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Solution for "A disk read error occurred."

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  • Hard Drives
  • Disk Read Error
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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June 17, 2009 2:13:43 PM

This is one of the most frustrating error messages you can ever deal with. Sometimes the fix is simple, sometimes it's a complete pain. Having recently dealt with this again, I thought I'd post my thoughts in the hopes that it helps someone else out there.

So you receive the dreaded "a disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". Multiple restarts result in the same error message.

If you put your drive into another computer, or connecting it as a slave on your own computer, it will typically work fine, and no data is missing.

Because this error is not usually associated with data loss, DO NOT RE-PARTITION THE DRIVE. Your data is likely safe and sound.

Here's how we'll recover your data. Try each step below, in order, and see if your drive becomes accessible after each step. In my experience, you won't start seeing results until step 5 or so.

1. Run CHKDSK /R /P from the recovery console (it will typically find no error)
2. run FIXBOOT from recovery console (typically has no result)
3. run FIXMBR from recovery console (typically has no result)
4. Run the manufacturer's diagnostic utility, downloaded from their website (it will typically find no error)
5. Changing the drives from cable select to Master/Slave may fix it.
6. Replacing the data cable may fix it, but usually not.
7. Setting the BIOS to use defaults may fix it, but usually not.
8. Changing the BIOS drive settings from auto to user-specified, ensuring that LBA is selected may fix it.
9. Pulling the CMOS battery to let the BIOS lose it settings may work.

At this point, you may be feeling some frustration. :-)

If all that fails, here's what will usually work:

Ghost your data to a new drive, and use the original one as a slave. It will work. And all of your data will still be accessible. Your computer should boot normally. If it doesn't, or it there are errors, run the Repair Installation option from your Windows boot CD.


But why does this happen? Nobody seems to know why. The problem typically evades all forms of detection.

Here's what I've learned: this error message likely has more to do with a hardware interaction between the drive and your system than any actual issues with the drive. To put it one way, your motherboard and drive are no longer on speaking terms.

I don't know why the original disk has no problems being a slave. Perhaps it got tired of running the show. Perhaps it's preparing for retirement.

I hope this helps!

Peter

More about : solution disk read error occurred

June 26, 2009 8:07:44 AM

Thanks for sharing this! To be clear, what software do you use to ghost the data?
August 5, 2009 3:39:44 AM

Ironically, I use Norton Ghost! But I'm sure there are many other free or shareware drive cloning programs.

You might do well to find a CD available online called "Hiren's Boot CD"
Related resources
December 21, 2009 9:29:13 AM

Hi, I am receiving this message and unable to do any of the options you suggest.

I recently purchased a Dell Netbook Inspiron Mini 10, with Windows 7.

These things have no disk drive.

I've had it for 2 weeks, I've installed no software on it. I plugged a mouse into one USB port and it worked fine. That would be the only hardware change.

It only accessed the internet once (the first time I used it - accessed the web via wi-fi. Used the pc a few times after without any issues.

Turned it on this morning, and I get an error message:

A disk read error occurred, Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart

I press the buttons and it restarts and comes back to the same screen everytime.

I press F8 but the advanced boot options menu doesn't appear, just this error message.

I ran the Hardware Diagnostics and it came up with several errors under the Hard Drive Errors section, most of which look like this:

Error Code 0F00:1344.
Msg: DISK - Block 107704: Can't read, replace disk

It comes up with about 10-20 different block numbers and the same error message.

How can it have a disk error when it's hardly been used and had next to no changes made to the system since it left the factory?

I contacted Dell and they are going to come and replace the Hard Drive. Is this the only solution and furthermore, will this rectify the issue.

