What to Do When Automatic Repair Doesn’t Work: 5 Effective Solutions

Automatic repair is a convenient feature in Windows that aims to fix various startup issues on its own. However, there are instances when this functionality fails to resolve the problem at hand. In such situations, it becomes crucial to explore alternative solutions. This article presents five effective methods for users to consider when automatic repair doesn’t work, providing practical steps and troubleshooting techniques to overcome the issue and restore functionality to their Windows system.

1. Understanding the Automatic Repair Process

Understanding how the automatic repair process works is crucial in troubleshooting your computer’s issues. When Windows detects a startup problem, it automatically initiates the Automatic Repair tool. This feature is designed to fix common errors that prevent your operating system from starting.

During the automatic repair process, Windows scans your system files and registry settings to identify any issues that may be causing the problem. It then attempts to fix these issues automatically. This can include repairing corrupted files, fixing boot configuration data errors, or restoring your system to a previous working state.

It’s important to note that the automatic repair process might not always be successful in fixing your computer. In such cases, it becomes necessary to explore alternative solutions to resolve the issue.

In the following sections, we will discuss various solutions that can help you when the automatic repair fails to resolve the problem. These solutions range from simple steps like booting into Safe Mode and using system restore to more complex techniques like repairing the master boot record and reinstalling Windows as a last resort.

Identifying Common Issues with Automatic Repair

When your computer encounters an issue that prevents it from starting up properly, the Automatic Repair feature in Windows can be a lifesaver. However, there are times when Automatic Repair itself fails to work, leaving you with a non-functional system and a lot of frustration.

This section aims to help you identify some of the common problems that may be preventing Automatic Repair from working effectively. One possible issue is a corrupted operating system, which can occur due to malware infections, improper shutdowns, or hardware failures. Another common problem is a damaged or missing system file, which can prevent Automatic Repair from fixing the issue.

Furthermore, hardware issues such as faulty hard drives or memory modules may also prevent Automatic Repair from functioning correctly. Problems with the Master Boot Record (MBR) or Boot Configuration Data (BCD) can also hinder the repair process.

By understanding these common issues, you can narrow down the possible causes of your system’s inability to perform Automatic Repair. This knowledge will help you choose the most appropriate solution from the ones mentioned in the following subheadings.

3. Solution 1: Booting into Safe Mode and Using System Restore

Booting into Safe Mode and using System Restore can be an effective solution when the Automatic Repair feature fails to work. Safe Mode starts Windows with only essential files and drivers, allowing you to troubleshoot and fix the issues causing the automatic repair failure. Here’s a brief overview of how to use this solution:

To boot into Safe Mode, start by turning on your computer and repeatedly pressing the F8 key before the Windows logo appears. This will bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu. From there, select “Safe Mode” and press Enter.

Once in Safe Mode, you can access the System Restore feature. To do this, press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box, type “rstrui.exe,” and then click OK. This will open the System Restore wizard.

From within System Restore, you can choose a restore point created before the Automatic Repair issue occurred. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restoration process. Keep in mind that System Restore will not affect your personal files but may uninstall recently installed programs.

After the restoration is complete, restart your computer and see if the Automatic Repair issue is resolved. If not, you can try other solutions mentioned in this article.

Solution 2: Running CHKDSK to Fix File System Errors

CHKDSK is a built-in Windows utility that scans and repairs file system errors on your computer’s hard drive. When Automatic Repair fails to fix the problem, running CHKDSK can be an effective solution.

To begin, you need to access the Command Prompt. Boot your computer using a Windows installation media, such as a USB drive or DVD. Once you reach the initial setup screen, press Shift + F10 to open the Command Prompt.

In the Command Prompt window, type “chkdsk /r” and press Enter to initiate the scanning process. This command instructs CHKDSK to locate and repair any file system errors it encounters. The “/r” parameter tells it to scan for and recover any bad sectors if found.

Be patient as CHKDSK completes its task, which may take a while depending on the size of your hard drive and the number of errors. Once the process is complete, restart your computer and check if the issue has been resolved.

Running CHKDSK is a valuable troubleshooting step in rectifying Automatic Repair failures caused by file system errors, providing a higher chance of successfully repairing your system.

Solution 3: Repairing the Master Boot Record (MBR)

When all else fails and Automatic Repair isn’t working, it may be necessary to fix the Master Boot Record (MBR) to resolve the issue. The MBR is a crucial component of a computer’s startup process responsible for loading the operating system.

