where you able to resolve the issue?

  7. 1

    I tried this and now its just stuck in an endless loop without an error window

  8. Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode. If you cannot enter Safe Mode, then you may then have to boot into Windows 10 with your Windows Installation Media or Recovery Drive and select Repair your computer.

  9. dumb guy

    my pc keeps restarting
    by itself

  10. dumb guy

    hello did you all die 6 months ago

  11. Oskar Zijun Lin

    Worked! Thank you very much!

  12. Christopher Howe

    this dose nit work

  13. jebivetar drkandjic

    Thank you very much. You are my heroes Solved

  14. Raphael Neto

    Thank you very much!!!

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