Cheers.
February 15, 2010 4:39:49 PM

I regularly image drives using another pc. I used active @ to image a 2.5" ide drive for an HP 6220, worked fine using a normal ribbon cable, and to speed up the process I decided to use a USB adapter to save me rebooting the system, got the "A disk read error occured", but works fine if I image via a cable, so go figure! :pt1cable: 
a c 127 G Storage
February 16, 2010 7:46:49 AM

May be simply a unmappable sector ("pending sector count" smart variable). So, checking the SMART output would be my first tip. :) 
February 21, 2010 3:51:50 AM

I encountered this wonderful error when I restored my disk via a Ghost image. The disk is fine and yet it's useless! It seems kind of crazy to re-install everything the hard way when it's all right there but what else can I do? :heink: 
a c 127 G Storage
February 21, 2010 9:48:31 AM

Fix the bad sector, of course.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
March 12, 2010 10:40:43 AM

I don't know how to fix it right now, but I sure know one thing how it appeared.

Prehistory: I have a Lenovo S10-2 netbook also with no optical drive (someone here wrote about DELL Mini). Win7 Starter is worse than everything I had to face so far so I was trying everything to replace the 7 to the XP. No USB booting utilities helped. If I booted the flash drive with DOS, I got a blue screen that said it shut windows down to prevent damage to the computer while installing XP. If I used diskpart to format ant bootsect.exe\nt60 to make it bootable, it came up with a "bootmgr is missing" message or "0x000000f" error code.

Finally I formatted the D drive with FAT32, booted a flash with DOS, installed Win98 to the D drive and hoped to upgrade it to XP. When I restarted, I got that message about disk reading. After data loss and restoring from a hidden partition (Lenovo one click recovery) I tried to install Win98 from a flash to a flash without touching the comp's hard disc. Again - disk read error. Now I am using Lenovo quick start to find a solution (bless them for writting two OSes to one PC). :) 
July 15, 2010 5:31:28 AM

Problem Solved!!


Error Message:

A Disk Read Error Has Occurred ..... Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart (on a black background)


System: Asus 1005PEB Eee PC Netbook (my dreaded adversary)

Hard Drive: WD2500BEVT (with no jumpers set)

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Starter (actually not too bad)


Originally the factory installed hard drive went bad in this system and it was replaced under warranty by a technical group that wont be mentioned here. However, the OS was not reloaded because this dealer doesn't do that. Naturally, it fell into my lap. So the fun begins...

After 25 hours of technical labor (because I don't give up easy)... and trying everything in the book including: BIOS settings, SATA settings, hard drive diagnostics, formatting, partitioning, bootdisk commands, etc.. it turns out that the previous technician didn't install the frame mounted retaining screws that hold the hard drive cage in place!! I reseated the drive and found some new screws.

I then temporarily put the netbook back together, reset the bios to default settings (which by default includes ACHI being enabled), started the Windows 7 setup from a Microsoft tool properly formatted USB thumb drive, chose the advanced drive options, loaded the SATA ACHI driver from Asus for the MN10 chipset, removed all of the partitions, and installed Windows 7, for what must have been the 10th time. I removed the flash drive as it was rebooting and.... for the first time Windows 7 actually booted and finished it's setup routine!!!

I really do thank God for not letting me lose my mind. Truly quite an ordeal. Now... time put all the screws back into this little netbook.

So I suggest to everyone, try moving the drive to a different SATA port (if available), reseat your drive cables, have the latest BIOS installed with the defaults chosen, get the proper storage driver for your system and then let Windows partition and format your drive.

I pray this helps some of my fellow technicians.
July 27, 2010 4:27:58 PM

I get the dreaded "A Disk Read Error Has Occurred ....." error on my Compaq EVO N620c laptop every 3 to 7 days (now). After I restore from an image XP pro works flawlessly until the error reappears. I did find something interesting, perhaps the problem itself but not how to fix. For me it appears to be a Windows problem or a problem with Windows on certain hardware.

