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"A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

    Question

  • Last night my computer worked fine. On switching it on this morning, I get the error message:

    "A disk read error occurred   Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

     

    If I press Ctrl+Alt+Del, it just returns to the same screen. Also, when my PC first starts up a get a blue Intel pentium screen, which never appeared before. It will not boot into Windows. I tried setting the boot drive to the DVD drive in the BIOS and booting from my Vista DVD, but after the message "press any key to boot from CD", I just get the same error message.

     

    Any ideas how to help ? I have data I need to salvage from the HD. My old c: is 2 discs connected in RAID. Any boot discs I can use, or other suggestions?

     

    many thanks

    Friday, September 07, 2007 8:31 PM

Answers

  •  

    This is addressed on IDE ATA drives, not SATA drives.

     

    For those of you having this problem, Here's your answer:  Make sure that the black jumper in the back of your main hard drive is set to "MA" (MASTER) as abbreviated according to the schematics shown on top of your hard drive. (On the sticker at the bottom.) Any other drives that you have such as your CD-ROM, DVD-ROM must be placed as "SL" (SLAVE) as abbreviated on the back of them. (These abbriviated letterings are stamped in the metal or plastic part in the back, it can be hard to see, use a flashlight to get a good look at it. Those of you have different brand computers, need to get into the BIOS. First, when you first turn on the computer, the post boot screen will come on, look for where it will tell you what key to press to get into the BIOS. All systems are different, some are done by pressing the F2 key, or the F11 key, others are the DEL key. On Compaqs and HP, uses the F11 key, Dells and other systems uses the F2 key. Barebone systems uses the DEL key. Once you are in the BIOS, you need to find the section on the Boot Order. Make sure the the HDD is placed as the first boot priority before any others in the listing, which means your main hard drive must be placed as a first boot device before any others that is listed.The boot order should be placed in the following order:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD or NET or the like. (The 3rd boot order can also be disabled by selecting it.)

     

     

    Once you have the boot priority set, hit the ESC key and save the configuration. It should now boot to your main hard drive with the Windows loading on. Also, make sure there are no CDs or DVDs in your CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive before you start your computer! Good luck.

     

    Update: See page 3 of my newer posting for further explanation of this.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 9:37 AM

All replies

  • I just got this message when trying to install an Action Pack Windows 2008 Server Beta 3 OS.

    I used a brand new drive out of the bag!  The install process seems to work ok, files copy over to the drive, but when it reboots it gives "A DISK READ EROR OCCURRED.  Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

    I'm using a multi-personality box (removable drive bay), that I use fine with other bootable OS's.  So I know there's no hardware problems.

    Any ideas anyone?

    -dennis

     

    • Proposed as answer by romneck Thursday, May 07, 2009 1:54 AM
    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 6:02 AM
  • I have run into this problem as well. After my Windows XP SP2 installation somehow got corrupted, I attempted to reinstall Windows from the XPsp2 CD. After the setup files were copied from the CD to the disk and the system rebooted, I get the same message, "A DISK READ ERROR OCCURRED. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart"

     

    I've tested the hard disk a few times using the disk utilites, and no errors are found. I've even performed the "write zeros to drive" function. And the error still occurs...I am considering purchasing a new HDD but I am not sure if should, since I've found no trouble to the drive.

     

    I can't beleive that MICROSOFT has yet to address this problem...

     

    If anyone has any ideas to resolve this - please let me know...

     

    • Proposed as answer by j prince Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:15 PM
    Friday, November 09, 2007 3:09 PM
  • Hi, did you get this resolved? I'm having the same problem. cannot boot from the vista disk and have no idea what to do.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007 2:40 AM
  •  

    This is addressed on IDE ATA drives, not SATA drives.

     

    For those of you having this problem, Here's your answer:  Make sure that the black jumper in the back of your main hard drive is set to "MA" (MASTER) as abbreviated according to the schematics shown on top of your hard drive. (On the sticker at the bottom.) Any other drives that you have such as your CD-ROM, DVD-ROM must be placed as "SL" (SLAVE) as abbreviated on the back of them. (These abbriviated letterings are stamped in the metal or plastic part in the back, it can be hard to see, use a flashlight to get a good look at it. Those of you have different brand computers, need to get into the BIOS. First, when you first turn on the computer, the post boot screen will come on, look for where it will tell you what key to press to get into the BIOS. All systems are different, some are done by pressing the F2 key, or the F11 key, others are the DEL key. On Compaqs and HP, uses the F11 key, Dells and other systems uses the F2 key. Barebone systems uses the DEL key. Once you are in the BIOS, you need to find the section on the Boot Order. Make sure the the HDD is placed as the first boot priority before any others in the listing, which means your main hard drive must be placed as a first boot device before any others that is listed.The boot order should be placed in the following order:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD or NET or the like. (The 3rd boot order can also be disabled by selecting it.)

     

     

    Once you have the boot priority set, hit the ESC key and save the configuration. It should now boot to your main hard drive with the Windows loading on. Also, make sure there are no CDs or DVDs in your CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive before you start your computer! Good luck.

     

    Update: See page 3 of my newer posting for further explanation of this.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 9:37 AM
  • ajsango,

     

     In your case, find a good 'ol Windows 98 or Windows ME floppy boot disk and at the A:\  prompt, type fdisk and select #3 Delete a partition and hit the "Enter" key. Next, select #4 Delete Non DOS partition, and follow the instruction and answer the question by hitting the "Y" key for Yes. Once that is done, take the floppy boot disk out and put your Windows XP CD in your CD-ROM drive, it will ask you "Boot from CD......" hit  the "Enter" key. It will begin the installation. when it re-boots to continue the installation, DO NOT HIT THE "Enter" key when it asks you again to "Boot from the CD....", let it go so that it can continue the installation.

    Monday, November 19, 2007 9:55 AM
  • sambo,

     

    What you need to do is change the ribbon cable on the back of your hard drive and make sure that your DVD player is hooked up as Secondary Master. The jumper on the back of the DVD player must be set to Master or MA as imprinted on the back of it. The partition that it created must be wiped off before you try to install it again, otherwise it will not show a partition that you are trying to install. Good Luck.

     

    Monday, November 19, 2007 10:03 AM
  • I have this same problem, I just bought a new hp pavillion slimline s3220n, it worked for one week and I'm suddenly getting this error and can't boot up, it keeps asking me to do ctrl-alt-del.  I did the changes you said to do (thought it was with the F10 key), and it's still not working. I then tried opening up the computer to check the master/slave switches but can't see any master slave switch settings (probably due to the compressed size of the computer with the slimline).  There is no cd/dvd in my drive that I'm aware of, is there some way to eject it without booting up to see?  What should I do next? Thanks.

    Monday, January 07, 2008 12:22 AM
  • dhatz,

     

      If the screen says to press F10 to get into the BIOS, you need to continuosly hold the F10 key down until it finally kicks into the BIOS. If you are still unable to do that, any drives you have in there except the hard drive and the floppy disk drive, disconnect them completely by carefully pulling the white plugs out and the gray ribbon cables. (Be sure that your system is shut off and disconnected from power before you pull the plugs.) Then, power your system up and see if it automatically boots into the BIOS. If not, re-start your system and then hold the F10 key until it kicks into the BIOS.

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008 7:10 AM
  •  

    hey, i tried wat u said but it still doesnt work. i have an HP pavillion with windows vista. i was sitting on the computer and suddenly it froze.  then i turned off the computer n then turned it back on n the messege came up. i changed the order of the boot devices it still doesnt work?
    Saturday, January 12, 2008 4:34 PM
  • i have an HP pavillion with windows vista. i tried wat u said but it doesnt work. i changed the order to

    Notebook Hard Drive

    Cd ROM

    FDD

    it doesnt work

    Saturday, January 12, 2008 5:07 PM
  • i tried wat u said about the boot order it doesnt work. ne other ideas? should i take it to a computer place to try and get it fixed?

    Saturday, January 12, 2008 5:11 PM
  • im having the same problem yesterday my computer was working fine shut it off and now i get that error. im also using vista.any ideas would be great!

    Saturday, January 12, 2008 9:28 PM
  • fatma,

     

     

     The best thing to do is yes, take it to a computer professional and have them straighten it out.

     

    Sunday, January 13, 2008 6:49 AM
  • derek,

     

     Try going into the BIOS and select to "Load Setup Defaults" and hit the "Enter" key and re-boot your computer. If that does not work, take your computer to a PC professional. They will straigten it out in a matter of minutes to a day.

     

    Update: Please see pages 3 and 5 for further info.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008 6:56 AM
  • I have a gateway computer with windows XP on it. I did the process and it just said "invalid boot diskett .Insert boot disk in:A". Now it says ":CD/DVD not found " Now "The haddrive was not found" now it says "Invalid boot diskette. Insert boot diskette in a:" ANd i dont have a disk in A: so i dont know what to do, I need major help . It just keeps on getting worse and worse. Should i get professional help?

    .

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 12:25 AM
  • Mr Random,

     

       The problem you have there is coming from the BIOS. It needs to be re-configured. All the drives has to be set. The floppy drive has to be disabled with the CD-ROM as the first boot drive and the hard drive as the second boot drive. If you are not familiar with the computer hardware, your best bet is to call around to any local computer shops for the best price deals. They will re-configure it and load the windows for you. Don't allow them to do any additional software installations except drivers for your sound, modem, and etc. When it is set, be sure to load on an anti-virus software to help protect your PC. I recommend AVG Free Edition. It is free. Go to www.grisoft.com for free download. You might want to add AVG Anti-Spyware as well. I wish you luck!

     

    Update: Please see pages 3 and 5 (pg. 5 is in response to "Aztechie") for further info. Thank you.

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:01 AM
  • Oh i had the hard drive first and the CD-Rom second. But now i cant go to neither because the only screen i'm stuck on is the  "Invalid Boot diskette: Insert disk in A:" screen so i'm going to definitely need professional help.
    how much does it normally cost to fix these kinds of problems?

    Monday, February 25, 2008 11:02 PM
  • Mr Random,

     

     

     You had the CD-Rom and the hard drive reversed. The best suggestion is don't go any further with it. Bring it to your local qualified PC technician. The price you are asking depends on what they charge. The first thing I would do is call around to different computer shops and stores and get their quotes. Go for the cheapest one there is. I normally charge $65.00 in my area since I run a computer business. Good luck.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:25 AM
  • I'm the alter-ego of a professional computer technician, and I have seen this problem pop up every now and then.

     

    There is no nice way to say this:  POWHAMMER is very wrong.  The problem cannot be caused by anything in your BIOS.  It is in the hard drive only and nohwere else.

     

    1)  This problem can appear if your hard drive has failed,

     

    2) but it can also appear if the Boot sector of the hard drive is damaged in some way.  I have not determined exactly what way or how to fix it yet, but nothing in the BIOS is going to help.  In this situation, the drive is still ok and usually retains the data on it.

     

    If the drive still has data on it (AND IT JUST MIGHT), then what POWHAMMER is tellling you will wipe any trace of your precious data away!  Don't repartition unless absolutely necessary, it will wipe all data away.

     

    Reinstalling Windows does NOT fix this.  For some reason, the Windows installer cannot detect this problem and therefore cannot fix it.

     

    The way to fix this is going to be something that can correct the boot sector error or similar.  I am investigating a way to fix it without repartitioning.  I will post here if I find it.

    Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:05 PM
  •  

    Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:15 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

    AH STALK,

     

    I SUGGEST YOU BACK OFF ON THIS ISSUE!, I HAVE OVER 15 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, WAY MORE THAN YOU HAVE. YOUR CASE OF ISSUE IS NOT THE CASE 100% OF THE TIME. IF A HARD DRIVE SHOWS UP IN THE BIOS, IT IS CONSIDERED STILL GOOD. I SUGGEST THAT YOU ATTEND A TRAINING SCHOOL OR SOMETHING TO LEARN MORE.  HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A "PROFESSIONAL PC TECHNICIAN" AFTER YOU STATE THAT YOU HAVE TO INVESTIGATE THIS ISSUE FURTHER? I AM ONE TRUE PC TECHNICIAN WITH MANY YEARS OF KNOWLEDGE IN THIS FIELD AND KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. IF YOU CONTINUE WITH YOUR IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR ON THIS FORUM, I WILL REPORT YOU TO MICROSOFT! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. BY THE WAY, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR BREATH ON THIS ISSUE.

     

    I have to agree with Stalk.  Powhammer, every response you listed caused me to shake my head in disbelief.

     

    I mean, with 15 years of experience, why didn't you tell them to try this:

     

    Insert their Windows CD, and press a key when prompted to "Boot from CD."

     

    Once the loading finishes, do NOT hit ENTER to load Windows.  Instead, hit "R" to enter the Recovery Console.

     

    Select the Windows install you wish to log into (there's probably only one, unless you're dual-booting with Vista- if that's the case, you can find more help at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919529)

     

    The commands you want are as follows:

     

    FIXBOOT <drive:>

    and

    FIXMBR <drive:>

     

    If that doesn't resolve the issue, rather than deleting partitions (and your data) as Powhammer suggested, get your hands on a recovery tool such as SpinRite 6 (www.grc.com). 

     

    Regards,

    Ben

    Saturday, March 08, 2008 1:56 AM
  • Well Ben, I appreciate your offer on this subject, but I am sure that Mr. Random knew well enough that he had to hit the enter key to boot from the CD, but on the contrary, he gets the Floppy drive boot message, which I have instructed him to get into the BIOS to change the boot order. However, I still do not agree with stalk. I have the impression that he really is not a computer technician after he states that he has to "investigate further" ???. Think about that. Anyone can impersonate a computer technician. To tell you the truth, I am a real one and I do actually run a computer business.

          Yes, while it is true that there are some ways you can save partitions and windows in this case. Usually if Windows becomes totally corrupted, you have no choice but to re-do the partition and re-load the windows. Ask any of your local computer technician and they will tell you that. Thank you for your attention.

    Saturday, March 08, 2008 6:14 AM
  • Well Stalk,  I am a newbie and I kinda gotta agree with you.. I swopped HDD's and the pc booted. Unfortunately ubcd4win doesnt help coz it looks for c:\windows and if you cant see the dir,  its stuffed. "Spinrite" and "GP partition" see the partition but spinrite didnt appear to fix it. Ghost32 can see the partition ..for me..not so bad as I was ghosting an image onto the HDD.. so, put good HDD in as C: made the dudd secondary and booted up in  uBCD4win  that I had made  previously and Ghost saw the dudd HDD. As for repairing the HDD to retain original data.. will see if I can find solution. if seems to be in the boot sector area or disk signature, ie the bios cant read the type or size of the HDD. Nothin personal POWHAMMER  but I think your diagnosis sucks..this time..

