I used to do a very similar thing on my Asus boards a while back because I felt uncomfortable making my own changes in the BIOS at the time.
Best thing to do is spend a lot of time reading up on information that pertains specifically to your CPU and motherboard and make sure you understand it before setting out to OC.
You see in your case the fact that the automatic overclock works tells me that you can OC but you just need to know what settings to adjust and you had to be missing something for it not to work at all.
Find people with the same motherboard (often times a forum somehow connected to the manufacturer) and see what they are doing as I get lots of useful info by means of posts from people using the same product and sharing their settings and experiences.
Also for what it's worth make sure you know and are familiar with the exact specifications of your hardware especially your memory.