Background: The problem began after replacing the original HD with a WD 250GB Scorpio PATA unit.
1. Ran the DLCDIAG utilty from WD and it gave the drive a clean bill of health, no errors.
2. Ran FIXBOOT, FIXMBR, CHKDSK, with no luck.
3. To eliminate the possibility of having some sort of virus or male-ware, I restored from a an old image file from the original HD that was at least a couple of years old and never had this problem, but the disk read error reoccurred regardless. that that
4. Drive jumper already set to Master (not cable select). Bios does not have CHS settings for hard drive available.


When I booted of BartPE I could still access all the files like nothing was wrong and backed up all the files on the disk up to a USB drive. I then re-imaged the unbootable drive and once again ended up with a working XP pro system. Then I copied all the files I backed up to the freshly imaged disk and the problem reoccurred. I re-imaged again and this time only copied over the Windows\system2 files and the "A Disk Read Error Has Occurred ....." reappeared!

So.... the "A Disk Read Error Has Occurred ....." problem for me appears to definitely be file corruption. a file(s) in the \system32 directory is corrupt or unreadable? I am guessing it is the registry because it is being written to and for some reason the process does not complete. I did come across a problem Windows sometimes has with the windows disk cache write failure with large hard drives but don't know how to verify that issue. I tried turning off the write cache in windows and system became painfully slow so I enabled it again.

I am going to install Linux Mint 9 on the laptop and if the problem goes away, then indeed, it is a "Windows" related issue that needs to be addressed my MS.

Will keep you posted.

mbokon
e
August 3, 2010 11:13:09 AM

in my experience "A disk read error occurred" has nothing to do with the health of HD or damaged file system, but is a comunication error between MOBO - BIOS - PROCESSOR - HD's mbr.
most of the times it's due to a HIGH TEMPERATURE of the CPU, even if transient.
i.e.: during XP (or other O.S.) 1st phase setup a new mbr is written on the hd and. if the mentioned communication error is present, a bad mbr ad a bad partition table will be written, so that after reboot one will receive the mentioned error.
in most cases the high temp is due to a old Thermal paste or a a wrong position of the heatsink
August 3, 2010 6:16:00 PM

Thanks for the input. Something similar may be going on here but my testing is pointing to other causes.

On my system I can duplicate the error by copying the "windows" directory from a backup I made off of the drive before I re-imaged it. There were no errors detected by chkdsk /f or /r before making the backup.

As I described earlier, the "A Disk Read Error..." appears on an already installed and previously functioning system where the MBR is already written and working. I typically get the error when the computer is turned on in the morning after is has been off all night so heat is not an issue at that time since it only takes mere seconds for the error to appear. Also since this is already a functioning system, there is nothing being written to the MBR. For others restoring the MBR has worked, but for me it is not a MBR problem and restoring the MBR does nothing.

I have since installed OpenSuse linux and the problem has not reappeared. For this laptop I really need to have XP Pro running and not Linux for business reasons. I installed Linux to rule out the issue being Windows related but instead is now evidence the issue is related to Windows (in combination with the hardware).

Since I can duplicate the error by copying the the "windows"directory made from the drive before it was re-imaged and runing FIXBOOT, FIXMBR, DCDIAG, or CHKDSK does nothing, while not conclusive, it points to an issue between Windows or Windows and the hardware which is not very helpful. When using another OS the "A Disk Read Error..." does not reappear.

Apparently there can be many reasons for the error as cited by mine and the other post. I only wished I could have determined what the specific cause for the error is on my laptop. When I get some time I will reapply new thermal paste to the heat-sink and try again. I hope the information I have provided is helpful in some way when they encounter the "A Disk Read Error..." and nothing works.

I would be interested in knowing is anyone else can duplicate the error as I have by copying a backup of the files from the drive with the "A Disk Read Error..." after a re-image or reinstall?

Thanks!
a c 151 G Storage
August 3, 2010 6:51:41 PM

The first thing anyone with a drive error should do is make sure their backups are save and working.

Then find a disk check utility that is usually run from BIOS or a boot disk (Lenovo has a nice one, but I'm sure other vendors do as well".