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:24 AM
  •  

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:17 AM
  •  

    Heey i have the same problem was wondering iif you could send me to the steps i have a dell computer. if you could send it to my e mail it would be much appreciated

    xXFull_VIetXx@hotmail.com thank you

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:59 PM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

     

    For those of you having this problem, Here's your answer. Those of you have different brand computers, need to get into the BIOS. First, when you first turn on the computer, the post boot screen will come on, look for where it will tell you what key to press to get into the BIOS. All systems are different, some are done by pressing the F2 key, or the F11 key, others are the DEL key. On Compaqs and HP, uses the F11 key, Dells and other systems uses the F2 key. Barebone systems uses the DEL key. Once you are in the BIOS, you need to find the section on the Boot Order. The boot order should be placed in the following order:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD or NET or the like. (The 3rd boot order can also be disabled by selecting it.)

     

     Make sure the the HDD is placed as the first boot priority before any others in the listing, which means your main hard drive must be placed as a first boot device before any others that is listed. Also be sure that the black jumper in the back of your main hard drive is set to MASTER or MA as abbreviated according to the schematics shown on top of your hard drive. Any other drives that you have such as your CD-ROM, DVD-ROM must be placed as SLAVE or SL as abbreviated on the back of them. Once you have the boot priority set, hit the ESC key and save the configuration. It should now boot to your main hard drive booting up your Windows. Also, make sure your CD is out of your CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive! Good luck. Any other questions, I will be on a stand by.

     

    i have the same problem was wondering if you could send me the steps do do this. i have a dell computer. it would be much apppreciated if you could send it to my email

    xXFull_VietXx@hotmail.com

    thank you

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 5:35 PM

  • hey buddy just take out d CMOS battery, it will works get it to you to desktop belive it or not, it worked for me man
    seeeeeyaaaaa!.
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 2:35 PM
  • Have any of you tried Hard Drive Mechanic recovery software? You will need to use a Win98 boot disk, and your computer must be able to see the HD in DOS mode. The software walks you through everything, step-by-step. It's fixed quite a few HD problems for me when I would have had to slick a HD without it. Very nice program and fairly inexpensive. Not sure if it works on Windows Vista, but it does for XP and earlier. Just a thought. Good luck.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 3:55 PM
  • Completely Agree with you Stalk.  Powhammer is just posting a link to AVG, and Grisoft,
     
                I dont know if Microsoft should allow those kind of Promotional Post.
     
                I for example can see that he is full of "Blank" and is just promoting Grisoft, and AVG
     
                I have used AVG in the past, but now it's "behind"
     
      The New +Defense feature of Comodo Firewall and Anti-Virus is far superior.  but I'm not going to post a link.  If you are currious you can Google it yourself.
     
      As for Mr Powhumper If in 15 years all you have learned was to give useless advise, I feel sorry for your clients, or shal I say VICTIMS
     
    Thursday, April 17, 2008 2:08 PM

  •  

    Friday, April 18, 2008 9:06 AM
  • POWHAMMER POST SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE, or don't post anything at all.
     
              This has nothing to do with the problem, how is this relevant to the fact that this problems appears for no reason on a machine that was previously working...
     
    How is your "advise" relevant to a previously working condition.
     
    Why do you post this useless ***.  
     
    I'm almost expecting you to cite "Computers 101, for dummies"
     
    Hey, powhammer J-D Powers called they want to give you an award for the most useless "advise" on the net.
     
    Attn: MODERATORS, you have to review all the posts by Powhammer, and seriously consider how useless he/she is on these forums.  I have twice ran into completely useless *** posted by this self-endulging idiot, he usually recites some moronic completely irrelevant nonsense.  On one occasion he even promoted AVG (I don't mind AVG) but it was completely irrelevant.
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 12:30 AM
  •  

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 8:03 AM
  •  danhackley wrote:

    Last night my computer worked fine. On switching it on this morning, I get the error message:

    "A disk read error occurred   Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

     

    If I press Ctrl+Alt+Del, it just returns to the same screen. Also, when my PC first starts up a get a blue Intel pentium screen, which never appeared before. It will not boot into Windows. I tried setting the boot drive to the DVD drive in the BIOS and booting from my Vista DVD, but after the message "press any key to boot from CD", I just get the same error message.

     

    Any ideas how to help ? I have data I need to salvage from the HD. My old c: is 2 discs connected in RAID. Any boot discs I can use, or other suggestions?

     

    many thanks

     

     

     

     

    UPDATE: As I have gone back to review this post carefully and I am going to re-iterate on the issues based on what kind of problems people have been experiencing and there has been more than one problem that had been stated. First of all, such brands as Dells, Hewlett Packard and etc, have slightly different functionalities and are not the same. Second of all, some of those have not stated specifically as to whether they have a computer or a laptop, as an example, Dell sometimes have the XPS models on both computers and laptops. So, be sure to be more specific on the subject of the problem you are experiencing and whether it is a computer or a laptop so that I can have a better understanding of where you stand. The problems people experience involves a diagnosis of where the problem is located. Depending on the make of the computers and even laptops have different stages upon repairing the problems.

      When trying to re-install Windows XP after having a problem and having to hit "R" for the Recovery Console does not always work.

       Any of you that already had Windows installed and has his or her valuable files on the hard drive and trying to re-install Windows and still cannot get back into Windows which is seriously corrupted, will need to use an extra hard disk drive to put Windows on it (jumpered to "MA") and then "piggy-back" it to the main hard disk drive (jumpered to "SL") in order to retrieve the valuable files and then disconnected from the main hard drive for "safe keeping". (Note: Using such software as "Norton Ghost", "Magic Partition", any of the "Recovery" software and any other software is not 100% accurate. For any of the "Recovery" softwares, it will only recover partial files, but not all of the Windows files!) If you can't get into the Windows on the the main hard drive, then it must start with a clean "slate" by deleting the entire partition (this, you can use the old Windows 98 or Windows ME boot disk by typing "fdisk" at the A:\ prompt by following it's instructions. Be sure to put the boot disk into the floppy drive first then power up the computer/laptop. Those without floppy disk drive, use the Windows XP CD to remove the partition and stop there if planning on using a different OS.) and then do a new partition and on to installing Windows. (Note: Windows Vista's partition is different than Windows XP's partition. Same applies to the Release Candidates offered by Microsoft for testing purposes. Never install Windows XP onto the partition created by Windows Vista or you will have a serious problem.) Remember, the Release Candidates is ONLY for testing and is not to be used as permanent and it will expire at a designated time frame set by Microsoft. The Released Candidate can be installed on a different hard drive in conjuction with your permanent Windows on it's own hard drive together in your computer. Now on to the issue of an error of "cannot read disk drive A:\" and/or "disk read error". Most computers today do not have a floppy disk drive at all.

     

    When the computer and/or the laptop is not recognizing any of the drives and giving the error of "Cannot read drive A:", there are several ways to resolve that:

     

     For computers, it must be shut down and the power cord must be disconnected from power and remain disconnected for at least 5 minutes and while it is removed from power, open up the casing and remove the CMOS battery and allow at least 5 minutes. The next step is to leave out the CMOS battery and plug the power back into the computer and power the computer up so that the BIOS can take the change. Next, power down the computer and disconnect the power from the computer and put the CMOS battery back in. (The reason for this step of disconnecting the power again is because so you don't damage the motherboard through an electric shock.) Now you can connect the power and start your computer up. The BIOS should finally recognize the drives. If any of them are still not recognized, the posibility could be a faulty ribbon cable and needs to be replaced with a new one. ( A wide gray flat wire running to the drive.)

    (This step is a second option. You can use the first option above instead if needed.) If your computer recognizes your CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and/or the CD/DVD burner and not the hard drive, then hit a certain key displayed on your screen on the post-boot stage to get into the BIOS. then hit a certain key to apply the BIOS to a default and then save and exit. It should then recognize the hard drive, if not, open the case cover and check to make sure that all connections are tight by pushing on them. If nothing, then again, it may be the possibility of a bad ribbon cable, replace with new one. If the hard drive is still not recognizable, chances are, the hard drive may be bad.

     

    For laptops, this stage is a little different. Unplug your AC adapter from your laptop and remove the battery from it. it is either located on the bottom of the laptop or on the side of it depending on the brand and model of the laptop. Laptops do have a CMOS battery in it and it sometimes is not accessible to remove it. Only on certain laptops, it can be accessible and is usually found underneath the laptop's main battery. (Refer to the instruction manual or go to the manufacturer's Support website on how to remove and where to access the CMOS battery.)  If accessible, remove it along with the main battery and allow at least 15 minutes for the BIOS to take the change. Then re-install the batteries and connect the AC adapter and power the laptop.  All drives should be recognizable. If the hard drive is still not recognized, chances are, it may be bad, replace with new one or check to make sure the connection is tight.

     

    When installing or re-installing Windows, your computer must recognize the boot drive whether it is the CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or the CD/DVD burner. (Usually the CD/DVD burner works best depending on which Windows version you are going to install.) Some of you might discover a slight disadvantage still yet if the boot device is not recognized. As I mentioned earlier, different brand computers and laptops functions slightly different. In order to do that is by having to go into the BIOS to change the boot order as follows: 1: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or CD-DVD burner 2: HDD (or it may appear the numbers and/or the brand of the hard drive.) 3: Disable (there could be other logical drive showing up on 3, but set it to disable. You won't need any other logical drives except for the one you intend to use to boot.) and then save and exit out of BIOS. Other disadvantage on unrecognized boot device can occur is by having to change the ribbon cables on the drive used to boot the Windows installation. The best way that works is by jumpering the drive to MA (Master) (found on the back of the drive.) and place the other end of the ribbon cable onto the Secondary Master slot of the motherboard.

    For laptops, the only option is having to set the boot device order in BIOS as 1: CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or the CD and/or DVD burner 2: HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and 3: Disable.

     

     Please note: There are two different Windows CDs that looks the same, one is the full version and the other is an upgrade. You cannot use the upgrade version to boot it up since it will not boot up and it is not made to boot up, make sure you have the full version one to use.

      If you are unsure of my instructions or are confused by it, don't assume that you are going to try something different other than this I have mentioned, otherwise something may not go right. Such software like "Norton Ghost" or similiar may not work 100% of the time. (In my case is, I don't recommend them.) My best suggestion to you is to take your computer/laptop to your local qualified professional or the computer shop and let them service it for you at least you don't get a headache of trying to go through it on your own. Leave the headaches to your local professionals and they will get it fixed right for you. If you live in the area where I am, you are welcome to contact me to service your needs. Note: this information I have provided is completely accurate based on my performed experience successfully through professionalism and is in NO way as false information upon your attempt to repair on your own through failed results and lack of full knowledge.

     

     

    Updated Added Info: I apologize to those who were experiencing the "a disk read error" message. To find out the cause of the problem, first check and make sure that a power plug, and the ribbon cable or the SATA cable is pushed in tight into the hard drive, then go into the BIOS to check and see if it is picking up the hard drive or not. Here is an example of what to look for:

     

    In BIOS, the drives should list like this:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD (Floppy Disk Drive)

     

     The way this is listed, the "a disk read error" should not appear at boot-up. If it does, then it means that you would need to re-do the Windows. (reloading the Windows back on. Back up any of your valuable files first.) Or you may try performing a "repair" by using the Windows XP CD. The only physical sign when an error message appears regardless the hard drive still shows up in BIOS is an erratic "Clicking" noise which is coming from the hard drive and it is a sure sign that the hard drive is going bad. Listen for it because the "Clicking" noise can be very faint if your computer casing is not opened.

     

     

     If the BIOS shows this in the listing:

     

    1. FDD (Floppy disk drive) (or vice-versa)

    2. CD-ROM (or vice-versa)

    3. Disabled

     

    What is missing in the listing is the "HDD" (Hard disk drive). With "a disk read error" message,  this is an indication that the IDE ribbon cable or the SATA cable is bad and/or the hard drive is bad. Replace any of these as necessary. If the hard drive is found bad, replace and then check in the BIOS to make sure that the "HDD" appears in the listing and set at #1 in the listing. After that, you may want to read above for a good installation method or read below to my current postings.

     

     

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 12:44 PM
  • Hi guys, it's probably a bit late for a reply.  I came across the same proble when building a brand new hp pc at work.  I tried everything including changing the mother board. Guess what the problem was the SATA cable on the hard disk was faulty.  So there you go mystery solved.

     

    Ciara

     

     

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:45 PM
  •  

    Hi Ciara,

     

     Thank you for your input. Sometimes people don't even mention what type hard drives they are using. I have never thought of that either. If they had mentioned it, I would have that pretty much resolved for them. That's a great answer you came up! Thanks again.

    Friday, April 25, 2008 2:58 AM
  •  

    Thanks, Ciara. I was suspecting a sick motherboard, so it was a pleasant surprise when I swapped out the sata cable and the thing booted right up! Cool. Back to doing better things.....
    Thursday, May 15, 2008 7:09 PM
  • I switched my computer on this morning and got this problem. It's Windows XP SP2.
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:25 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

    If they had mentioned it, I would have that resolved for them in a snap.



    Sure you would.
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 9:57 AM
  • So far I have tried:

    1. Checked the bios, everything is detected as normal.

    2. Tried a different IDE cable

    3. Tried the CD drive IDE connection on the motherboard

    4. Took the motherboard battery out and put it back in


    None of these things work. I think the last thing that was installed before this happened was Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

    My computer is a Pentium 3 with Windows XP SP2 on a 160GB Hitachi Deskstar IDE HDD. This problem just happened when I switched it on this morning. Very annoying, I have to say I suspect it's a Windows problem and Microsoft need to sort it out.
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:32 AM
  •  mccririck,

     

     

    Many things can occur on computers mccririck. Please tell me what it said for an error or exactly what it did and I will try to help you the best I can with it.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:24 AM
  • I built my own computer a while back and about a month ago the mobo died. I got it replaced with the exact same mobo and installed it in to the computer. It POSTed but after that I got the "disk read error: press ctrl + alt + del to restart" message. I was so excited to have my computer up and running again, but it didn't work. I went into the BIOS and found that the HDD was the first boot priority and the CD rom was second... I tried loading default settings and still got the same message. Anything I can do myself, or should I just get professional help?

     

    Thanks for any advice,

    Vince

     

    Thursday, May 22, 2008 7:57 AM
  • I've had my computer since last april. It ran fine and I left it on most of the time. Now I get the "a disk read error occurred press ctrl+ alt + del to restart" and I cannot boot windows.

     

    I don't think the sata cable would just go bad on me if I wasn't tampering with it.

     

    This was only a few hours ago. It turned off by itself. I thought it was a power surge (though I have a surge protector) but then I didn't notice any of my lights flickering or anything like that. When it came on it gave this error, I resetted then it acted like it was booting up and then I came back and the error was there again and I haven't been able to get it to boot windows since.

     

    I booted with windows cd and did repair. In the prompt I typed chkdsk with /p /r on the disk in question and they both told me: "the volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems". But how can this be? It was working fine all year and in a matter of seconds there are more than one unrecoverable problems? Could it have been a virus attack on my MFT?

