An explanation of the Windows 8 Automatic Repair feature

On the Advanced screen, you’ll find four other tools that you can use to recover a damaged Windows system

This gallery is also available as a post in the Windows and Office Blog.

As you may know from firsthand experience, startup problems with previous version of the Windows operating system occurred pretty regularly and Microsoft has always provided us with special tools for fixing those problems. For example, in Windows NT we had the Emergency Recovery Utility, in Windows 2000 we had the Recovery Console, in Windows XP we had System Restore, and in Windows 7 we had the Startup Repair Tool.

Windows 8 comes with new tool called Automatic Repair and like its Window 7 predecessor, Automatic Repair is designed to intercede at the first hint of an operating system startup problem. When a startup problem is detected, the Automatic Repair will launch an automated, diagnostics-based troubleshooter that doesn't require user intervention and in many cases it will resuscitate an unbootable system.

If the startup problem is severe enough to prevent Automatic Repair launching on its own, you can launch it from a Windows 8 Recovery Drive, as I showed you in a recent post: Be ready to use the Windows 8 Recovery Drive.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I’ll take a look at using Automatic Repair from the Recovery Drive. As I do, I’ll explain how it works.

Note:In a series of future articles, I'll continue my examination of the tools on the Recovery Drive and show you in detail how the Refresh and Reset options work.

Running Automatic Repair

Running Automatic repair from the Recovery Drive is easy. After your system boots from the Recovery Drive and you follow the Troubleshoot | Advanced options path through the menu, you'll see the Advanced options screen shown in Figure A. Among the tools found on the Advanced options screen, you'll see Automatic Repair.


Credit: Images by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.

By Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.