If there are no physical errors found, continue on to other steps.
August 3, 2010 8:53:30 PM

Yes of course, that was the first thing done. Backup images work, at least for a few days before the error reoccurs. That includes very old images from 3 years ago that never had a problem. The backup of the Windows directory I was referring to in my last post was made after the "A Disk Read Error..." to recover the system current state (after chkdsk /f /r with no erros during the check.) After all, others have stated that the files are intact, so why not copy them into a newly imaged system to restore the previous state? The whole point is the fact that the problem occurs after I copy a previously chkdsk error free backup of the Windows directory from the non booting drive to the newly imaged drive (same drive). THEREFORE, narrowing the issue (at least in this case) down to a file contained in the Windows directory that perhaps is not corrupt but telling Windows to look for something in the wrong place. I suspect maybe it is one of the registry files since Windows is always writing to it in a regular basis.

Question, is the "A Disk Read Error..." a Windows based error or BIOS generated error? If it were a BIOS error it seems unlikely it would always read "A Disk Read Error..." identically for all BIOS's across all manufactures. so... I am assuming this is a kernel generated error by Windows? If that is true, then based on my findings the error can be caused by or in connection with Windows.

Windows XP does have a write-back bug for large drives where it can sometimes corrupt files. Not sure if Vista or Windows 7 have this problem? I just wonder if these two issues are related. Also the drive has an 8 MB cache and maybe the machine powers down two quickly before the disk has had enough time to write the cache to disk? The "A Disk Read Error..." has only occurred after a system power down and has never happened on a reboot or reset.

Thanks for your input!
mbokon
August 21, 2010 11:32:06 PM

mbokon, first, thanks for posting your experience. i have been pulling my hair out with the same problem. Here's my experience:

* HP compac NC6400
* put new sata 250 G drive in enclosure + clone existing 80 G drive to new drive using cloning utility.
* put new drive in laptop. Boot up. everything works fine.
* work with the laptop a few days then at some point have to reboot it (updates and whatnots)
* won't reboot - shows the dreaded error

First time i thought the drive was bad and took it back and got a new one. but the exact same thing happened with the second drive. This time the laptop had been powered down for 4 days before i rebooted and got the problem so heat is definitely not an issue. after i get the error, i can put the 250 G drive in an enclosure and access via USB w/o problem. i can see and copy all the files from it. But my laptop will not boot from it. I tried everything you tried (fixmbr, etc.). no love.

I agree with you 100% that it is a windows/hardware interaction issue. I'm thinking i should try with a smaller drive (do they even make sata drives smaller than 250 G these days)?

For now i have given up and simply use an external USB drive as my data drive. i keep the original drive as my "system" drive. it sucks but i'm kinda stuck with this until i decide to break the piggy bank and get a new laptop.

Again thanks for sharing. I was convinced to be the only one with this particular problem of the error happening only after a reboot when the disk seems to work fine initially.

If i find anything, i'll post back here. Please do the same if you find any more information.


~
August 22, 2010 5:32:36 AM

goofy_ft, Your welcome! Thanks for your post as well. It kinda confirms my suspicions I had earlier. At least now I know there is no easy fix without investing a lot of time and will quit wasting time on it.

I want to also mention that the error first appeared after I upgraded the 30gb PATA drive to a Western Digital 250gb PATA drive and re-imaged it.

I also thought about trying a smaller drive but have decided not to because since installing OpenSuse Linux 5.2, I have been using it for over a month with no errors. So the issue is Windows related. I will eventually get a new laptop with Windows and probably just now keep linux on this Compaq laptop which at least runs well on it.

I hope our post is helpful to others who have this issue.