     

    I also tried to use the /f option but it did not exist even though microsoft says it

    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315688

     

    I'm going to look into these other solutions: SpinRite, 6/GP partition.

     

    I just want to know what I am doing wrong from the traditional methods and what could have caused this, if I was the target of some kind of experienced, irate hacker.

     

    I am more concerned about getting back my data than resuing the hard drive. I am probably going to send it to WD after this and get it replaced or buy a new one and never use that one again just in case this happens again.

    Friday, May 23, 2008 11:47 PM
  •  

    I can't even boot the HDD.And when i press R for repairing the win xp using recovery console,the examine of the hard disk hangs. It will not go to MS-DOS.I can't even repair. I need help here!!!
    Wednesday, June 18, 2008 5:36 PM
  •  

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 7:01 AM
  • I was able to save my data by using file scavenger from quetek. I highly recomend using it as I was able to save my data after my mft was corrupted.

     

    I was required to spend additinal for another hard drive to transfer to but it was little expense for the price of the data on the original drive and compared to the price it would have costed me for a technitian to charge a minimum of 40$ an hour. I still walk away with a new hard drive and handy application for tight situations.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:15 PM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

    AH STALK,

     

    I SUGGEST YOU BACK OFF ON THIS ISSUE!, I HAVE OVER 15 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, WAY MORE THAN YOU HAVE. YOUR CASE OF ISSUE IS NOT THE CASE 100% OF THE TIME. IF A HARD DRIVE SHOWS UP IN THE BIOS, IT IS CONSIDERED STILL GOOD. I SUGGEST THAT YOU ATTEND A TRAINING SCHOOL OR SOMETHING TO LEARN MORE.  HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF A "PROFESSIONAL PC TECHNICIAN" AFTER YOU STATE THAT YOU HAVE TO INVESTIGATE THIS ISSUE FURTHER? I AM ONE TRUE PC TECHNICIAN WITH MANY YEARS OF KNOWLEDGE IN THIS FIELD AND KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. IF YOU CONTINUE WITH YOUR IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR ON THIS FORUM, I WILL REPORT YOU TO MICROSOFT! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. BY THE WAY, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR BREATH ON THIS ISSUE.



    nothing personal bro!

    but i really wonder wht the hell have u been doing whole 15years?

    just attending courses?

    practically things r different.

    this error is common when u have hardware problem.

    in this case, changing the wires might help. or just removing and placing them again.

    if it was from bios, there would be no read error, it would be simply that hd is not being read, theres a difference

    its not tht u have been into this for 15 yrs.

    how many hours daily do u spend on stuff?

    again, nothing personal, believe me, while weinting this reply, i have even forgotton ur display name. so, dont take it personally, just think tht u have learnt some thing new from another course!  Stick out tongue
    Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:52 PM
  • People, With your hard drive issues, please check your hard drive jumpers (located in the rear of hard drives where the plugs are) and make sure that it is placed as Master and also make sure that your SATA or ribbon cable is plugged in IDE 1 slot on the motherboard. (IDE 1 slot is colored blue for ribbon cable connection.) Once you have made sure of these correct settings, re-boot your computer and see if Windows finally loads on. If not, you may need to re-do the Windows again by deleting it's partition and start over. If you are not sure how to do this, please take your computer to your local qualified computer technician to service it. 

     

    .....  What about for newer hard drives that don't have jumpers?  Or for people that have systems with multiple hard drives?

     

    Good Lord man, stop giving everyone and their cousin bad advice, in an attempt to drum up business for every fly-by-night tech that thinks he knows how to fix something (or worse, everything). 

     

    When attempting to recover data, the very LAST thing you want to do is muck around deleting partitions, reloading Windows, etc.  This thread is actually fairly informative, if you ignore Powhammer's drivel.  Ciara (Beachball) brings up the excellent point that sometimes it's the simple things that can cause big problems.  "Re-do'ing" Windows might indeed fix the problem with booting your machine- at the COST of losing your data (especially if you delete your partitions as he has recommended).

     

    Your advice might be that of a "15-year Computer Technician," mine's just the advice of an 8-year Computer PROFESSIONAL.

     

    Regards,

    Ben

     

    Monday, June 23, 2008 11:19 PM
  • thanks for the info. but i dont understand wat u mean by "Also be sure that the black jumper in the backof your main hard drive is set to MASTER OR MA as abbreviated according  to the schematics shown otop of your hardrive" or any thing else below that till the sentece that starts with "once you have the boot............" or the 5th to last sentence of that paragraph     (yes, i dont know THATmuch about computers so please refer to not using too in-depth computer vocabulary  if u can, alot!!

     

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 1:27 AM
  • Look guys, I just don't have time for this talk or argue on this. Do you see my eyes peering in computers helping others out on here?, NO. I hear it by their words in description. There are many different problems that occurs with computers and NOT all computers are the same. And Ben, Check my post above again since you quoted it, ooopppsss, did you miss it? Was that a mistake? Better in terms now. Now, to tell you this:  I am a PROFESSIONAL computer technician and I have SERVICED many different computers for my customers for YEARS. And besides, I am NOT a fly-by-night technician and I DO NOT give bad advices!, got it?? Depending on the severe conditions of Windows, sometimes you can do a repair through the Recovery Console and sometimes you HAVE to re-install Windows. Think about it Ben, you should KNOW that you need to back up any files you want before having to re-install Windows and there are MULTIPLE ways to do it. Some newer hard drives are still the same as usual that have jumpers and there are others that are SATA drives that may not have jumpers. (That's where people needs to mention about.) For multiple drives is pretty easy to do, but for some of those out there that don't have much experience, it is NOT easy for them. Now, I am NOT going to explain any further on how to fix anybody's computers as I have said enough that I posted above here. My best suggestion is for anyone to take their computers to their local professional computer technicians if they are unable to figure out what the problem is. That is what they are there for. I only help with just certain things that people are having issues with on their computers, NOT explain the entire "How-To-Do's". For that above I posted ONLY covers what people had posted of the issues they experienced. Now, as I mentioned earlier above is this:  Note: this information I have provided is completely accurate based on my performed experience successfully through professionalism and is in NO way as false information upon your attempt to repair on your own through failed results and lack of full knowledge. This is the bottom line that I tell anyone who tries to fix their computers on their own. If anyone happens to live in the same area as me, I would certainly fix it for them rather than having to explain to them of how to fix the problems and of course they're gonna get charged if they want me to fix it. Enough said here. Thank you.

     

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:00 AM
  •  Adovid,

     

    A few things to point out here, Never leave your computer on 24/7 and just be lucky that your motherboard and your CPU did not get fried out. It may be likely that you had viruses on it, yes. The problem you mentioned there, about unrecoverable volume and since you did try to repair it, appears to be beyond repair and the only choice you've got now is to back up all your files you want to keep and do Windows over again. You can back your files up on another hard drive if you have one. If you are looking to get a new hard drive, the best hard drive there is, is either a Maxtor or Seagate. They are very good in quality. Good luck.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:32 AM
  • nothing personal bro!

    but i really wonder wht the hell have u been doing whole 15years?

    just attending courses?

    practically things r different.

    this error is common when u have hardware problem.

    in this case, changing the wires might help. or just removing and placing them again.

    if it was from bios, there would be no read error, it would be simply that hd is not being read, theres a difference

    its not tht u have been into this for 15 yrs.

    how many hours daily do u spend on stuff?

    again, nothing personal, believe me, while weinting this reply, i have even forgotton ur display name. so, dont take it personally, just think tht u have learnt some thing new from another course! 

    Devil Ninja,

     

     I have been working my BUTT off working on customer's computers, that's where the hell I had been doing! I have never took any courses. I learned it all on my own and much more out of it than attending the courses that don't teach you much today and besides, it never existed at the time when I first started off. I always catch on the new computer technologies as well, but they have not changed that much but has improved making it easier to work on. Just to let you know, I have fixed the very first computer that came out in a compact size that fits in your home. Now, you'd figure that from all these years of experience, do you think that already by now I should be a teacher teaching this stuff?  I would certainly think so! Of course it is common to have errors when it comes to the hardware issues and same goes for the BIOS. Well, enough said and I've explained it all.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:57 AM
  •  dannyboy768 wrote:
    thanks for the info. but i dont understand wat u mean by "Also be sure that the black jumper in the backof your main hard drive is set to MASTER OR MA as abbreviated according  to the schematics shown otop of your hardrive" or any thing else below that till the sentece that starts with "once you have the boot............" or the 5th to last sentence of that paragraph     (yes, i dont know THATmuch about computers so please refer to not using too in-depth computer vocabulary  if u can, alot!!

     

     

     

    Dannyboy,

     

     I have re-edited it above so that it is clear enough for you to understand it. My apology for that.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 5:28 AM
  • i have r edited reply saved on word, ill try i when i have time, thanx! hope this works cuz i miss my PC if it doesnt like most people say ill do wat they say, idk

     

    Saturday, June 28, 2008 1:55 AM
  • While I appreciate everyone's effort to diagnose the problem I feel the need to throw in my two cents worth as it relates to my issue. A hard disk which has been working faithfully since Novenber 21, 2007 suddenly displays the subject message. The hard drive only contains my programs and some data. Since I back up my data to a RAID configuration and CDs or DVDs I'm not worried about the data. I do not want to have to reinstall the programs though. My first thought, just like Stalk and Devil Ninja, is that the boot sector went out, or at least could not be accessed. That continues to be my idea for the following reason. It's been working for 6 months just fine, why would the jumpers and.or the BIOS matter now. Sure when you first set up a hard drive all of this must be set correctly. What did I do to test this theory? I have three other hard drives with working operating systems on them. I simply hooked up the drive in question as a secondary drive (slave), changed my jumper settings from Master to Slave on the drive in question, and put it on the middle female connector on the IDE cable and hooked it up to a known bootable hard drive with the jumper set to Master. Guess what? I could see all of my data and programs. This tells me that for some reason my OS on the drive in question is unable to boot up.

    Now I have a question. What experience does anyone have with recovering programs and/or operating systems and/or their settings? I Googled PowerSuite Professional and Norton's Ghost any comments or recommendations? If I figure something out I'll post it here.

    Friday, July 04, 2008 5:18 AM
  •  larue1995,

     

     No problem on the diagnosis larue. As you know, I discredit Stalk for his mis-information. As you pointed out about your hard drives, I don't know what kind of computer you have. But, since you said about the IDE cable, your main drive, (Master drive) must be set to IDE 1 on the motherboard, not IDE 2. Your third hard drive can be set as Master on IDE 2 on the motherboard. Some computers such as the Dells, e-machines, Hewlett Packard and other brands are not able to do what you call "Dual-boot" and from what it sounds like is what you are trying to do. To do a dual boot, you need a barebone system with a motherboard such as the ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or other brands. The way that you can dual-boot each hard drives is either by pressing the "F8" key a few seconds after the boot screen or by going into the BIOS to the boot section where it will list the hard drives that you can select the one to boot from. As far as the Norton's Ghost, I really don't recommend it.  As far as trying to save your data, there are few ways of doing it, but it all depends on what kind of error it is. This can go from a hard drive not showing up in BIOS to boot error, to corrupted data and so on. Above all, I do it the "Microsoft way" and I do not use such "programs" such as Norton Ghost or the like. When trying to restore the boot sector or to restore data is by using the Microsoft tools such as using the Windows CD by selecting "System Repair". If the Windows is unable to boot normally, you can use "System Restore", (which can be found in "System Tools" from the "Start" then "All programs" listing.), "System Restore" can also be done in "Safe Mode" as well. What I highly recommend is bringing your computer to local computer shops for repairs. To do alot computer repairs requires alot of computer skills that one often has to take a course in any schools that provides that course. I do hope that this helps you and even though, I am trying to show some respect and helpful here and I get hard times from those who are being smart arses and disrespectful.

    Friday, July 04, 2008 7:10 AM
  •  

    Powhammer: Reported for trolling.
    Sunday, July 06, 2008 9:48 PM
  •  

    Monday, July 07, 2008 3:03 AM
  •  

     

     

     

    Monday, July 07, 2008 11:36 PM
  •  

    Trolls use all caps.

    Powhammer uses all caps.

     

    Trolls threaten other forum members.

    Powhammer threatens other forum members.

     

    Trolls provide official sounding but ultimately questionable advice.

    Powhammer provides official sounding but ultimately questionable advice.

     

    Powhammer must be a troll. 

     

    Q.E.D.

    Monday, July 07, 2008 11:40 PM
  •  

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:15 AM
  • Superdave,

     

     My website is currently down for re-design. However as far as my e-mail, I cannot post it here. Sorry. We should not be discussing this in this forum. Thank you. 

     

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:31 AM
  •  

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008 6:18 PM
  • You must be joking.  Your "solutions" are potentially harmful.  I am reporting you to Microsoft for dorkish behavior.
    Wednesday, July 09, 2008 2:31 PM
  •  

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008 11:34 PM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

     larue1995,

     

     No problem on the diagnosis larue. As you know, I discredit Stalk for his mis-information. As you pointed out about your hard drives, I don't know what kind of computer you have. But, since you said about the IDE cable, your main drive, (Master drive) must be set to IDE 1 on the motherboard, not IDE 2. Your third hard drive can be set as Master on IDE 2 on the motherboard. Some computers such as the Dells, e-machines, Hewlett Packard and other brands are not able to do what you call "Dual-boot" and from what it sounds like is what you are trying to do. To do a dual boot, you need a barebone system with a motherboard such as the ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or other brands. The way that you can dual-boot each hard drives is either by pressing the "F8" key a few seconds after the boot screen or by going into the BIOS to the boot section where it will list the hard drives that you can select the one to boot from. As far as the Norton's Ghost, I really don't recommend it.  As far as trying to save your data, there are few ways of doing it, but it all depends on what kind of error it is. This can go from a hard drive not showing up in BIOS to boot error, to corrupted data and so on. Above all, I do it the "Microsoft way" and I do not use such "programs" such as Norton Ghost or the like. When trying to restore the boot sector or to restore data is by using the Microsoft tools such as using the Windows CD by selecting "System Repair". If the Windows is unable to boot normally, you can use "System Restore", (which can be found in "System Tools" from the "Start" then "All programs" listing.), "System Restore" can also be done in "Safe Mode" as well. What I highly recommend is bringing your computer to local computer shops for repairs. To do alot computer repairs requires alot of computer skills that one often has to take a course in any schools that provides that course. I do hope that this helps you and even though, I am trying to show some respect and helpful here and I get hard times from those who are being smart arses and disrespectful.


    right i have had plenty enough of this, i have been trying to read this thread to solve this issue as i have forgotten how i fixed it before. But i just want to say Powhammer you discredit other people who are actually the ones who are saying constructive information and could help to solve the situation. of the stuff that i have read from you is just a load of bollocks and also you discredit norton ghost? seriously what the *** thats the best piece of software if you want to keep data safe and also it does save the entire partition including all of windows. Also dell,hp cant dual boot? seriously i think you need to go back to kindergarten or whatever its called because thats the level of stupidity your currently on. Also you want to know something? i have a dell right next to me that is setup to dual boot. Also for a professional your english is appaling i reccomend you go back to school for that."I get hard times from those who are being smart arses and disrespectful." the only one who is being disrespectful is you since your the idiot who cant stop saying take it to proffesionals, well i hope to god there isnt any other like you around if there is, i feel sorry for the people who put their pcs in their hands. "requires alot of computer skills that one often has to take a course in any schools that provides that course." well clearly you have not done any of what you say others should do, now i will continue reading the threat and reply to anymore ********* that you say if i think it needs it.
    Thankyou
    James Dartnell
    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 6:47 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

    MCRANK,

       LOOK IT PAL, IF YOU DON'T LEAVE THIS FORUM, I WILL REPORT YOU TO MICROSOFT! I DO NOT TOLERATE THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR HERE. THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!

