How to Fix The “There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC” Error on Windows

Every once in a while, you may encounter a situation that ends with you attempting to reset your PC. More often than not, this process succeeds without any problems, however, if there is another, underlying error present such as corrupt or missing files, you may end up getting stuck in a reset loop. Here are 8 solutions for fixing the “there was a problem resetting your PC” error, for those who do or do not have access to their Windows desktop.

There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC Error.

What Can Cause This Error to Occur During a Reset?

This error message most often pops up after an unlucky Windows update, but it may also come up if there are any of the following issues:

  • Your PC settings were already in a hard reset before the system reset.
  • You are using a recovery media disk that is incorrect.
  • There are corrupt or damaged files on your system’s registry.

While the cause of the problem might not be clear at first, there are several methods available for fixing the issue.

8 Methods to Fix The “There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC” Error

If you are getting the “there was a problem resetting your PC” error but can still access your Windows’ desktop, refer to the first 1-4 methods below. If you had the “there was a problem resetting your PC” error and are now stuck in a reset loop and cannot reach your Windows’ desktop, refer to steps 5-8 below.

4 Methods to Try If You Can Access Windows Desktop

1. Run a System File Check (SFC) via Command Prompt

The system file check (SFC) is a command-line program that is designed to determine whether Windows’ protected operating files are undamaged. It will seek out, and repair all compromised files, including ones that are damaged or corrupted by malware.

SFC Via Powershell App
  1. Search command prompt in your Windows search bar. If you cannot find command prompt, run the Powershell app instead.
  2. Right-click on the application and choose to run as an administrator.
  3. In command prompt or Powershell, type in sfc /scannow.
  4. Wait until the scan is complete before closing the command prompt/Powershell.

If compromised files or missing files are found, the system file check will attempt to repair them and notify you of its success or failure.

2. Disable ReAgentc.exe

The ReAgentc.exe file is the configuration file for the Windows recovery environment. When your computer fails to boot through the main operating system, it will try to run the Windows recovery environment to solve the issue. Temporarily disabling the configuration file may help if your computer will not reset. Here is how to do this.

  1. Search command prompt in your Windows search bar. If you cannot find command prompt, run the powershell app instead.
  2. Right-click on the application and choose to run as an administrator.
  3. In command prompt or powershell, type in the following commands and hit enter after each one.
    • Reagentc /disable
    • Reagentc /enable
  4. Try resetting your computer again.
Disable ReAgentc.exe
Enable ReAgentc.exe

3. Use a System Restore Point

There is a feature available in Windows called a system restore point. This allows you to restore your computer’s operating system to a previous saved state that you set. Unfortunately, you can only use this method as a fix if you have manually set your computer up to use this feature. If you have, you can restore your computer to a time before you started experiencing the “there was a problem resetting your PC” error. To use a system restore, do the following.

How to do a System Restore
  1. In your Windows search bar, type in system restore and click on the “create a restore point – control panel” option.
  2. In the system properties window that opens, you should already be on the system protection tab; if not navigate to it and then click on the system restore button. If this option is grayed out, that means you did not set up any restoration points.
  3. Another window will appear, prompting you to click next. Do so, then select the restore point you want to use. If you have multiple restore point options, you may need to click on “show more restore points” to find the one you want.
  4. This will open the restoration wizard, which will guide you through the restoration. When finished, try resetting your PC again.

If you have no restore points and would like to set this up for future use, head to your control panel and find the recovery option. Under the “configure system restore” you will be able to turn on the system protection which will allow you to make new restore states.

4. Refresh Windows from Windows Defender

Although its main purpose is to protect your computer from viruses and malware, Windows Defender can also be used to refresh your PC, which is very similar to resetting it.

Windows 10 Update & Security
  1. In your Windows search bar, type in settings and head to your Windows Settings.
  2. Choose the update & security option.
  3. In the left-hand side menu, click on Windows security and click the button that says “open Windows security”.
  4. In the new window that pops up, choose the device performance & health option.
  5. In the section labeled “fresh start” click on the additional information button, then the get started button and follow the on-screen instructions.
How to access Device Performance & Health

It is important to note that most files on the system hard drive will be deleted using this process, so be sure to make a backup of any files you want to keep.

4 Methods to Try If You Cannot Access Your Windows Desktop

If you are unable to reach your Windows desktop for any reason, there are still a few methods you can use. The first is with the advanced startup options and the command prompt, and the second is by using a physical media device to force a reset or clean install.

5. Run a System File Check Outside of Windows

Once you are in the advanced startup options menu, you will want to head to the command prompt application so you can run a system file check. Here is how to do this.

  1. Click on the troubleshoot option – advanced options – command prompt.
  2. In command prompt, type in the following command: wmic logicaldisk get deviceid [enter], volumename [enter], description [enter].
  3. The above command will pull up and list all of your local drives.
  4. In this list, find your system drive, then type in the following command: sfc /scannow/offbootdir=d: /offwindir=d:Windows [enter].
Advanced Startup Options Menu

The system drive letter that you use may not be D, so make sure you choose the correct one to put into your commands.

SFC will scan the drive where your Windows operating system is stored and report back if there are any problems and will automatically repair them. Once SFC is done running, try restarting your computer.

6. Run A Deployment Image Servicing & Management Scan Outside of Window

If you do not have access to your Windows operating system at all, you can run the DISM command-line tool to check, configure, update, and repair all .wim store files saved on the computer with a media installation disk or drive.

  1. Create an installation media using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool.
  2. Boot from the new installation media you create.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and input desired language and location.
  4. Instead of installing, choose the repair your computer option (bottom left).
  5. Go to troubleshoot – advanced options – command prompt.
  6. Type in dism /get-wiminf/wimfile:E:sourceinstall.esd command.
  7. This command will pull up all system images available. Change the drive letter as appropriate.
  8. Next, enter in the command mkdir d:scratch (your drive letter where your current Windows is installed).
  9. Run the next command dism /image:d /cleanup-image/restorehealth/source:esd:e:sourcesinstall.esd:2/scratchdir:d:scratch /limitaccess.
  10. The DISM scan will now begin and repair your computer’s existing system files.
How to Repair Computer From Media Creation Tool

When the scan is complete, restart the computer to see if the problem persists.

7. Rename System and Software Registry.

If you think that your system32.exe file is corrupt or possesses corrupt files and is the cause for the “there was a problem resetting your PC” error, you can try to repair the registry with command prompt. With this said, this method can be used with and without access to a Windows environment.

  1. Repeat steps 1-5 in the method above for running a DISM scan without access to Windows. If you have access to Windows, just search and run your command prompt, being sure to right click and run it as an administrator.
  2. In command prompt, type in cd %windir%\system32\config [enter].
  3. Then ren system system.001 [enter].
  4. Then ren software software.001 [enter].
  5. Finally, type EXIT [enter] to restart your pc.
How to Run DISM Against System32.exe

8. Perform a Clean Install Using Installation Media

Performing a clean install is the last recommended troubleshooting step you can follow, as it completely wipes the computer and installs a new copy of Windows. As such, you will need an installation media to complete this process.

  1. Create an installation media using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool.
  2. Boot from the new installation media you create.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and input desired language and location.
  4. The instructions that follow will guide you through the installation process, resetting your PC to factory defaults.

As previously mentioned, this process completely wipes your computer, so be sure to back up any files you want to keep beforehand.

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