August 22, 2010 11:49:10 AM

hi all, (read this, might helped you...)

today i got this "disk error" message that i assumed it was the windows fault, for the first time. i tried to do some recovery from the windows 7 boot cd but really annoying yet another blue screen of death appeared!after i have read this forum, i might hv to check my hdd connections. and yes one of my hdd sata cable recently were damaged but after vandalised the cable port, finally my hdd sata can be read!but that was last time, after i got this error and after i bought new sata cable which i suppose to replace it with the damaged one..i think that was it, the hdd connection cable problem..folks,sometimes we can be that forgetful and not aware of these small things.

so, i replaced the damaged sata cable with the new one and there you go...problem solved!start my pc like it was the first time.. my advice is replace the sata cable first bcause usually this error message might referring to our own hdd faults. maybe the cable or maybe the hdd itself!

its worth to try..

well thanks for the help!really helped me alot..really! :bounce:  :lol:  :D 
September 7, 2010 3:24:26 AM

Hi all,

I fixed mine by going to the BIOS, BOOT settings, HARD DISK DRIVES, and switching the order of the drives around - ie. I have a Raid-0 (which was the first in the list) and a Seagate 1TB (which was the second), so I pressed the '+' key which changed their order in the list (Seagate is now first, Raid-0 is now second).

While I was getting the Disk Read Error I could boot from the Vista setup DVD, run Repair, and it would boot,... until I turned the computer off or changed the Boot Disk priority in the BIOS (ie. from Boot first: CD/DVD, Boot second: HDD; to Boot first: HDD, Boot second: none).

But yeah, really odd...
September 28, 2010 2:46:42 AM

Hi, I am having this disk read error problem- I upgraded vista to win 7 a couple of weeks ago . I am not sure if this had anything to do with it.
Any how, I see the steps here posted by Peter. He says to run chkdsk , but I cannot type anything. The PC just goes in a loop- "disk read error, press ctrl, alt, & delete to restart" which it doesn't. How do I run the things you mentioned?
September 28, 2010 4:00:12 AM

nsga said:
Hi, I am having this disk read error problem- I upgraded vista to win 7 a couple of weeks ago . I am not sure if this had anything to do with it.
Any how, I see the steps here posted by Peter. He says to run chkdsk , but I cannot type anything. The PC just goes in a loop- "disk read error, press ctrl, alt, & delete to restart" which it doesn't. How do I run the things you mentioned?


If its anything like Vista, then I think you need to boot from the Win 7 DVD, click on Repair, then CMD or Command Prompt... From there you can type commands for Chkdsk etc...
September 29, 2010 3:59:11 PM

PBARNY--- Since you seem to know more than I, I will pick your brains for help. My situation is not quite the same. I use a DELL DIMENSION 8100, 3 actually. All are set up exactly the same. All are XP PRO, WESTERN DIGITAL 40 gig hdd as singles(master). The issue concerns only 1 tower of the 3. I use COMODO TIME MACHINE as a back up program for the built in XP SYSTEM RESTORE. SR does not always work, CTM always does. The issue is that as you said CTM and the problem tower are not on speaking terms. CTM requires a restart after installation as many programs do. It is THEN AND ONLY THEN that I get the BAD READ ERROR. I tried reloading the program after reloading the OS 3 times on the same hdd. The first 3 attempts gave me the same result. The fourth OS load also worked. MY solution was to NOT load CTM. Problem solved. Now the issue is to find a REALLY FREE SR replacement I can use as a back up to SR. Apparently none exists~ Any links, sites, you know of? Please reply to reeltoreelguy@gmail.com. Thanks. PS--- None of the other programs cause this issue. It does not matter which version of CTM I try or which site I use to download it from. I am convinced my issue is the program itself not the tower. Why else would only ONE program cause this error. I have a number of "PREPARED" hdds loaded with XP for the 81s as replacements a total of 5, different makes, different sizes. They ALL have the same issue with CTM. It is not the hdd, not the tower. IT MUST be the program. Could it be that the program file is corrupted in some way that only this ONE tower cannot deal with? I know that makes no sense but that is the only conclusion I can come to. Any ideas, insights, solutions?
January 25, 2011 3:57:27 PM

hey sorry for bringing this thread up again, was hoping for some help. I recently woke up this morning and found that this error had occured. Went on my laptop and found this, tried to turn on my computer again trying to go into bios and pressed del and my computer loaded fine. Now I'm afraid to turn off my computer! I'm wondering what steps I should take?