     


    Look at it, more stupid behaviour if your a professional with 15 years experiance I hope i never end up where you got your experiance, and if your so proffesional you wouldnt caps and seem to shout at others over a forum. Also do not threaten people either its a shame MS doesnt have enough mods so they could find the *** that you post and get rid of you. Oh and who the *** are you to warn people? If you understand this term GTFO. Oh and again learn english please
    Thanks
    James Dartnell
    Tuesday, July 22, 2008 6:51 AM
  •  

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:03 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:
     Jaddie wrote:
     Powhammer wrote:

    MCRANK,

       LOOK IT PAL, IF YOU DON'T LEAVE THIS FORUM, I WILL REPORT YOU TO MICROSOFT! I DO NOT TOLERATE THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR HERE. THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!

     


    Look at it, more stupid behaviour if your a professional with 15 years experiance I hope i never end up where you got your experiance, and if your so proffesional you wouldnt caps and seem to shout at others over a forum. Also do not threaten people either its a shame MS doesnt have enough mods so they could find the *** that you post and get rid of you. Oh and who the *** are you to warn people? If you understand this term GTFO. Oh and again learn english please
    Thanks
    James Dartnell

     

     

     

    JAMES,

     

     

     WHAT I SAY IS NOT "STUPID BEHAVIOR". I HAVE ENDURED ALOT OF KNOWLEDGE IN COMPUTERS THAT I BECAME A TECHNICIAN AND HAVE THE WILLINGNESS TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THEIR COMPUTERS. THERE ARE SOME IDIOTS THAT COME IN HERE BLURTING OUT THINKING THAT I AM A NO GOOD TECHNICIAN AND I DO NOT APPRECIATE THEIR BEHAVIORS AND I AM TIRED OF IT! SOME OF THOSE IDIOTS DO NOT HAVE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF COMPUTERS AND ARE NOT QUALIFED TECHNICIANS. SHALL I HAVE TO GET YOU BANNED AS WELL?? GOOD FOR YOU THAT YOU HAVE DUAL BOOTED YOUR DELL COMPUTER BECAUSE I KNOW THAT DELL AND SOME COMPUTER MANUFACTURERS HAVE CHANGED MOTHERBOARDS TO A BAREBONE TYPE ONLY ON A FEW OF THEIR MODELS RECENTLY. DID I SAY THAT I DISCREDIT NORTON GHOST??, NO! I JUST DO NOT RECCOMMEND IT. IT IS UP TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE TO USE IT AND I SAID IN AN EARLIER STATEMENT THAT NORTON GHOST IS NOT 100% ACCURATE. NOW, STOP YOUR NONSENSE AND GO WITH THE FLOW IF YOU INTEND TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS TO LEARN OR GET HELP, NOT THREATS! THANK YOU.

     

    Help people? thats a load of ***, so many people could loose out on data by following your stupid methods what the *** was that 15 years using the power button?. You try to tell others they dont know about computers well to be honest you seem to know bugger all apart from how to use a few things in dos if that. You tell me not the use threats? when u just threatened to get me banned? lol, i will tell you mate the only one who is gona get banned is u lol. and dont try that *** about barebone systems dell making changes thats *********, it doesnt matter what the system is made up of, it depends on the Boot loader you use and what that can load up for example grub can load the windows boot loader, linux, or mac os the hardware doesnt have anything to do with dual booting apart from the hard drives of course which can never be the problem anyway. I am not looking for answers since i solved this issue myself. Also try  not using caps and writing like an angry child. The only one who should stop their nonsense is you since you just spout out worthless rubbish.

     

    Also for those wondering the issue is caused by the MFT (Master File Table) this tells the system how to read the drive and identify information on the partition, i recently ended up with having to do recovery and format because acronis disk director messed up the partition while trying to edit the cluster size. the best method of recovery would be to either use another os to make an image of the partition, using a live usb stick or another hard drive. Do not ever try to edit the damaged partition as i used vista shrink to do that and of course without thinking allowed it to do the processs and because it didnt know there was anything on the partition is just made the partition fromm 700gb to 1mb so woops there. If anyone needs help just ask, also the issue can be caused if you attempt to format a partition using vista then try to install any older OS onto the partition as it wont read it since vista uses a newer version of the NTFS filesystem.

    Thanks

    James Dartnell

    Powhammer I await your reply hopefully this time you will write it in a more civil way and not using caps or threats.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:21 AM
  •  

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:21 AM
  • Try it mate lol oh and dont warn me, you have no right to do so now shutup

    No Thanks
    James Dartnell

     

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 3:45 AM
  •  

    Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:33 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:
     Jaddie wrote:

    Try it mate lol oh and dont warn me, you have no right to do so now shutup

    No Thanks
    James Dartnell

     

     

    LAST WARNING!, YOU WILL BY REMOVED FROM THIS FORUM BY MICROSOFT! I WILL NOT WASTE MY TIME WITH YOU!

     

    To quote a video i watched once, "why dont you go play go hide and go fuckyourself?"

    Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:02 AM
  • I've had this problem for several months.  In this forum string, I find FIVE pages of folks either having the problem
    or complaining about those trying to help.

    I never did find a cause or a 'fix for this Disk Read Error.  About every other month it pops up on me, and my
    only recourse is the following:

    1. I purchased a program called CASPER and mirrored a second harddrive.  On a desktop unit it can be installed
    as a slave drive, or with a laptop PC you can purchase an external USB drive. The CASPER programs runs each
    night at the same time, so I always have a current 'mirrored' harddrive.

    2. When this 'Disk Read Error' pops up, I power off my desktop and swap the drives. I then boot from my good
    (Caspered drive) then, from a DOS window, I type"  Format d: /fs:ntfs  You can type 'help format' at the DOS
    prompt for a listing of the format options.

    3. When the format completes, I restart my system and run CASPER against the newly-formatted drive to restore the image.

    4. I then power off my system, swap drives, and power-up with the newly formatted and Caspered drive!

    And when things fail again, I do the same!  It's a sure fix for a problem that I've not been able to resolved!

    Thank you !!
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:33 PM
  • Aztechie,

     

     I don't know why you are using the Casper software. That doesn't work 100% everytime, even the Norton Ghost doesn't do that either. If you are looking to have a "solid ground" partitioned hard drive. There is a better way of doing it. First, I don't know if you are using a SATA hard drive or an ATA IDE hard drive. Let's set this as an example, let's say you have a SATA hard drive and you have an IDE type CD/DVD-ROM drive. Your SATA hard drive needs to be plugged into the SATA1 output on the motherboard. (Usually, the word SATA1 is inscribed on the motherboard underneath the SATA outlet, or check your motherboard or the computer's manual. (Ignore SATA2 port unless if your CD\DVD-ROM drive is also a SATA type drive.) You can also find that information on the manufacturer's Support website. After the SATA hard drive is on SATA1 outlet, the CD/DVD-ROM would need to be plugged into the Secondary Master port on the motherboard (not the Primary Master), the CD/DVD-ROM drive itself would need to be jumpered to "MA" (Master) as inscribed above in the back of it. (where the plugs go in.) (As I mentioned about the jumper settings and etc is where your problem is, getting that "a disk read error" message because of that settings you had set in the first place.) Then, as far as the formatting the hard drive goes, I would simply delete the partition entirely by using either the Windows 98 or the Windows ME boot disk. If you don't have a boot disk (which is on a floppy disk) you can make one from the Windows 98 or Windows ME CD. You would need to open the Windows files that are on the CD and look under "boot" folder. Or you can go to this website to download it and get it on a nice fresh blank floppy disk. The link is here: http://www.bootdisk.com/   Once you finally have a boot disk, with your computer shut off, pop in the boot disk. (This will go into the DOS mode.) You want to select it to run  "without CD-ROM support". When it gets to the "A:\" prompt, simply type in "fdisk". If you have an "NTFS" partition on your hard drive, you would want to select to delete a "Non-DOS partition".  Then hit the "ESC" key to go back and select # 4 to check and make sure that there are no partitions active on that hard drive. (Read the instructions carefully as you go through it.) Next, turn off your computer and pop the boot disk out. Then turn your computer on and then pop in the Windows CD. (Whether you are looking to load Windows XP or Windows Vista.) From there, follow it's instructions carefully and it will create a newly formatted partition. If you have your valuable files on the other hard drive if it is an ATA IDE type, then, that can be placed as a "Secondary Master" drive with the jumper set to "MA" on that drive (If it is a SATA hard drive, then you can plug it on SATA2 outlet). There is a "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard" in Windows following this path: Start/All Programs/ Accessories/System Tools\Files and Settings Transfer Wizard. When you get there, follow it's instructions carefully, and if you do it right the way that you want your files transferred, it will get them all there for you. It may take some time depending on the amount of files you have saved. I truly hope that this will work out for you in this fashion without any further problems.

       When you mentioned about the laptop hard drive, it would need to be done on the regular desktop PC using a special plug for it. (it can also be done within it too and with that other regular hard drive you have with the important saved files would need to be encased in the External hard drive casing that has a USB plug on it, which can be plugged into the laptop for file transfer.) The special plugs are sometimes sold in computer stores, but this particuliar special plug is very rare and hard to find now. I have one of those when I need to perform the laptop hard drive through the use of the regular desktop PC. You can let me know what type of hard drive you have and provide all the information about your computer and I can do my best to guide you in a better way possible. Since it is hard not to be able to actually see your computer and find out what's going on with it. With all the information you can provide me, I will have a better understanding and idea of what is going on with it. If my statement of an example description fits exactly what you have in your computer, I wish you the best of luck and hope it works out good as you expect it.

     

    P.S. I have just recently added something to my earlier postings above and I will post it here as well for you too...

     

     

    To find out the cause of the problem, first check and make sure that a power plug, and the ribbon cable or the SATA cable is pushed in tight into the hard drive, then go into the BIOS to check and see if it is picking up the hard drive or not. Here is an example of what to look for:

     

    In BIOS, the drives should list like this:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD (Floppy Disk Drive)

     

     The way this is listed, the "a disk read error" should not appear at boot-up. If it does, then it means that you would need to re-do the Windows. (reloading the Windows back on, before you do that, back up your valuable files first.) The only physical sign when an error message appears regardless the hard drive still shows up in BIOS is an erratic "Clicking" noise which is coming from the hard drive and it is a sure sign that the hard drive is going bad. Listen for it because the "Clicking" noise can be very faint if your computer casing is not opened.

     

     

     If the BIOS shows this in the listing:

     

    1. FDD (Floppy disk drive) (or vice-versa)

    2. CD-ROM (or vice-versa)

    3. Disabled

     

    What is missing in the listing is the "HDD" (Hard disk drive). With "a disk read error" message,  this is an indication that the IDE ribbon cable or the SATA cable is bad and/or the hard drive is bad. Replace any of these as necessary. If the hard drive is found bad, replace and then check in the BIOS to make sure that the "HDD" appears in the listing and set at #1 in the listing. After that, you may want to read above for a good installation method or read below to my current postings.

    Friday, July 25, 2008 5:14 AM
  • Hey!  Good Tips!

    I printed it out and will carefully read the details.
    BTW.... Casper has NEVER let me down in this situation.
    It was (for me) a good work-around after I was unable to find the root cause of this error.

    Also, my desktop is a Gateway which is about 6 years old with ATA IDE harddrives.
    I did replace the drive ribbon cable, however the Master and Slave jumpers have ALWAYS been
    set to the 'cable select' mode, as opposed to plugged 'Master and Slave.'
    I don't know if plugging them as 'Master and Slave' would make a difference. It's run this way
    from day 1.

    Something else I've notice (resulting in this error) is if the PC hangs during a
    shutdown, and I have to hold the power off switch to kill it, next time I power on I see this error.
    This is not always the culprit, but having to override a hung Windows shutdown has, on occasion, contributed to this error.

    Thanks again!

    Friday, July 25, 2008 5:13 PM
  • No problems Aztechie. The Master and Slave settings will make a difference. When you said about the Cable Select jumper setting. The Cable Select setting is actually for when you are just using the hard drive on the ribbon cable with nothing else attached to the same ribbon cable. This is the same thing with only CD/DVD-ROM on the ribbon cable with nothing else attached to it. When you have, say, a hard drive and another hard drive on the same ribbon cable, the main or Master hard drive has to be set to "MA" while the second hard drive has to be set to "SL" or slave. Some of the hard drives, for instance, a Maxtor hard drive, the jumper pin has to be removed completely in order to slave it off. This setting is the correct way to do it and it will give you better results. That is one reason why some people were getting "a disk read error" message when the jumpers are not set correctly.

     

    About the Windows "hanging" or "freezing up" that you mentioned, there is a workaround for that so that it does not occur again. How do you do that? Well, at your desktop, if you click on, going this path: Start/My Computer/ C:\ drive. At the C:\ drive, right click on that and a small menu pops up, select "Properties". When that comes up, Click on the "Tools" tab. In that, you will see the "Error Checking" section. Click on the "Check Now" button. It is going to tell you that it cannot perform it but asks you if you would like it to check it the next time you restart the computer. Click the "Ok" button and then simply restart your computer and it will perform that task. When you do that task, it will work and I will tell you, it won't "hang" again at computer shut downs. What this "Error Checking" tool does, it actually scans and fixes any of the Windows main files, even it's main boot sector files. So, in this case, when the Windows "hangs" or "freezes up", it is the cause of a corrupted Windows' main files and/or it's boot sector files. These corrupted files is so hideous that alot of people didn't even know the cause as to why the Windows "hangs" or "freezes up". So, there's more good tips for ya.  

