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disk read error occurred - help

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August 8, 2004 2:13:15 AM

disk read error occurred - help

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I'm running a Win XP Pro Machine with a 40G WD HDD on an ABIT KR7A-133 mobo, which is completely on the fritz. Was working on the computer today and it crashed. It would not boot up for about 20 minutes - the HDD light remained on though. After able to boot I now get the message "A Disk Read Error Occurred" then it asks to reboot by c-a-d. Whenever I try to use my Win XP CD for Recovery it gets to the "System Checking Hardware" and then goes blank. Here's what I've done:

Tried to use Win XP Recovery - Can't even access it (changed boot sequence to allow for CDROM to be 1st)
Swapped memory
Took off slave drive and reset jumpers to Master
Ran Western DIgital HDD Diagnostics - no errors
Tried to put HDD as a slave into another computer - no drive letter assigned
Replaced ribbon for new one
Cleared and Reset CMOS

The BIOS recognizes the HDD by the way. Everything looks good there. I used an old Win 98 boot disk and used FDISK - the drive is recognized and set to Active.

I did have some boot errors that chkdsk repaired a couple of days ago and there were some odd things happening after that like missing icons and a random shutdown.

ALL I want to do is to somehow be able to access ONE stinking document that I have to turn in to class on Monday. After that I could care less...

Is there anything I am missing? Any suggestions?

Is there anything that I can do to access my info? I'm even willing to pay for a program that will magically get my file. There's gotta be some type of repair or fix for this short of reformatting.

If I took the HDD to a repair shop could they look at the blasted thing and pry my document out?

Thanks so much and a pint of beer for anyone who can help me with this...
August 8, 2004 7:34:14 AM

UPDATE -

I tried everything I could think of and then downloaded Get Data Back for NTFS. I followed the directions to a T. I took out my bad HDD and put it as a slave on another working computer, made sure it was seen in BIOS (which it was) and booted up to windows on the working HDD (Windows did not detect the bad HDD). I ran the program and it was able to scan my "bad" HDD and provide me access to my files. I gladly paid $79 to be able to copy my one stinking file, some pictures and a couple of downloaded programs that I did not want to have to download again to the functioning HDD. So, thankfully I got my data back with this program.

I still have to deal with my blasted non-functioning HDD though.... I have no clue what is wrong with it or if it can even be restored. Perhaps I should just get a new one. Any ideas on what to do with the non-functioning HDD? Coaster? Door stop? Seriously, do you think it can be restored if that program was able to access the c: drive and all the files within it?
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August 9, 2004 3:31:30 PM

Yeah, I've already done that. The diagnostics report no errors. Any other suggestions?
August 10, 2004 1:04:54 PM

Contact Western Digital, maybe a warranty case in the end.
August 11, 2004 4:54:02 AM

So, I went and bought another hard drive thinking the one with the error was toast. Everything installed great and was up and running. Soon after installation my dsl connection was dropping almost every time I went to a new webpage. Looking at the log on my router access was being blocked for some reason. Anyway, after sitting for about 2 hours my computer froze with the hard drive light on solid. Because I knew there was some type of problem with nic card I pulled the thing out with the power off and then put it back into the slot. This is where it gets weird. As I pushed the card back into the slot, the computer turned on all by itself. And BAM, I got the same exact error message that I had with the old hard drive. I can still see the drive in bios. The one thing that BLOWS is that I CANNOT use the Win XP CD to boot. This is the exact same thing that happened before so I guess this is not a hard drive problem. I wonder if the power on fried the hdd. I'm at a complete loss...
August 12, 2004 1:20:32 AM

Ok, for one thou shall always remove the power cord from pc when doing hardware changes!
Remove/replace the NIC and see if your machine runs good,if not start from scratch until you can isolate the error meaning pull everything out and start again. I think re-flashing your Bios may be helpful as well, goto your motherboards website and get the correct Bios and flash program and read the how to flash article, do that then you may find that by adding one piece of hardware for each bootup should isolate or eliminate the problem.

Why can't you use the CD?
August 13, 2004 12:29:09 AM

Thou will always remove the power cord from now on... ;-)

I can't use the Win XP CD because for some reason when it gets to the "checking hardware" phase it stops responding and I just get a black screen. I found a website that had some sort of program where I could view partition info and basically the partition was trashed. Then I found another site that had a one floppy Win XP boot disk download (as opposed the the 6 disks, which btw didn't work either). When I ran the disk I get some sort of STOP error. After doing some research on it, I found that the mbr and partition were probably messed up. When I ran fdisk I saw that the partitino info was wrong. So, I deleted the partition and reformatted the drive, got windows loaded and am starting from scratch, again... I went and bought another nic too. I'm thinking the problem is with it.

Could that freaky power on have trashed the info on the hdd?

Thanks for all your help, btw.
August 13, 2004 1:44:28 AM

Could well be worth trying another power supply unit, they can give all kinds of funny bootup problems, I have had freaky things go on and found it has been the motherboard capacitors, bad ram, bios, PSU, and so on .......
Good quality components will minimize these errors.
!