I have windows 7 and im basically posting this off of newegg .

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX635WFGIBOX

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Please and Thank you !!
January 27, 2011 7:40:54 AM

I'll share my story, too.

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
AMD Athlon X2 6000+
Seagate ST3500320AS
Asus M2N

I'll mention EVERYTHING that might have something to do with the problem, just for reference for possible solutions.

I'd had XP on my computer for 4 years, with a few reinstalls. Always with Comodo Time Machine. Never any problems.
I decided to upgrade to Win 7 so I backed up all my few important files. No problems with installation.
I installed Comodo Internet Security, updated Windows, shut the PC down, went to sleep. The next day, I installed CTM, some drivers and a few basic programs. Had to restart a few (like 18 :)  times to get everything installed, no problem. CTM installed and worked fine. Started a defrag with Piriform Defraggler hoping for a quick operation with an almost empty HD. but canceled it and decided I'd do it later at night (might or might not have anything to do with the problem). Then, I shut the computer down for the second time ever. It never booted up again (disk read error).

I though it was some unlikely coincidence and installed Win 7 again. This time, I installed Comodo IS and updated Windows (with many restarts) and, finally, installed CTM and shut the PC down. Next time I tried: disk error. This time CTM couldn't even finalize the installation (usually, it first starts the installation on Windows and the next time the computer is booted, it continues the process before the OS loads; this time the PC froze before it could). I tried changing every BIOS setting I could, no success.

So I installed Kubuntu and restarted and turned the PC off and on over again to prove that the error is caused by Windows. Though now, after some googling, I know it is because the error message is always the same, regardless of mobo.

Heat is not a problem. Master Boot Record has already been written and used. As mbokon said, the error only occurs after a shutdown. With XP I used a Seagate HD with 32MB cache (they don't make them with 500GB anymore, I think), but it broke down and was replaced with the same model, except that the new one had 16MB cache. So if the problem is down to cache, XP could handle 32MB but 7 crashes with 16MB? :??: 

Now I'm installing Win 7 for the third time. I'll try if not installing CTM would help. If it won't, I'll start to play with cables and SATA ports. But as an amateur conclusion, I'm pretty sure it's SOFTWARE (either Windows or CTM) communications error with hardware causing the problem (at least in my case; there can be hardware issues causing a similar problem, ofc). mbokon's error duplicating experiments are interesting, truly narrowing the source of (his?) error to the windows folder. Hmm.

Over and out
elohop3e
January 28, 2011 6:38:46 PM

I'm going to share my experience with this dread error message. my nightmare was only short-lived, lasted about 3 hours. But still, hated every moment of it.

I was on my PC working away when suddenly a blue screen came up, the PC restarted and I got the Disk Read Error, press Ctrl Alt Delete to restart.

Then i did and it was stuck in that cycle. i tried booting from the Windows 7 CD and it wouldn't. Then somehow i managed to get the hdd to boot in safe mode. So there i was happily backing everything up. After restarting my PC I couldn't manage to get safe mode again. So back to square one.

I go on my laptop and search google for this error and found this thread on this forum. After reading all of your experiences i found the one most common thing you've all said, about the hardware communication issue. So i thought, i might as well check mine out.

My fix was uber easy.

I opened the back of my PC, I checked the cable going in to my HDD and it felt very firm, didn't feel loose at all. There was lots of dust inside so i cleared that all out. Choaking myself in the process! Then i reattached the cover and rebooted my PC.

It was fixed! That was it, so simple. I believe that there was too much dust clogging up the wrong area of the inside of my PC. So, for anyone with this error, I recommend trying this, check your cables and clean any dust inside before trying more drastic measures such as reformatting or getting new drives etc.