     

    Friday, July 25, 2008 7:39 PM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

     larue1995,

     

     No problem on the diagnosis larue. As you know, I discredit Stalk for his mis-information. As you pointed out about your hard drives, I don't know what kind of computer you have. But, since you said about the IDE cable, your main drive, (Master drive) must be set to IDE 1 on the motherboard, not IDE 2. Your third hard drive can be set as Master on IDE 2 on the motherboard. Some computers such as the Dells, e-machines, Hewlett Packard and other brands are not able to do what you call "Dual-boot" and from what it sounds like is what you are trying to do. To do a dual boot, you need a barebone system with a motherboard such as the ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or other brands. The way that you can dual-boot each hard drives is either by pressing the "F8" key a few seconds after the boot screen or by going into the BIOS to the boot section where it will list the hard drives that you can select the one to boot from. As far as the Norton's Ghost, I really don't recommend it.  As far as trying to save your data, there are few ways of doing it, but it all depends on what kind of error it is. This can go from a hard drive not showing up in BIOS to boot error, to corrupted data and so on. Above all, I do it the "Microsoft way" and I do not use such "programs" such as Norton Ghost or the like. When trying to restore the boot sector or to restore data is by using the Microsoft tools such as using the Windows CD by selecting "System Repair". If the Windows is unable to boot normally, you can use "System Restore", (which can be found in "System Tools" from the "Start" then "All programs" listing.), "System Restore" can also be done in "Safe Mode" as well. What I highly recommend is bringing your computer to local computer shops for repairs. To do alot computer repairs requires alot of computer skills that one often has to take a course in any schools that provides that course. I do hope that this helps you and even though, I am trying to show some respect and helpful here and I get hard times from those who are being smart arses and disrespectful.


    I'd just like to point out that dells can in fact dual boot. I'm using one right now, stock motherboard. And no, it is not barebone. I mean I'm not meaning any disrespect, but if you are telling people that dells cannot dual boot, then I would be a little sketched out about taking any of your given advice. Like we understand that you are trying to help, but it's just going to be at the cost of peoples data and time. You've been a computer technician for fifteen years (you claim). I'm eighteen years OLD and can recognize errors in your posts. Like I don't mean to discredit your advice, but I feel like it's necessary as to prevent anyone from really screwing up their systems.
    Friday, July 25, 2008 9:00 PM
  • ihatenames,

     

     Thank you for your input on that. I apologize for not being more clear on that subect of Dell computers. To make it more clear, speaking on the older Dell computers such as those that were Pentium II and Pentium III's as well as any that used the older AMD CPU chips, these older Dell models was never made to be able to dual boot hard drives. I did see the newer Dell models in the Pentium 4 class that can dual boot hard drives these days. These have the ability to dual boot just like the motherboards used in barebone systems. The E-machines in the Pentium 4 class have that capabilities as well. No harms on this. While all computers are different but their configurations are still pretty much the same when it comes to hardware parts. I did try to re-iterate on some of my errors the best I can as you pointed out and I appreciate your concerns. Thank you ihatenames for sharing this with me and again, I apologize.

     

    Saturday, July 26, 2008 4:35 AM
  •  

    wow, well Powhammer you seem to have changed a lot since I last posted, I am 16 years old and I notice the odd mistake here and there ihatenames. But anyways you could apply "the student always becomes better and more powerful then the teacher". The mistake i would like to point out is the fact you said cable select is for 1 drive on a cable only, that is wrong. Cable select is so that you can just plug the device in to a position on the ide cable and the mobo will automaticly find the settings. However if 1 drive on the cable is set to CS then all the drives must be otherwise it will not work. As much as I would love to provide assistance to people I cannot because i use sata and the cause of the issue was I used vista to format the partition, which meant it was using the newer version of NTFS and XP couldnt read it properly. If anyone has any other questions i would be glad to try and assist them.

    Thanks

    James Dartnell

    Saturday, July 26, 2008 8:16 AM
  • This is just ridiculous and after reading this thread I have to respond.  This forum is meant for people that are trying to solve problems, not a place where a simple problem such as PC not booting should be swept under the rug as being too complex.  Unfortunately Powhammer is the one spreading this FUD and I know he is going to report me to Microsoft for saying so (Uh Oh).  Contrary to what "professional PC techs" would like you to believe, it is possible for the average person to have success with PC repair and maintenaince, even if you have to go as far as running the recovery console to fix the problem.  That is what these tools are meant for.  It doesn't take any special training to type a simple "fixboot" command.  All it takes is a set of instructions if you don't know what to do. 

    It is perfectly o.k. to leave your computer on all the time.  It will not "fry out your motherboard and CPU."  According to Scott Mueller, author of Upgrading and Repairing PC's, leaving your computer on 24/7 is fine. It is the constant turning off and on that is a problem because of the thermal stress placed on the components from heating up and cooling down constantly.  Leaving it on all the time ensures a constant temperature so parts are not expanding and contracting which could cause things such as chip cases to split.  Obviously make sure your fans and heatsinks don't get too clogged with dirt and keep your computers off the floor if possible and you will have greatly reduced dust sucked into your machine. 

    Also I have to second the notion that ensuring jumper settings are correct has no relevance to troubleshooting a previously working computer.  However, I would agree with the fact that sometimes a dead CMOS battery could cause corrupted MBR settings. 





    Saturday, July 26, 2008 6:30 PM
  • Well, I hate to tell the both of you based on what you are saying on these three subjects, I have to disagree on these three. Ksyder, With great amount of experience I have, technically, Scott Mueller is wrong. I have had about 3 customers or more that came to me with their computers and come to find out, they told me that they left their computers on 24/7 and guess what? Their motherboards and CPUs were fried out because of it. They even had very limited cooling in them. I ended up having to replace both the motherboards and CPUs for them. I don't know where Scott Mueller got that idea from about chips splitting. So, I really do not recommend computers being left on 24/7. For Hard drives, they have three different jumper settings. The "CS", that is Cable Select is actually for as a single drive on a ribbon cable with nothing added to it, that is why the hard drive manufacturers have placed it at as the "default" because it is a single drive. Get an instruction booklet that comes with the hard drive and it will tell you what these 3 settings are for.

    Now, for the CMOS battery, it has nothing to do with a "corrupted" MBR settings. The CMOS battery actually serves as power to the BIOS to store the settings in memory (this also includes the setting for the hard drive in the boot listing) and also the clock that you see in the lower right hand corner of your task bar. That clock is generated from the clock that is in the BIOS. When the CMOS battery dies, the settings in the BIOS becomes lost and the clock goes off track. So, I do not know where the both of you got these information from, since really, they are not true and that's where some people got side-tracked from that.

     And Ksyder, when you mentioned this: "even if you have to go as far as running the recovery console to fix the problem.  That is what these tools are meant for."  That is true but, it is not used for every aspect of errors. Microsoft created other tools for certain errors or problems as well. Microsoft has provided help sections in Windows as well as in booklets that will tell you what certain tools are for and what they do. 

     

     

    Now, James, I appreciate your willing offer to help other people out on here, but really, it is not necessary. You could have been banned not too long ago, but just be lucky that you aren't. There is alot to this in computers that are very sophisticated and it does takes an experienced tech to try to easily resolve problems for others as long as they give more than enough information to know what is going on. But, thanks anyways.

    P.S. Do me a favor will you please, remove that little "snotty" remark that you put in at the bottom. I would appreciate that.

     

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 3:29 AM
  • Someone's tone has inexplicably changed.  I wonder why.
    Sunday, July 27, 2008 10:30 AM
  • Ok...so now Scott Mueller is wrong too.  Oh well can't win here I guess. 
    Monday, July 28, 2008 5:35 AM
  •  

    Yeah i will change it since you seem to have some decent things to say, howver you have made the same mistake again, CS is cable select, meaning you can plug in other drives to the cable if u set them to cable select, it not for only 1 drive. Oh and if im gona do you a favour, do me one shut the *** up saying im gona get banned - no im not mate, and also stop with the experianced IT tech *** no-one cares and it means nothing. The only times that leaving a machine on 24/7 is if the machine sucks, normally AMD stuff breaks because its cheap same for asrock etc. But leaving a machine on 24/7 is fine just make sure you have decent cooling and quality products not cheap *** and it wont break, never heard of chip splitting that guy Scot sounds like someone who is making stuff up, chips dont split due to heat lol the whole chip cools at the same speed lol.

    Thanks

    James

    Monday, July 28, 2008 1:41 PM
  • Everyone is harping on the whole chip splitting thing, which is one example quoted out of the book.  The point is of the enormous stress placed on solder joints due to thermal stress.  Sorry its not something that you can look at and see.  Me and many others have been running computers for 24/7 for many years... its called servers guys, do you think they only turn them on when necessary?  Of course not its called 99.99% uptime!  Its just part of being a power user.  Besides as they say, "correlation does not imply causation" as in just because a whopping 3 people whose systems died left them on at the same time does not imply that leaving them on was the cause of the problem.  Try inadequate power supplies, leaking capacitors, etc, these could cause more problems.  I am not going to go as far as "discrediting others for their mis-information" but check your facts. 

    Also, Powerhammer. I'd recommend you familiarize yourself with how the boot loader works before you come out and say that the bios has nothing to do with finding the MBR.  Most of your "facts" are just circular talk that doesn't have relevance to the problem at hand. 
    Monday, July 28, 2008 7:52 PM
  •  

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:49 AM
  •  Powhammer wrote:
    Alright, look it kids, I am not going to keep babbling on this old lousy story here. Why don't you both go and find something constructive to do instead of sitting in front of your computers rehashing this nonsense here, huh?

     



    This is not a threat. This is not a warning. You have been reported to Microsoft. That's two reports so far.

    Your behavior is disgusting and your facts are often wrong. Too often. Your font formatting is annoying and unpleasant to say the least,  and your treatment of other individuals trying to give good advise *despite* your presence. is harmful to the thread in specific and the forum in general. I have asked that you ben banned and hope others will do the same.

    This is a public forum. It is a shame that things like you have to ruin it for others who are tying to find legitimate information. And that people have to waste time reading posts like yours and this one.

    Powhammer: You *just* promised NOT to keep babbling. Please. For once, don't lie and instead, *KEEP* your promise. Please.

    As for the problem at hand, Please consider reseating the HD and checking the cables. I just got the problem today and after *trying* to read this thread despite the disgusting cretinous behavior of p, that was what did the trick. Reseating a loose HD. I was using a laptop.

    Best regards
    Thursday, July 31, 2008 12:28 AM
  • Blimey, thank goodness for that, and its not wasting my time i spend 5mins a day max on this forum reading YOUR nonsense. Im glad your not gona reply anymore good ridance.

    If anyone needs help ask and i will try to help Smile

    Thanks

    James

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 1:07 AM
  • The only thing on that IDE Bus ribbon cable are the two hard drives.
    The other IDE Bus ribbon cable has two CDROM drives (one being a DVD burner).
    However, I've heard a lot of discussion here on plugging Master and Slave, so I will follow your advice and do it!

    And I have run that Error Checking routine in the past -- possibly it's time to run it again to ensure the integrity of my hard drives!

    Tks PowHammer!................ AZ Techie!

    Friday, August 01, 2008 8:56 PM
  •  Powhammer wrote:

     

    For those of you having this problem, Here's your answer:  Make sure that the black jumper in the back of your main hard drive is set to "MA" (MASTER) as abbreviated according to the schematics shown on top of your hard drive. (On the sticker at the bottom.) Any other drives that you have such as your CD-ROM, DVD-ROM must be placed as "SL" (SLAVE) as abbreviated on the back of them. (These abbriviated letterings are stamped in the metal or plastic part in the back, it can be hard to see, use a flashlight to get a good look at it. Those of you have different brand computers, need to get into the BIOS. First, when you first turn on the computer, the post boot screen will come on, look for where it will tell you what key to press to get into the BIOS. All systems are different, some are done by pressing the F2 key, or the F11 key, others are the DEL key. On Compaqs and HP, uses the F11 key, Dells and other systems uses the F2 key. Barebone systems uses the DEL key. Once you are in the BIOS, you need to find the section on the Boot Order. Make sure the the HDD is placed as the first boot priority before any others in the listing, which means your main hard drive must be placed as a first boot device before any others that is listed.The boot order should be placed in the following order:

     

    1. HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

    2. CD-ROM

    3. FDD or NET or the like. (The 3rd boot order can also be disabled by selecting it.)

     

     

    Once you have the boot priority set, hit the ESC key and save the configuration. It should now boot to your main hard drive with the Windows loading on. Also, make sure there are no CDs or DVDs in your CD-ROM drive or the DVD-ROM drive before you start your computer! Good luck.

     

    Update: See page 3 of my newer posting for further explanation of this.

     

     

    Just thought I would post because hopefully it will help others.  This was my situation:

     

    I was troubleshooting another pc, and in order to rule out the HDD I used my Western Digital SATA drive to boot up the other PC.  After reinstalling my HDD, I neglected to push the SATA cable all the way in the HDD and presumed to boot up my PC.  I got the "Disk Read Error", shut down my pc, and realized the mistake I had made.  However, after plugging in the SATA drive correctly, I STILL received this error. 

     

    After browsing through the first few posts, I realized what had happened.  When I turned on my computer without the master HDD in place, my computer automatically reset the boot priorities.  After going into my bios, this was confirmed by observing the boot order.  I changed the settings back, saved and restarted and bingo, worked! 

     

     

    Now that I have that portion taken care of, I just couldnt hold my tongue at how off-topic and annoying this battle between forum vs. powhammer has become.  If you are troubleshooting, please disregard this portion as it doesnt relate to the original post, and I dont want to waste any more of your time because im sure you have already wasted enough by this point. Being completely unbiased, this is my observation:

     

    Powhammer- For the most part, you give good ideas on other things to try in case the basics dont work.  However, there are many ways to deliver information in a professional manner, and I must say, you lack that ability.  Constantly saying you have so and so amount of experience and discrediting others without knowing their backgrounds makes me question your legitimacy.  Im sure others came to the same conclusion.  Now, that doesnt mean we dont believe you, it just plants that seed of doubt.  Also, threatening people with bans is childish and also unprofessional.  If someone is being out of line, be a mature adult and turn the other cheek.  People will see their true colors with time.  Dropping to their level, however, discredits you even more.  But again, I did read all of your posts and found MOST of it to be helpful, but you make a lot of bold statements considering (like you said) you havent even seen their PC.  But instead of asking questions on pertinent information (I.E. SATA, IDE, type of drive, brand, etc) you make some sort of assumption and continue to troubleshoot for them.  The average guy might not understand what he is doing, take what you said as fact, and perhaps lose or destroy their software/hardware because of something simple that wasnt addressed.  Please dont take this negatively as Im just pointing out my observations.  Again, I found most of your information to be helpful, but at times presented poorly. 

     

    As for everyone else, I know its easy to be a jerk online.  Im sure if you were face to face with Powhammer your attitudes wouldnt be so hostile.  I feel like there was a handful of people here that were just fueling the fire, and I wasted a lot of time trying to sort out the information from the defamation.  In the future, it wouldnt hurt to be respectful. 

