The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error

How To Fix "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" Error 

If you are reading this, then most probably you are doing it using another computer and you are experiencing the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error." The error message also notifies that Windows installation cannot proceed and to install Windows, click "OK" to restart the computer, and then restart the installation. However, in some cases the computer restarts and you are still unable to proceed with the installation. This error is one of the most frustrating ones, many users get affected by it but luckily it is not an unsolved problem.

This error usually occurs when users are trying to update or to upgrade their current Windows operating system or when you try to use a recovery disk to restore your Windows to its factory settings, and in some cases it creates and endless loop and you get stuck in it. There is no single reason for this error and it is hard to tell what exactly causes this error on different computers. Good news is that there are various different solutions that could possibly fix this error and get you out of the endless restart loop. In order to fix the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error you might need to edit Windows registry using Command Prompt commands, run Automatic Repair tool, format your hard drive and some other solutions. In this guide we are going to show you how to apply these solutions step by step, simply follow our described steps and see if any of the solutions work for you.

The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error

Table of Contents:

Edit Windows Registry

Windows Registry, usually referred to as just the registry, is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more. Many of the options exposed in the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. In order to fix the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error you will need to change the ChildCompletion DWORD value data. To do so, you press Shift + F10 keys on your keyboard, this should bring up the Command Prompt window. If this combination does not work for you, then you will need to access Advanced Startup Options. Read this guide and use the "Interrupt Windows Boot Process" method, or use the Windows Installation CD/DVD/USB in order to access Command Prompt.

Once you opened Command Prompt, type "regedit" and press Enter. This will open Registry Editor for you.

edit windows registry step 1

Now follow this path: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/Setup/Status/ChildCompletion". Select the "ChildCompletion" key and double-click the "setup.exe" REG_DWORD, or right-click it and select "Modify..." from the contextual menu.

edit windows registry step 2

In Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value window set the value data to 3 and click "OK". Close the Registry editor, restart your computer and see if you are still getting the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error while trying to update, upgrade or to recover your Windows operating system.

edit windows registry step 3

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Run Automatic/Startup Repair

Automatic/Startup Repair is a Windows diagnostics-based troubleshooting tool that is usually used to repair Windows operating system when something prevents users from starting it. It is usually able to fix problems when there are some damaged or missing system files and it is possible that it could fix the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error which prevents you from upgrading, recovering or updating Windows. In order to launch Automatic/Startup Repair you will need to use the Windows Installation Media on your DVD/USB or to interrupt the boot process. You can find the instructions on how to do it in the previously described method. Once you are in the Advanced Startup Window, click "Troubleshoot".

run automatic/startup repair step 1

Then click "Advanced options".

run automatic/startup repair step 2

Now click the "Startup Repair" option and Windows will start to diagnose your computer. See if this fixes the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error.

run automatic/startup repair step 3

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Format Your Hard Drive

Disk formatting is the process that prepares your data storage device (in this case the hard drive/HDD) for initial use. It is considered to be the best way to erase all the information stored on a hard disk drive (or other drive) before installing a clean version of Windows operating system to your computer. If the two methods described above could not fix the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error, then formatting your hard drive should definitely do it. However, as we mentioned before, doing this will erase everything from your hard drive. To format your hard drive you will need to open Command Prompt again by using one of the ways described in previous methods. Once you have started the Command Prompt, type these commands and press Enter after each:

Diskpart
list volume
select volume 1 (change 1 into a number which is assigned to a drive that you want to format)
format fs=ntfs quick label=test (you can change "test" into any label)
exit

format your hard drive

When the formatting is finished, restart your computer and try to install Windows again. However, we hope that it was not necessary to format your hard drive and the first method worked for you, and you were able to fix the "The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error" error by applying it. If there is another method that solved this problem for your and it is not mentioned in our guide - do not hesitate to share it with us and with the others by leaving a comment in our comment section below.

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