Thanks for everyone's input in this thread, you helped me a great deal. :) 

Gamer
www.gamerperfection.com

February 6, 2011 11:24:04 PM

Hi, yesterday I got this "disk error" message, reading the post I tried everithing that might have something to do with the problem

Quote:
8. Changing the BIOS drive settings from auto to user-specified, ensuring that LBA is selected may fix it.


This worked for me, enter Bios changed from AUTO to LBA and reboot, after this, Windows XP SP3 boot normally.

Under Windows check the HDD using the Error - checking (Tools Tab), click on Check now... and checked the 2 options there once again I reboot the computer.

A disk check has been scheduled.. bla bla bla, CHKDSK found the change (AUTO to LBA) and Fix something

I wait to the OS boot, then reboot, enter BIOS drive settings, changed LBA to AUTO and reboot

A Disk Read Error Has Occurred ..... Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart. So now I only can boot I LBA mode

For me these are the reasons of this problem:

Quote:
a hardware interaction between the drive and your system than any actual issues with the drive. To put it one way, your motherboard and drive are no longer on speaking terms.

Quote:
in most cases the high temp is due to a old Thermal paste or a a wrong position of the heatsink


Or the bad application of the themal paste if the computer is assembled



February 16, 2011 5:06:25 PM

Allright. My computer is working fine now. The only difference between this and my first time installing Win7 (see above) is that I didn't install Comodo Time Machine. And it works. Could be a coincidence, but I, like, got a feeling that it's not. So. A subtle word of warning to those who are going to install CTM. :) 
February 19, 2011 2:09:02 PM

This dreadful disk read error occurred out of the blue when the system was idling with minimal disk activities.

My Asus laptop comes with a built-in instant-on linux system branded as Express Gate. It went under with Windows 7 as well as the hidden bootable recovery partition.

However. the Ubuntu on extended partition still works problem free.

I can assess all partitions except the NTFS partition where Windows 7 lives.

It shows up as an unknown partition in Disk Management.

Windows recovery DVD took hours trying to fix the disk error with no success.

February 21, 2011 2:10:36 AM

I think the sequence here is wrong because it is Norton Ghost that has the read error when all read surface analysis programs run error free. After connecting the second drive, I suggest exchanging slave and master assignments then ghosting the original to the new master. The question becomes what to to with the disk that had the error? I did extensive surface testing with Tufftest pro's read, write & repair program and it found noting wrong in the part of the disk that was actually used. Also head hysteresis tests can't find anything mechanically bad.
February 23, 2011 9:27:14 AM

Another "me too". My "disk read error" limbo went away (at least for for now) after shuffeling the order of the hard drives around in the bios.
March 10, 2011 2:24:04 AM

H Guys,

Please do not immediately resort to hard disk formatting and the like as some of the forum posts that I found through google! In my case I solved the problem by simply changing the SATA cable! Do yourself a favor and go through the less drastic test procedures that some have posted in this thread.

I knew my harddisk should be fine when I saw it listed on the bios post screen so that should be another indicator to watch!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
March 10, 2011 3:11:44 PM

I got this error message after partitioning drive C:, while Windows 7 was installed on drive D:.

After hours and hours and days of trying all different thing, the following worked for me.
Get to command line interface using the system restore CD/DVD.

Then enter:
  1. Bcdboot [Windows installation drive]:\Windows /s [Startup drive]

I used "Bcdboot D:\Windows /s C:" and my computer started up again!

This rewrites the boot BCD which helps your computer get to start up Windows...
Hope this helps some other people who experience this problem!


pbarney said:
This is one of the most frustrating error messages you can ever deal with. Sometimes the fix is simple, sometimes it's a complete pain. Having recently dealt with this again, I thought I'd post my thoughts in the hopes that it helps someone else out there.

So you receive the dreaded "a disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". Multiple restarts result in the same error message.

If you put your drive into another computer, or connecting it as a slave on your own computer, it will typically work fine, and no data is missing.