     

     

    Anyways, Im happy my problem is fixed and hope others experience the same luck!

     

    -Matt

    Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:33 PM
  • Matt,

     

     I appreciate your concerns. My posting that you have highlighted is about IDE ribbon cables. I have not addressed the SATA cables there. I do know that SATA cables are different than the IDE cables and I am sure that you know that as well. Meanwhile, it is no harm. Thank you for posting your successful attempt with the SATA cables and it can be helpful for others that are using SATA cables as well. As always, I do my very best with what I can to help others as long as they do not present a very negative attitude and yes, you are right about the situation. Thanks again Matt. 

     

    Sunday, August 03, 2008 1:39 AM
  •  

    I did not catch anyone say, but I could be wrong.  Did you just make a system change, such as flash BIOS?  If you are using soft RAID - and flash your BIOS, your SATA as RAID setting probably went back to IDE.  Probably wont help anyone in the past, but for future reference - that was the fix for me.  I didn't lose any info, just changed those settings back and into the OS I went!
    Monday, August 04, 2008 10:05 PM
  • I read post after post.  the problem could also be an unrecognized disk format.  this would require going into the recovery console and attempting a  chkdsk, fixboot, and fixmbr.  chances are you OS will need to be reinstalled and your data will be lost.  If your disk format is gone it's gone.  If you have an unreadable disk error and your cable or master / slave jumper is incorrect.  Then you shouldn't be playing around inside your pc anyway.    You could also try this method which has worked in the past for me.  Daisy chain your hard to a working pc with working Windows XP OS.  XP will see the disk and attempt a filesystem repair automatically.

     

    Hope it works

     

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008 9:51 PM
  •  Thank you Marley for your feedback. This can sometimes be a problem too as you mentioned. As you mentioned about to daisy chain the hard drives, at the same time, you can always back up your important files or data on the other hard drive before having to re-install the OS on the hard drive that caused a problem. It's important to partition the hard drive and format it completely before installing the OS. Thanks again Marley. 

     

    Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:15 AM
  • Powhammer,

     

    You seem to have the right motivation, but lack the knowledge to help. This problem is caused by the boot sector not reading. This is not a fix boot scenario, and can develop from a number of causes.

     

    That the situation is best managed by recovering what you need from the disk - it is unlikely that the disk is damaged, and you can amongst other options, add it to another system as a slave drive to read data from, or create a ghost image of the drive, and recover using ghost explorer.

     

    The drive will need to be formatted from a dos floppy, an XP CD or other, and a clean install created.

     

    Powhammer: I am an IT professional. Fully qualified with degrees, diplomas and over 20 years experience. You on the other hand are a self taught power user. There is a difference. so please stop with the in your face bold text, and OTT commentary. The forum does not need your attitude.

     

    Regards.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:57 PM
  •  Wight Man wrote:

    Powhammer,

     

    You seem to have the right motivation, but lack the knowledge to help. This problem is caused by the boot sector not reading. This is not a fix boot scenario, and can develop from a number of causes.

     

    That the situation is best managed by recovering what you need from the disk - it is unlikely that the disk is damaged, and you can amongst other options, add it to another system as a slave drive to read data from, or create a ghost image of the drive, and recover using ghost explorer.

     

    The drive will need to be formatted from a dos floppy, an XP CD or other, and a clean install created.

     

    Powhammer: I am an IT professional. Fully qualified with degrees, diplomas and over 20 years experience. You on the other hand are a self taught power user. There is a difference. so please stop with the in your face bold text, and OTT commentary. The forum does not need your attitude.

     

    Regards.

     

     

    Wight Man,

     

     Thanks for the info and I am aware of that as you mentioned and it can be correct as you said depending on the condition of problems. My knowledge goes as far as I have gained through the years, and the problem was, some people don't give enough info so that I can guide them as best as I can. I have repeated this already in earlier posts. I generally do not use bold face text unless someone causes a problem with such unneccessary behaviors towards me in which I cannot accept that attitude. Thank you anyways for your concerns though.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:32 PM
  •  Guys I normally dont post on forums but I have to say, STFU Puddhammer! Your info is incorrect most times and as was said before when it is correct you dont give all the info needed. You act like your 12 but claim to have more years IT experience then you are old!!  Look give your advice if you dont like what the next post says about your advice then STFU and dont give anymore advice! Its that simple!

       I personaly just wasted over half an hour tryin to pick through this mess of threats and childish Bull, only to get the best advice at the end from Wight Man. Who I see you are now looking for brownie points from.

      Grow up ! Post once if your info is used cool, if someone discredits it cool, at least you tried and move on.

     BTW you have been reported and I hope that microsoft finds it in there greedy lil hearts to ban you.

     

     Thanks to everyone else for your time and information on the matter!

     

    Friday, August 15, 2008 2:05 AM
  •  

    I have created for the first time a raid 0+1 configuration  4 WDC 250 Gb sata drives and now after a power failure (which drained my UPC) Nothing internally was disrupted/ moved etc. The case was not physically moved.  The Bios reveals all 4 drives intact and readable. The AMT completes on all fronts, then I get the error

    "A disk read error occurred   Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

     

    Pleeeease Haaaalp !!!!!!! #$%

    Thursday, September 04, 2008 10:05 PM
  • This problem occurs when you have the cable switched.  Set the CDROM to master and HD to slave, or switch the cable the right way and make sure the HD is master and CDROM is slave.  The end of the cable denotes the master drive and the middle of the cable is the slave (typical with cable select).

    Monday, September 08, 2008 2:47 PM
  • sorry if this posts as a long message.
     
                           
    Powhammer, am i right in thinking that if i have swaped the hdd round ( i have 3 in my comp 2 running from 1 ide cable and 1 from an expander ide card) after getting the fault this thread is about and that the 2 drives that were my
    main 1's are now running from the expander card and the 3rd drive is now pluged into the main ide cable and is the only 1 not working that my problem could just be a faulty ide cable that is pluged into the mother bord ?

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:02 PM
  • FVZZ2,

     

     That could be possible that you may have a faulty IDE ribbon cable. Try replacing the IDE ribbon cable and see if that works. You also might want to check your BIOS to make sure that your drives shows up in it. Some BIOS will lists the hard drives under the Boot section.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008 2:01 AM
  • If all else fails, try loading the Smart Drive on your system.  This may and may not help...depending on your OS.  Try loading an older OS (i.e., Windows 95, Windows 98, etc.) with the Smart Drive feature.  Afterwards, upgrade your OS to Win XP or Win Vista.  Good luck!!!!

    Monday, September 22, 2008 1:59 AM
  • If your HD can be picked up by a friend's pc or maybe you have another pc of your own, connect this drive up and try to run the Windows defrag on the drive. I had this issue a while back and ran Windows defrag on it and seemed to fix it. May as well give it a try
    Saturday, September 27, 2008 7:36 PM
  •  

    I just turned off my computer last night and when i switched it on this morning, i get the error message: "A disk read error occurred  Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart". If I press Ctrl+Alt+Del, it just returns to the same screen.

     

     

     

    Please can you help me couse i don't want to format my computer. What can i do work normal?

    Sunday, September 28, 2008 6:51 PM
  • In my case it was a bad Ribbon Cable.  This despite the fact that I had just installed a new one.  When I had tried eveything else, I finally changed it out and BAM!!  it was fixed.  Go figure.  Just my luck.  LOL

     

    Monday, September 29, 2008 6:40 AM
  • I just solved this problem for my specific case. I have no idea if this works in other cases, but here's my solution:

     

    [Case Description]

    HP Compaq nx7400 with WD3200BEKT sata hdd suddenly stopped booting with an error message right after POST stating "A disk read error occurred  Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart..."

    The laptop had worked properly before and we had recently replaced the HDD because of the exact same error. After functioning for a week or two the same error popped up. The HDD's contents were still readable on another system, ruling out TOC problems.

     

    [Solution]

    A BIOS upgrade did the job. The laptop booted as normal again. The bios installed was one from somewhere in 2007 and I installed the F.0E (27 Aug 2008) version.

     

    [Solution details]

    Apparently noone here realised it might be BIOS related, as the machine worked without problems for a long time, and the HDD was simply replaced, solving the problem temporarily. To be honest, I only tried this after ruling out a corrupt MBR and some other standard issues. This BIOS upgrade was actually my last resort and if it hadn't worked I would've replaced the HDD (again).

     

     

    Friday, October 03, 2008 12:08 PM
  •  

    Dear guys.

     

    I am having a very big problem with my hard disk. its an IBM harddisk. I am using a desktop. I realised that the error with my harddisk is not with the cables, because I moved the hard disk from one cpu to another, however, still unable to read. I then did the windows repair, with the windows CD, however, it just goes to the black screen,with the recovery console, where it tells me to type "exit" to exit the recovery console. after it restarts, the error still occurs.

     

    I really don't know how to save the problem. anyone can help? i need the data inside the harddisk.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:09 AM
  • "Professional PC techs" are average people who have learned how to find the answers to their questions. Now, I'm a (snicker) "professional" repair tech who has his own business. I have NEVER claimed to know all the answers but I do claim I know where to find them. Probably 75% of what I know, I learned from the internet. If one can learn to build a nuclear device on-line, one can certainly learn how to fix a stupid computer on-line.

    I have to agree with leaving a machine powered up 24/7. Anybody ever notice when a lightbulb blows out? They almost never blow out when you are just looking at them. You hit that power switch and poof. That and the fact that my maintenance programs all run at night make it common sense to leave my machines run 24/7 assuming they all have adequate electrical protection, which they do via APC. Thermal creep is not a myth. I have seen video cards work their way out of slots and quit working.

    If a machine has been running fine and suddenly fails to read a disk, jumpers are so rarely to blame, it's not even worth a mention. The first thing one should ask is "what changed?". What events have occurred that might have caused this to be an issue?

    And as for having 15 years of experience and still not knowing enough to just shut up and leave it alone, well, it sounds like one year experience repeated 15 times. I'm a pretty decent tech but I have been wrong on more than one occasion. The problem is that like a medical specialist, we find an area we are really good at and knowledgeable of and have a tendancy to go there first. You go to a brain surgeon with athletes foot and of course he is going to say you need a brain operation (a little extreme but you get my point).

    With 15 years experience, one should know (and be mature enough to accept) that we can still learn if we know enough to shut up and listen. Very little learning is accomplished while one is talking. The older I am, the more I learn, the more convinced I am that I know nothing.

     

    Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:03 AM
  • so...does anyone truly have a valid working solution for this problem...which it seems to have jus faded off in this thread....just curious as the "System read error pres ctrl+alt+delete to restart" appeared on my PC as well. Just a note, I first had Vista Ultimate 64-bit installed, however then oddly enough no sound came out, so I repaired using Windows Vista, which didn't help, and then I also reformated the HD and installed Vista, but that failed as I received an error message during installation, (x80070057) and so then I though maybe the cd itself is bad so I tried to install XP Pro Media Center but same error came up, and then this new error message came up, "system read error..."
    Any Suggestions?
    bTw...I already have backed up my files onto a second hdd i have the WD 160GB

    My Specs..............

    AMD Athlon X2 6400+
    Asus M2N32 nForce 590
    4GB A-Data RAM
    XFX Nvidia 8800 GT 512MB
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro Series
    WD 750GB HDD > SATA 3.0
    WD 160GB HDD > SATA 3.0
    750W PSU
    NZXT Apollo ATX Mid-Tower

    Thursday, October 23, 2008 2:29 PM
  • Dear Mr. Powerhammer, Technician Guru Infinite

    Ah yes, 15 years experience. That is certainly a fine accomplishment and deserves a tip of the hat to you. Unfortunately your maturity and intelligence doesn't have the same years of experience. But at least you know how to find the CAPS key to blast people who have more sense of the right solution than you. You are absolutely right though, ANYONE can pose as a technician and obviously running your own computer business has obviously gone way too far to your head. But I'm sure your loyal clients (ie. Mom) hold you in high esteem.
    If you had in fact "investigated further" you would find your Nuke-It-and-Reinstall-It-All tech strategy is the core philosophy of IT persons who are too proud and
    full of themselves to "investigate further," and subsequently ignorant of their ill advice. Anyone can be a technician if the answer to every problem is to reinstall.
    Let me say right now, I am not a technician. But i do clearly remember cleverly tweaking my memory configs and autoexec.bats back in the day when 128k ram was the bomb. Think back some 19, 20 years ago.
    In Stalk's defence, my Disk Read Error came subsequently after one of two actions; 1) a Diskeeper MFT boot defrag, which is not unlikely seeing as the boot files couldn't be read properly afterwards, or 2) a Windows Vista Update. Of course, who really knows with Windows Vista.

    The solution? Reset BIOS, Booted from Vista CD, chose Repair System, and finally opted for the Startup Repair. Now I'm here havin' fun, and still have all my precious data.

    Cheers!
    Friday, October 24, 2008 3:11 AM
  • Had this error happen today on my wife's laptop.  Opted to do the recovery console and fixboot command.  Laptop is up and running again. 

    Sunday, October 26, 2008 3:32 AM
  • I thought I would share my solution to this issue as it did take me quite a while to find it.  Note that this may only apply to my specific scenario and that you should always speak to a professional support person before trying any solution that you find on the Internet.

     

    In my case, I am running Windows XP SP2 and my hard drive is encrypted with SafeBoot.  My hard drive is SATA and my machine had the latest drivers and firmware applied.

     

    Issue: After entering my username and password for SafeBoot, I was given the dreaded "A disk read error occured."

     

    Solution: In the BIOS, I went into the hard drive and changed the setting for translation mode from Automatic to Bitshift.

     

    Hope this can help others out there!

     

    Monday, October 27, 2008 3:08 PM
  • Had the same problem as Niels79 above, but with an HP Vectra VL420 Tower PC running Windows XP Pro SP2 on a Seagate Ultra ATA U Series 9 160 gb hard drive.

     

    After installing some Windows Updates and restarting, the PC suddenly stopped booting and went into a "A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart." loop. The hard drive was recognized OK in BIOS, and a boot record was found on the boot HD, but I tried Recovery Console with CHKDSK, FIXMBR, and FIXBOOT commands anyway with no effect. Changing the boot order of the various drives on the PC, swapping in a new IDE cable, and changing the boot HD's jumpers also had no effect: the same error continued.

     

    During this process, I used the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows to run Recovery Console, an antivirus scan, and various utilities on the HD. UBCDW also let me connect to a network drive and save backups of My Documents, Favorites, etc. from the C: drive.

     

    Saw Niels79's post and decided to update the HP BIOS from version JA.01.04US to JA.01.07. Using another PC, I downloaded the BIOS flash executable from HP's Support site, ran/extracted it to a new folder in C:\temp, then copied its files to a minimal, no-drivers boot floppy created with the "Driver Free Disk For BIOS Flashing" boot disk creator downloaded from http://www.bootdisk.com/ .