To repair the MBR, you can follow these steps:

1. Insert the Windows installation media (USB or DVD) into your computer and restart it.
2. Select your language preferences and click on “Next.”
3. Click on “Repair your computer” at the bottom left corner of the screen.
4. In the next window, choose “Troubleshoot” and then “Advanced options.”
5. Select “Command Prompt” to open the command line interface.
6. In the command prompt, type “bootrec /fixmbr” and press Enter to repair the MBR.
7. Once the process completes, restart your computer and check if the Automatic Repair problem is resolved.

Repairing the MBR can fix issues related to corrupted or missing boot files, allowing your computer to start up properly. However, keep in mind that making any mistake during this process can lead to further complications. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult a professional if you are uncertain or uncomfortable performing these steps on your own.

Solution 4: Utilizing Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)

When all else fails and your computer is still encountering issues with Automatic Repair, using Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) can be a viable solution. WinRE is a set of tools and features built into the Windows operating system that can help troubleshoot and resolve various system problems.

To access WinRE, you will need to boot your computer from a Windows installation media. This can be a USB drive or a DVD containing the Windows setup files. Once you have booted from the installation media, follow these steps:

1. Select your language preferences and click “Next.”
2. On the next screen, click “Repair your computer.”
3. Choose the operating system you want to repair and click “Next.”
4. In the System Recovery options, select “Troubleshoot.”
5. From the Troubleshoot menu, you can try various options such as System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, and more.

The Windows Recovery Environment provides a range of advanced troubleshooting tools that can help fix issues preventing Automatic Repair from working. Whether it’s repairing startup files, restoring your system to a previous state, or utilizing command-line tools, WinRE can be a powerful tool for resolving stubborn system problems.

Solution 5: Reinstalling Windows as a Last Resort

Reinstalling Windows should be considered as a last resort when all other solutions have failed to fix the automatic repair issue. This solution involves completely wiping out the existing operating system and installing a fresh copy of Windows. While it may seem like a drastic step, it can often resolve complex system issues that cannot be fixed through other methods.

Before proceeding with the reinstallation, it is important to back up all important files and data as the process will erase everything on the system drive. Once the backup is complete, the Windows installation media needs to be obtained, either through a USB drive or DVD.

To reinstall Windows, start by booting from the installation media and follow the on-screen instructions. During the installation process, choose the option to format the system drive to remove the old Windows installation. Afterward, simply follow the prompts to complete the installation.

After the reinstallation is finished, it is necessary to reinstall all the necessary drivers, software, and restore the backed-up files. Although it may take some time and effort, reinstalling Windows can often provide a fresh start and resolve stubborn issues with the automatic repair process.


FAQ 1: What is Automatic Repair in Windows?

Automatic Repair is a built-in feature in Windows operating systems that helps troubleshoot and fix issues preventing the system from starting up properly. It attempts to diagnose and repair common problems that could be interfering with the normal boot process.

FAQ 2: What are the common reasons why Automatic Repair may fail?

There are several reasons why Automatic Repair might not be successful in resolving startup issues. Some common causes include corrupted system files, hardware malfunctions, incompatible drivers, recent software installations or updates, and malware infections.

FAQ 3: What should I do if Automatic Repair doesn’t work?

If Automatic Repair fails to fix the startup problem, there are a few alternative solutions you can try. These include booting into Safe Mode, performing a System Restore, using the Command Prompt to repair the system files, utilizing the Startup Repair tool, or reinstalling Windows.

FAQ 4: Can I prevent the need for Automatic Repair in the future?

While it’s not always possible to prevent the need for Automatic Repair entirely, there are some proactive measures you can take to minimize the chances of encountering startup issues. Regularly updating and maintaining your system, running reliable antivirus software, being cautious when installing new software or updates, and creating system backups can all contribute to a more stable and problem-free Windows experience.


In conclusion, encountering a situation where automatic repair fails to work can be frustrating, but there are several effective solutions that can help resolve the issue. From checking for hardware problems and performing a system restore to accessing advanced startup options and using the command prompt, users have a range of troubleshooting techniques at their disposal. By following these solutions, individuals can restore their system and get it back up and running, avoiding the need for professional assistance and potential data loss.

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