Because this error is not usually associated with data loss, DO NOT RE-PARTITION THE DRIVE. Your data is likely safe and sound.

Here's how we'll recover your data. Try each step below, in order, and see if your drive becomes accessible after each step. In my experience, you won't start seeing results until step 5 or so.

1. Run CHKDSK /R /P from the recovery console (it will typically find no error)
2. run FIXBOOT from recovery console (typically has no result)
3. run FIXMBR from recovery console (typically has no result)
4. Run the manufacturer's diagnostic utility, downloaded from their website (it will typically find no error)
5. Changing the drives from cable select to Master/Slave may fix it.
6. Replacing the data cable may fix it, but usually not.
7. Setting the BIOS to use defaults may fix it, but usually not.
8. Changing the BIOS drive settings from auto to user-specified, ensuring that LBA is selected may fix it.
9. Pulling the CMOS battery to let the BIOS lose it settings may work.

At this point, you may be feeling some frustration. :-)

If all that fails, here's what will usually work:

Ghost your data to a new drive, and use the original one as a slave. It will work. And all of your data will still be accessible. Your computer should boot normally. If it doesn't, or it there are errors, run the Repair Installation option from your Windows boot CD.


But why does this happen? Nobody seems to know why. The problem typically evades all forms of detection.

Here's what I've learned: this error message likely has more to do with a hardware interaction between the drive and your system than any actual issues with the drive. To put it one way, your motherboard and drive are no longer on speaking terms.

I don't know why the original disk has no problems being a slave. Perhaps it got tired of running the show. Perhaps it's preparing for retirement.

I hope this helps!

Peter

April 1, 2011 1:36:46 PM

Hi All,

I actually got this message after fooling around with the partitions and volumes on a laptop with a new hard drive. W7 SP1 hosed the machine, so I tried fixing with various tools with no luck. When I started getting the message, I figured it was something I did concerning the partitions, so I loaded the W7 DVD, went to the command line from the repair tools and used Diskpart to clean the disk. This command wipes out everything, including the reserved partition you sometimes get on new hard drives, but I didn't need that, I have plenty of other tools to check hard drives.

Anyway, after using the clean command I created a new primary partition and re-loaded Windows 7, it worked like a charm. Assuming the problem is, as others have stated, that the issue is communication between the hard drive and the machine, cleaning the hard drive completely and re-creating the partition makes sense. BTW, don't just delete the boot partition and think that will solve the problem, the issue is more likely due to the settings given to both the boot partition and the reserved partition, so clean it first, that solves all headaches without you having to figure out any other mystery.

If you've never used diskpart, be careful, it is much more powerful than the disk management tool in Windows, and you can really mess up a drive unless you know what you're doing. Read up on it, there is plenty of documentation out there.

To simply clean a drive and repartition, do the following:

1 - boot to the wiindows dvd and choose Repair
.
2 - Cancel the screen that asks if you want to try an automatic repair, choose Repair Tools.

3 - Choose Command Prompt

4 - Type in the command Diskpart.

5 - When diskpart is loaded, type in List Disk, it will show you any disks that are on the machine. If you have more than one, figure out which one is the disk giving you trouble. It will be Disk 0 if you have only one disk. Again, be careful, you could wipe out a good disk if you don't locate the correct one.

6 - Type in Select Disk 0 (or whatever disk you are trying to clean)

7 - Type in List Partition - this will show you the partitions, their status, etc. You'll probably see 2 partitions, one a reserved one, the other the boot partition. YOu don't really have to do this one, but it might be useful if you want to see what is on that disk.

8 - Type in Clean

9 - Type in Create Primary Partition

That should do it. Worked like a charm for me. If you are loading from Windows DVD after that you shouldn't have to format but you can if you want to.

I typed up these instructions from memory, so be sure to work carefully with Diskpart and make sure before you put in a command. Use Help before you go, or use some online documentation.
April 2, 2011 2:05:27 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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