     

    Booted the Vectra VL420 from the BIOS floppy, ran the BIOS flash app, restarted the PC, and Windows fortunately restarted (big sigh of relief). It's been running normally for several hours now.

     

    YMMV, but the BIOS update worked for me.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:16 AM
  • yea....kind of just fixed it on my own...though the responces and solutions seemed accurate! All I did was, since I said I had to hard-drives, I simply just disabled the 750GB HD which had the problem, loaded up only the 160GB, installed XP on there withouth any errors, and then simply connected the 750GB, XP found it and installed its drivers, and then I formatted the 750gb and simply use that as my backup for all my music,pictures,videos,games,etc. (Was planning on using the 750gb hd for backup and simply the 160gb for the system anyways...) And so I guess all turned out alright, and everything is running smooth as nothing lags with the system (160gb) hard drive!
    Cheers!!

    bTW...if you dont have a 2nd hdd, then maybe try pluggin in the defected hdd into another computer (if accessable) and see if you can format it and then run a disk check! A suggestion....(what do u think Mr.Powhammer??)

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:45 PM
  • Ok, I wanted to post a reply to this because it really did through me for a loop. 

     

    In my case it was on white box with a SOYO Dragon Ultra - Black Motherboard, with 1 GB Ram, 150 GB PATA primary drive; 200 gb PATA secondary hdd; two optical drives; OS: windows XP Pro SP2.

     

    After years of the system running with no issue all of sudden my customer got the message "A disk read error occurred   Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart"

    there have been no hardware changed made,

    This happens immediately after the machine POST. 

    All disk were detected fine.

     

    There have been many good suggestions made in this thread, and frankly I think most should be attempted in this order.

    1. I checked the drive itself. it was in good working order. no problems found and ran a chkdsk. (i did this by slaving the drive to another machine.)   

    2. Replacing the PATA Ribbon cable - had no effect.

    3. Changing BIOS settings and setting the Hard drive settings manually had no effect.  Really after years of the system running not sure why this would make a difference anyway but it does not take much time.

    4. I looked at the boot.ini file on the drive - it was correct. I used a utility boot cd I have to check this file.

    5. I attempt to get in to the recovery console with a windows XP pro sp2 cd. The idea was to run fixmbr and fixboot.  I was not able to get into the recovery console.  The "check hardware configuration" message would come up but at the point where is whould normally start loading the drivers (blue screen, scrolling through the drivers at the bottom), I would only get a black screen. (waited for 20minutes for it to change). 

    6. I stuck my customers drive into a test bed machine I have and it did what I expected any good drive to do that had been moved to a different system (Started to boot windows then BSOD).  This was much further in the boot process - so the boot sector and mbr where good.

    7. I stuck the test beds xp drive on the customer computer and it actually attempted to boot windows xp.  This actually through me...  I expected to get the same disk read error.  This Drive as much smaller a 40 GB drive.

    8. I removed all extra add on card and removed all but the primary drive...- no effect.

    9. I check the jumpper setting as suggested here.  They were set to cable select vs. master/slave. changed them - no effect.  Again after years of the machine running was not sure why this would have an effect but it does not take long.

    10.  I flashed the BIOS with the most current BIOS.  After years of the machine running and no hardware changes, with no issues, I do not know why flashing the Bios would make a difference... - it worked. Flashing the BIOS worked. 

     

    Now if someone could tell me why it worked, I might be able to sleep tonight.

     

    BTW on point 5 trying to getting into the recovery console but would only get a blank screen, after the BIOS flash the XP setup does get through loading the drivers and you do get the choice to press R to get to the recovery console.  I wanted to test it.

     

    P.S.  Think it might help to have a little more detail.  This board is running an AWARD BIOS. I wish I had documented the verision before the update.  The updated verision was 2aa9 release 12/2003  this is from Soyo website not sure it match what other manufactures number thiers as.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:19 PM
  • Danny,

    Sounds like  your customer was pretty good about taking care of their machine, and kept up with current updates.

    Couple of questions:

    1)  Did the error occur during an attempted upgrade from SP2 to SP3?

    2)  If not 1), were they indeed keeping up with their updates?  I think what might have happened was, hardware drivers updated for something on their machine; drivers that assumed a more current version of the bios was present.  Machine attempts to boot, and voila, disk error.

     

    Hopefully that helps you sleep.  Stick out tongue

     

    Ben

     

    Friday, October 31, 2008 3:02 AM
  • How can I upgrade the Bis on my computer if cannot even start it I downloaded the upgrade on my laptop but I need to install it on my desktop but all i get is A DISK READ ERROR OCCURED MESSAGE

     

     

    Thank you

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:40 AM
  • Optrix,

     

     What I am pointing out is that for those who thinks that they know it all, really don't have alot of experience as I do. I have done my best to offer them my advice on how to resolve the issue that they are experiencing. It is nice for those that shared their own resolved issues with others, that's good. However, those being smarty-pants trying to "outsmart" me had forced me to use CAPS to warn them and I cannot assist them. In the meantime, this is not an argument board. I have already offered my advices already that you can either take it or leave it. As a last resort to the current issues here, many computers are not the same because of the make and models of many different manufacturers. These problems results in different solutions. As you mentioned about configurations from 19 or 20 years ago, yes I do remember that. Thank you for your input and your attention.

    Thursday, November 13, 2008 10:33 PM
  •  

    Im using HCL laptop.....having 120GB SATA HDD. 

     

    i had installed Ubuntu n later deleted from Disk Management n installed XP again.

     

    after some days i went to my friend from home on SCOOTER....n all d way to his home the laptop is shaking.

     

    then i switched ON the laptop....d message comming.... "DISK READ ERROR....Press CTRL+ALT+DEL"

     

    now my question is....

     

    what made it like tht....Did my HDD crashed???

     

    or

     

    Some sectors of the HDD having BAD SECTORS...(i had seen them whn im formatting XP last time)

     

    if at all my HDD crashes.....can i "RECOVER my DATA"????   if "yes"...."how can i"???    very imp data are there on the HDD....

     

    Please please help mee............

     

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:51 AM
  • When you see that message, the likely cause is a corrupt MBR. The easiest way to repair this is with the Windows XP CD. Boot to the CD, and when it stops loading, press R for recovery console.

    Follow the prompts, and when you get to the C:\Windows\System32>_ prompt, simply type FIXMBR and press Y to confirm. The operation is safe, it only writes a new boot loader to the first sector on the hard drive. Your data is a few sectors AFTER that.

    You could also type FIXBOOT and again press Y to confirm. Should you want to ensure your data and drive is safe, type CHKDSK /R which will scan for and attempt repair of bad sectors.

    Once all those commands have finished (and CHKDSK can take an hour or more to complete) you should be able to reboot the laptop and boot to Windows without issue.
    Wednesday, December 03, 2008 6:17 AM
  • My computer (less than six months old) was working last night. Turned it on this morning to the receive the same error "A disk read error has occured, press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart". Attempted to boot from the XP Professional disk in DVD drive and received the same error.

     

    Primary Master: DVD-RW ATA 33

    Primary Slave: None

     

    IDE Channel 2: Master Disk

     

    Master HDD is SATA, had nothing but problems with this machine since I built it, unsure if it's a Windows issue or something in the Hard Drive that is continually crashing. Since building it in July, I've had to either run repair via the XP console, CHKDSK picked up no problems with the hard drive a month ago. Three weeks ago had to create a new user account as the default user profile was corrupted. AGGH!

     

     

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008 11:02 PM
  • Replaced the HDD with a spare one this morning, check disk found errors with the File Allocation Table. Managed to retreive my data - thankfully. Possible corrupted install of XP? Tempted to try another OS if a legitimate version crashes again. Sad
    Friday, December 05, 2008 7:56 AM
  • This also happened to me after a restart. I mention that i tried to experiment with MAC OS X before the restart.

     

    No cable change, no fixboot, no fixmbr, no bootcfg /rebuild solved the problem.

    If you try to use BIOS's Fail Safe Defaults you may have luck and the problem will be solved.

     

    My problem was that the first partitioning and format of the drive was with BIOS setting LARGE, not LBA. Who cares when you buy a new PC and the BIOS detects it automatically as LARGE!

    I think theese settings are overruled by OS's and they does not care about BIOS settings, but so does the booloader.

     

    I think this problem generally appears after new OS install, work with partition managers such as Partition Magic, gparted and so on.

     

    So try LARGE if your  disk is detected LBA or try LBA if your disk is detected as LARGE.

     

    Reboot and you will see that your HDD ain't broken as seen in some forums.

     

     

    Saturday, December 06, 2008 10:46 PM
  •  

    Mine crashed again this morning after replacing the hard drive and the SATA cable. So it has to be a Windows issue. Odd, never had problems running a priate copy, only the full legitamate version gives me gripes.
    Sunday, December 07, 2008 6:06 AM
  •  Twisties34,

     

     As you mentioned this, 

    Primary Master: DVD-RW ATA 33

    Primary Slave: None

     

    IDE Channel 2: Master Disk

     

    Master HDD is SATA


    As I see your description here, there appears to be a hardware conflict that gives that error. Your DVD-RW should be placed on the Secondary Master with the jumper setting to "MA" (Master). The Primary IDE Master should not be used at all because you have the SATA HDD that is set to Master. The Master SATA will conflict with the Primary Master IDE. So try that and hopefully you should not get that error message again. Also, leave the Primary IDE Slave as "None".

    • Proposed as answer by Carmievg Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:15 PM
    Sunday, December 14, 2008 6:53 AM
  • I've got a customer who has been having this issue as well. But I can't duplicate it. The damned thing works fine on my bench. The closest thing I can see as a resolution that I haven't already tried is the IDE cable. I just swapped it out, and naturally it works fine. Haven't tried updating the BIOS, but really see no reason to. I'm wondering if maybe the computer is seeing an iPod, or camera, or some other such drive as the boot device? The BIOS is not set to boot from USB, so I doubt that is the case, but I'm wondering if, ya know? I'm becoming more and more convinced that it's some kind of an environmental issue in their living room; Maybe too much stuff on the one circuit? I know, the power supply should filter such anomolies, but it can't always do everything. I've had this same machine here three times now; First time was to replace the hard drive, (It was making some clickity clack noises anyway), the second to replace the motherboard, (my third fix, second being the power supply, which I did in home), and now I'm just scratching my head. I've even tried running their AOL software *shudders* and messaging my Mom for a half hour, in an effort to duplicate their usage patterns. Still can't make it malfunction.  They even had their active desktop go away on them once or twice. I've run AVG, A-squared, checkdisk/r, you name it, and everything comes up just fine. I am baffled. I wish it would shut off or not boot for me.. At least once!!!!!!!! Damn, I hate intermittent issues..
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:27 PM
  • had this same problem this morning on a coworkers computer.
    after reading this thread i figured i'd try the easiest step first.
    i swapped out the sata cable to the HDD, and it works fine now!
    thanks!
    Monday, March 16, 2009 4:01 PM
  • Hi,

       I was having the same problem here, my friend asked me to see his computer coz it'd never boot to windows until then. It always says
    "A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alrt+Del to restart", Can somebody help me about this problem?

    Here is the summary:

    *His PC has a two CD/DVD ROM, one Hard Disk Maxtor 40GB, two Memory Module: 256/128Mb of ram
    *When I Turn on his computer it says "A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alrt+Del to restart"
    *I tried to reset the (CMOS) settings but nothing happened
    *I checked all the Jumper settings and it is properly set.
    *I tried my working hard disk and format it using his computer but the same problem occured, the formatting was stopped and a blue screen appeared saying "If it is the first time you've seen this message, restart your computer".
    *I tried to test his hard disk on my computer and it works fine
    *In my own observation, his hard disk is working properly so I tried to test my ribbon cable on his computer to think that might be the solution to this problem but nothing happened
    *And now I am really confused!! I don't know what to do next!

    Can some0ne help me? This is my first time encounter about this problem since I am a newly graduate comptech this year and I'm just a second year college in computer engineering this next school year. It was not yet been taught to us and I really want to solve this problem so I can take advantage on my classmates next year, hehe. and also for my own experience as a technician, so that someday,
    I can be like you guys. =)

    Thanks,
    Eldrich
    Wednesday, April 01, 2009 5:42 AM
  • I'm working on it right now - XP service Pack 3 was the last thing that was installed before experiencing this problem. Whatever you do, if you're reading this thread, stay away from ALL info that someone named POWHAMMER has posted. You will cause damage to your Data and lose everything.
    Something happened to my drive that has caused it to report an incorrect size to the BIOS, it shows 255 heads, when it should actually be 16 Heads. i will have a solution to this later, it seems to be related to symantec anti-virus and/or norton ghost.
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 9:44 PM
  • My computer (less than six months old) was working last night. Turned it on this morning to the receive the same error "A disk read error has occured, press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart". Attempted to boot from the XP Professional disk in DVD drive and received the same error.

     

    Primary Master: DVD-RW ATA 33

    Primary Slave: None

     

    IDE Channel 2: Master Disk

     

    Master HDD is SATA, had nothing but problems with this machine since I built it, unsure if it's a Windows issue or something in the Hard Drive that is continually crashing. Since building it in July, I've had to either run repair via the XP console, CHKDSK picked up no problems with the hard drive a month ago. Three weeks ago had to create a new user account as the default user profile was corrupted. AGGH!

     

     


    Your boot drive has to be either SATA 0 , SCSI 0, or Primary master. you will have crazy things happen, like intermittent crashes and boot up probems with any other configuration unless you have a boot loader like GRUB. Even if you do have a boot loader, the same conditions would have to exist for the loader, unless you boot from a CD or Floppy.
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 4:58 AM
  • Everybody's situation and hardware here is slightly different and there is a variety of issues that could cause the "disk read error  press crtl-alt-del to restart" .
    Depending on the cause and how long the computer has been properly functioning before this happened, the solution(s) differ.
    My answer here is based Primarily an EIDE hard drive interface with Windows XP Pro as the OS and requires an XP Pro installation CD and in the worst case, a valid license.

    Critical Background: In order for a Hard Drive to be the Boot device of a computer, the BIOS parameters and physical placement (installation) of the drive must be correct.

                   *****Section A*****

    1.)The drive jumpers must be positioned properly...ie: set to the Master position or master with slave if there is a slave drive attached to the same channel.
                         **note** if the drive and Motherboard support 'cable select', that is a good choice as well, but in either case, be sure to have the drive installed on the end of the cable if it is a master, and the middle connection if it is a slave. THIS IS IMPORTANT and ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL
             
    2.)The drive must be installed on either the Primary SATA or IDE channel, and the BIOS must be configured to Boot from which ever interface you have installed the drive.

    Ok now, having ensured that all of that is correct, it is probably a good idea to verify that you are using the latest BIOS version available for your motherboard, even if the machine has been running for years, with the amount and frequency of OS updates, it is possible for a conflict to arise seemingly out of nowhere.
    One thing to note , there are issues with older motherboards accessing Large Hard Drives, so if this is a new drive on an old board, there is the possibility of requiring an IDE controller card for access to this drive. A drive connected to a controller card may or may not be bootable based on the limitations of the Motherboard and BIOS.

    If all of those conditions are correct, you can begin the long and frustrating process of getting this damn thing bootable again!

                   *****Section B*****

    1.)Load the XP Recovery console from the CD
    2.)At the prompt, choose the installation # of the OS (usually just 1) and enter the Administrator PW. If you do not have the PW, you must reset it using a linux tool, and I'm sorry but that explanation is better left in a different forum :)
    3.)At the command prompt, type FIXMBR , this will repair the Master Boot Record of the Drive. Don't worry about the warnings, this won't make the situation an worse than it already is - I promise :)
    4.)Then type FIXBOOT , this will repair the boot sector and make sure that the files required to boot up are present.
    5.)Now type EXIT and the PC should reboot - if it doesn't, go hard and do it yourself the old fashioned way

    In most cases  Windows should now load. If it still won't boot.......

                   *****Section C*****

    1.)Load the Recovery Console again
    2.)At the command prompt, type CHKDSK /P , this should correct any errors on the drive or orphaned/corrupt files/directories
    3.)Now perform the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands again

                   *****Section D*****

    If Windows still will not bot up........The steps here are a variation of a new installation of Windows XP and will require a Valid Installation Key for XP activation

    1.)Boot the computer from the CD again, but instead of loading the Recovery Console, choose to set up Windows Xp. The install wizard will search for previous installations and when it finds yours, it will prompt to either continue installing a fresh copy of windows or Repair this Windows Installation . Choose to Repair Windows.
    2.)The wizard will now run through several operations deleting the existing boot data and some system files
    3.)Run through the installation prompts
    4.)After the installation wizard is finished, Windows should now boot up to the existing installation with the exception that windows will have to be reactivated.

    If you still cannot get the Hard Drive to Boot........

                   *****Section E*****
    The hard drive is most likely not compatible with the PC Hardware and/or there is a problem with the Processor, Memory, and/or Motherboard or components of those.
    This was the case in my latest situation. The Drive needed to be installed into a newer System (post 2005 motherboard) and the steps in Section D were used to solve the issue. I hope this helps most of you :)
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 10:11 PM
  • Hi All,

    I have gone through this forum but still can't get my drive going. I have a 320GB sata drive on a Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop. The system crashed while trying to print something and I got the "A disk read error occurred..." Message. The bios sees the drive but won't boot from it. Dell's self-diagnostic software can't read it. I tried using the recovery Windows Vista disk that came with my machine but it examines the hardware and hangs. I have a CablesToGo adapter and have the drive hooked up through usb. The usb sees the drive but won't assign a drive letter; HDD Regenerator sees it as well, as a 0mb's and when the software was run on it, it said it had a damage MBR and then hung trying to fix it. Any other suggestions? Any software that would be better to use? I realy don't want to lose the data that is on the drive!

    Thanks!

    TDB
    Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:38 PM
  • Windows VISTA USERS LOOK HERE: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/927392

    Ok, I left out another possible fix, and some valuable info.

    *Additional INFO: If you have a drive that is over 60 GB, and you want to use it as a boot drive, you SHOULD partition it properly. I know that it was working fine for however long, but it is wise to take my advice in the future. I make it a habit of keeping a boot partition under 32GB in most circumstances. Use the rest of it for docs, data, photos, or whatever. You can boot from a drive bigger than 32 GB, but you could have more technical problems in the future, depending on the other hardware.
    **under 32GB is a SAFE size**


    ***Do not use partitioning software or Fix MBR software or any of that other ____, no matter how good you think it works. That type of software only works well under perfect conditions. If you are having problems with your HD and/or partitions (that are NTFS and/or Windows), the only 3rd party software I would ever recommend in this situation is SpinRite. Other software, including Partition Magic (which I do use when conditions are right for it), can destroy your data when it is in this condition.

    Possible Solution:

    1.) Connect this drive to a computer that is already running a stable installation of Windows XP while it is turned OFF. If you have a desktop, I recommend instaling the drive as a slave. If the only solution is to use an adapter with a USB or Firewire connection, I cannot verify that this technique will work. It is better to have a more solid connection.

    2.)
    Boot the Computer. Now hopefully, even if the BIOS reads the drive funny, Windows may take over when it starts to load and recognize that the drive is there and that it has a problem prompting Check Disk to run. **note** If this happens, you should start getting a positive attitude, and send some good vibes to the drive to help with the healing process. If check disk does not run at bootup, run it after Windows Loads

    3.) After successfully making it through the disk check, and celebrating all of the fixed errors, shutdown that PC and install that drive back nto the original computer as the Boot disk. Remember to follow the instructions in my post above!

    4.) Start the Computer and BOOT from a CD to load the recovery console. Run These commands: Chkdsk /r (yes AGAIN!) then FIX MBR, followed by FIXBOOT

    5.) Now reboot the computer normally, and crack a cold beer :)
    • Proposed as answer by RockyMD Saturday, May 16, 2009 11:40 PM
    Thursday, May 07, 2009 3:29 AM
  • Hi all,

    Wow, I can't believe I read the whole thing! 133 entries so far. Hope everyone doesn't mind if we get back to solutions that work to fix the post's subject error.

    I fixed this error today by updating the BIOS on a Gateway E-4650 running XP Home.

    The last thing prior to the machine rebooting and presenting the error was a Microsoft automatic update. Prior to that, I had just removed a couple of viruses, a small amount of spyware, and updated numerous legitimate security programs and running complete scans. The next thing was update XP from SP2 to SP3, IE7 to IE8, and all other Windows Updates minus three optional choices. Everything was still fine. I then updated Abobe and Firefox along with Flash and Shockwave. Still perfectly fine. I then ran disk defrag, during which XP was automatically updated. As mentioned the "disk read error occurred" error message greeted me upon rebooting. I did have a look at boot.ini with the hard drive as a secondary drive in another machine and ran a quick test, but both were fine.

    The hard drive is a 3.5" Seagate 200GB IDE (PATA). The drive is not the original which was 80GB. The current hard drive was installed in 2007.
    Monday, May 11, 2009 5:06 AM
  • I had the same problem and error message. The problem turned out to be failed memory modules.

    I thought it was the HDD too, but when I tried to bypass Windows using Knoppix (Unix), that failed too. Following threads on the Knoppix error message led me to test the memory using Microsoft Memory Diagnostic and lo and behold, I got failures on all tests. (When I first built my machine I used the same diagnostic and got all passing results)

    Good Luck.
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:03 PM
  • Everybody's situation and hardware here is slightly different and there is a variety of issues that could cause the "disk read error  press crtl-alt-del to restart" .
    Depending on the cause and how long the computer has been properly functioning before this happened, the solution(s) differ.
    My answer here is based Primarily an EIDE hard drive interface with Windows XP Pro as the OS and requires an XP Pro installation CD and in the worst case, a valid license.

    Critical Background: In order for a Hard Drive to be the Boot device of a computer, the BIOS parameters and physical placement (installation) of the drive must be correct.

                   *****Section A*****

    1.)The drive jumpers must be positioned properly...ie: set to the Master position or master with slave if there is a slave drive attached to the same channel.
                         **note** if the drive and Motherboard support 'cable select', that is a good choice as well, but in either case, be sure to have the drive installed on the end of the cable if it is a master, and the middle connection if it is a slave. THIS IS IMPORTANT and ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL
             
    2.)The drive must be installed on either the Primary SATA or IDE channel, and the BIOS must be configured to Boot from which ever interface you have installed the drive.

    Ok now, having ensured that all of that is correct, it is probably a good idea to verify that you are using the latest BIOS version available for your motherboard, even if the machine has been running for years, with the amount and frequency of OS updates, it is possible for a conflict to arise seemingly out of nowhere.
    One thing to note , there are issues with older motherboards accessing Large Hard Drives, so if this is a new drive on an old board, there is the possibility of requiring an IDE controller card for access to this drive. A drive connected to a controller card may or may not be bootable based on the limitations of the Motherboard and BIOS.

    If all of those conditions are correct, you can begin the long and frustrating process of getting this damn thing bootable again!

                   *****Section B*****

    1.)Load the XP Recovery console from the CD
    2.)At the prompt, choose the installation # of the OS (usually just 1) and enter the Administrator PW. If you do not have the PW, you must reset it using a linux tool, and I'm sorry but that explanation is better left in a different forum :)
    3.)At the command prompt, type FIXMBR , this will repair the Master Boot Record of the Drive. Don't worry about the warnings, this won't make the situation an worse than it already is - I promise :)
    4.)Then type FIXBOOT , this will repair the boot sector and make sure that the files required to boot up are present.
    5.)Now type EXIT and the PC should reboot - if it doesn't, go hard and do it yourself the old fashioned way

    In most cases  Windows should now load. If it still won't boot.......

                   *****Section C*****

    1.)Load the Recovery Console again
    2.)At the command prompt, type CHKDSK /P , this should correct any errors on the drive or orphaned/corrupt files/directories
    3.)Now perform the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands again

                   *****Section D*****

    If Windows still will not bot up........The steps here are a variation of a new installation of Windows XP and will require a Valid Installation Key for XP activation

    1.)Boot the computer from the CD again, but instead of loading the Recovery Console, choose to set up Windows Xp. The install wizard will search for previous installations and when it finds yours, it will prompt to either continue installing a fresh copy of windows or Repair this Windows Installation . Choose to Repair Windows.
    2.)The wizard will now run through several operations deleting the existing boot data and some system files
    3.)Run through the installation prompts
    4.)After the installation wizard is finished, Windows should now boot up to the existing installation with the exception that windows will have to be reactivated.

    If you still cannot get the Hard Drive to Boot........

                   *****Section E*****
    The hard drive is most likely not compatible with the PC Hardware and/or there is a problem with the Processor, Memory, and/or Motherboard or components of those.
    This was the case in my latest situation. The Drive needed to be installed into a newer System (post 2005 motherboard) and the steps in Section D were used to solve the issue. I hope this helps most of you :)

    I had to go through Section C, but this worked for me! Thanks, Another IT Guy! I figured the answer was somewhere in here, towards the bottom of this mess I guess, but I was having fun reading the drama...
    • Proposed as answer by RockyMD Saturday, May 16, 2009 11:48 PM
    Saturday, May 16, 2009 11:47 PM
  • I had a similar experience with my office laptop,
    hp running xp sp2 Im sure
    I got there very late last 3am est or so, to find my comp
    standing at a black screen with the now so famous
    Disk Read Error ,,,, etc

    so I pressed ctrl alt del just as my trusty old friend asked me to, and
    Wahhlaaa right back to the same place
    grabbed a knoppix live image on a usb stick (Wonderful stuff there Must Have!)
    and well not sure what really happened (my computer is a bit antisocial , really doesnt say a whole lot,)
    but after a bit of a drawn out boot process the screen reappeared again, pulled usb stick
    pulled power for 3 or so mins' rebooted machine
    this time windows did somethine different ( Oh Yeah the hp machine logo that never appears was present throught most of this run)
    there was the windows 2000 loader bar that came up (I know it xp on the machine but I saw what I saw)
    this crawled for ever then went to a splash for xp, the rebooted it's self like this for a bit , at this point I cought the boot, and tried safe mode went home 4 am (wife was Very Pleased )
    went in to my shop this morn, computer was off turned it on and it booted to the f8 menu, so I went with normal
    went right into windows, (no net connection for safety) after a few minutes it kicked up a "windows encountered a critical Error"
    "No S^&T"
    not sure really what happened but I have the mini dumps and will be examining them today later

    sid
    Sunday, May 24, 2009 5:56 PM
  • Hi Everyone,

    Dont mean to throw a spanner in the works... but I have 2 x Identical Build HP DX7300 machines running SATA HDD which I have connected them to a Server running Windows Deployment Services te be re-imaged and Both have presented the "Cant Read From Disk" error after expanding the files out from the WDS Server.

    I have tried to re-image both of these machines twice now using 2 different XP SP2 install images (Which have been captured specifically for their HAL).

    I am thinking that the machines have some kind of issue either with the boot.ini file or the MBR as they both have the same amount of disk space being taken up after copying the WDS image files over to them.

    The WDS Server is running 2003 R2 Standard and has been working fine for other machines requiring mass deployment. I am wondering if anyone else has seen this issue.

    I am fairly confident that the issue is not hardware related as I have been able to manually re-image one of the machines using XP and have encountered no issues.

    H3lpD3sk
    • Edited by H3lpD3sk Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:38 AM
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 6:23 AM
  • Hey everyone,

    A simple Boot into the recovery console (Pressing R in the text mode install of XP using the CD to boot) has allowed me to run FIXBOOT and FIXMBR on both machines to replace both the Master Boot Record and the Boot.ini files.

    This has resolved my issue and the Mini installation wizard was able to finish setting both machines up without any dramas. Might be one to look at, Only if you get this error after installing a fresh copy of windows on the machine.

    HD

    Friday, May 29, 2009 2:34 AM
  • Hi,
    After I finished my section D, it still cannot boot up. After that, I proceed to section E , but  it stop in the black screen after "Setup is inspecting your Hardware configuration". Before that, when I finished CHKDSK /P  (finished 100% checking) in section C, it show me "one or more unrecoverable problems".

    Any idea on this ?

    Thanks.

    Monday, June 22, 2009 7:23 AM
  • Memory or Processor or some other hardware related issue is causing corrupted data to be written to memory. read my posts man, theres something in there for just about everyone. I tried to cover all bases, but it is impossible to know every hardware configuration out there. I've noticed that this problem happens most commonly when alot of data is written to the drive at once, and when some or all of that data is related to the operating system, such as Windows Updates. If you are updating system files, and the PC Memory or Processor is experiencing read/write errors, system files will become corrupt and BLAMO, no boot and problematic MBR.
    A nice, clean re-partitioning and formatting operation can usually take care of this problem pretty easily, but that WILL NOT HELP YOU SAVE YOUR DATA, it will just help to reload the OS. **REPEAT, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR DATA IF YOU WIPE OUT YOUR PARTITION(S) AND REFORMAT THE DRIVE**
    Friday, July 03, 2009 2:05 AM
  • seriously ppl. 
    i came here to get the fix to a problem and all i read was bull s***
    the stupidity that i have read here is just mind boggling
    stick to the facts
    i thought thats what these forums are for, to get info and help one another
    if you want to fight ..GET MARRIED..
    i have tryed alot of the stuff here to no avail
    and trust me when i say that most of you
    ppl fighting on here should be banned from here
    i will move onto the next forum and see if someone there can help me
    without all this psycho babble bull s***
    i can not say that it was a pleasure to be here
    thank you
    jamie
    anyone want to help me with a real solution
    jamie73 at hotmail.com

    at=@

    Friday, July 17, 2009 3:31 PM