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XP "A disk read error occurred press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart" From formated Hard

Last response: in Windows XP
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July 24, 2011 6:55:03 PM

Hello,
I just formated the hard drive and now when i turn it on, i can't get to the dos prompt to install windows. in fact i can't get to anything and the computer acts like it doesn't work, when its exactly the same as before except that the hard drive has been formatted...
why are laptops so computer unfriendly -- all i need is a dos prompt or boot from cd option and i can solve this problem, but no, they don't make laptops to be computer friendly anymore. that's why desktop tower computers are so much better. but maybe its because the laptop is a notebook and not a regular laptop?
if you can help, that'd be great. I know computers, but i'm stuck.
a c 204 D Laptop
July 25, 2011 4:32:46 PM

Get a new hard-drive, you just formated a drive with issues, which does not actually fix anything. Not sure what you mean by laptops are not computer friendly, they do have more tricky hardware due to the fact that everything has to be shrunk down and sized to fit in a much smaller space, but the basic operations is the exact same as in a full size desktop PC. Just look different.
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August 1, 2011 11:31:47 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Get a new hard-drive, you just formated a drive with issues, which does not actually fix anything. Not sure what you mean by laptops are not computer friendly, they do have more tricky hardware due to the fact that everything has to be shrunk down and sized to fit in a much smaller space, but the basic operations is the exact same as in a full size desktop PC. Just look different.


thanks for the reply
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August 1, 2011 11:45:21 PM

thanks for the reply hang the 9, you are the only person who has spoken to me out of 350 people who has read this.

i'll get another drive (a third drive) and see what happens.

in the mean time, i put another drive in the computer, from dell laptop to a compaq. this drive has xp installed on it and has no issues or problems and works fine.

i turn it on -- windows begins to start, and a windows splash screen shows up. at this point, a blue screen appears with the error message of "windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer"

i don't understand why the computer is not running, even with the second hard drive in it. It seems like windows should run. maybe you can help?
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a c 204 D Laptop
August 2, 2011 2:12:55 PM

You can't move Windows setups from one model PC to another, the drivers will almost always cause issues like what you see. You need to install Windows from scratch on the system.
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August 3, 2011 6:08:01 AM

Hello hang-the-9, hows everything? :D 

In the beginning, I had Windows installed on the Compaq

I switched hard drives with another computer that had Linux installed on it. When I turned it on, I received the "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. I put XP Pro into the CD drive and turned it off :??: 

I turned it on. It said, "press any key to boot from the CD". I pressed a key and Windows setup completely and without any issues.

Then later, I realized that I needed XP Home with service pack 2 to be able to install a much needed program, and so I formatted the drive.

I turned it on. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. I turned it off. :( 

I repeated this process many times with the same results.

I put the XP Home CD into the CD drive and turned it on. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. And no "press any key to boot from the CD" friendly message.

I repeated this process several times with the same results :pt1cable: 

I put the XP Pro CD (the one that had installed before, just to see if maybe it only liked that disk and not the other one) into the CD drive. I turned it on. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. And no "press any key to boot from the CD". I turned it off.

So I took the CD out of the CD drive. I turned it on. "A Disk Read Error Occurred " :heink: 

I took out the CD drive and reseated back into the laptop. I put the XP Home CD in the CD drive.

The second computer is a Dell, with a working XP OS, and no issues. The Compaq is the problem laptop with the problem drive, now formatted. (Sorry, the previous blue screen entry last time was from a third laptop that I had borrowed from a friend to try to test it -- and those were the results) I put the hard drive from the Compaq into the Dell and installed XP Pro with no problems. On the Dell, the CD drive letter showed up and its contents could be seen and accessed.

I put the Dell's original Hard Drive back in and booted the laptop. Everything seemed just fine -- until I noticed that by having installed another operating system on the Dell in an attempt to get the Compaq up and running, it has completely disabled my CD drive. And when I went to system information, my Samsung CD drive showed up under the problem devices catagory.

So I put the Compaq drive (with newly installed XP Pro) back in the Dell and booted it. Windows XP Pro ran just swell, a fresh install -- and guess what, mysteriously the CD drive letter showed up and worked just fine. I still had a CD drive, but only with the Compaq drive in the Dell (this is somewhat discombobulating because I need a CD drive AND XP Home service pack 2, and I no longer have all of my files on the hard drive since they are on the Dell hard drive).

I put the newly installed XP Pro hard drive back in the Compaq, hoping that that would solve the problem. I turned on the Compaq. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. And no "press any key to boot from the CD". I turned it off. :pfff: 

Obviously that didn't work, so I thought that there must be another way to do this. I just want to get XP Home with service pack 2 installed on this computer. Somethings got to work.

So I formatted the hard drive again in hopes that it would give me that prize winning "press any key to boot from the CD" message when I tried it again.

I turned on the Compaq. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it :o 

But something interesting "did" happen though. When I put the hard drive into a third laptop, this time I got the "NTLDR is Missing CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" error message.

I set the Bios to default settings. I rebooted the Compaq. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it. :cry: 

I went into the Bios again and changed the Boot Sequence to boot from the CD first and then from the hard drive second. I turned on the Compaq. "A Disk Read Error Occurred CTRL+ALT+DEL to Restart" and a black screen with colored blinking lights on it.

The USB data cable connecting the external drive to the Dell (problem drive, formatted) is brand new.

I put the hard drive into an External Hard Drive case and connected it with a USB to the Dell. Another drive letter appears, drive D. Now I have two drives connected to the Dell (working Laptop), with an internal and USB External drive. I went to the Dos prompt, switched to the D Drive, D:, and ran check disk. No problems.

While in Dos still, I typed in the "FixBoot" command. An error. I typed in "FixMBR". And again, the same message: "This is not a recognized internal or external command"

Then I found out that you can only use these commands if you insert the windows CD into the CD drive and then type them in. But now my CD drive is disabled in the Dell, and so I can't do these, though I don't know if it would help any anyways.

Man, I'm stuck. I've tried everything. What do you think I can do from here?

-- James T Kirk USS Enterprise :hello: 
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a c 204 D Laptop
August 3, 2011 2:12:18 PM

Sounds like you have a bad CD drive in the Compaq. You should not be getting colored lights on boot, that sounds like a hardware issue also, maybe the motherboard, or graphics, or a heat issue. Could be related to it not seeing the drive. Can you get to the BIOS of the Compaq and is the CD drive showing up in devices? Or are you maybe seeing "Unkown IDE device or something?
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August 4, 2011 4:26:48 AM

Hey hang-the-9! What's up bro? Glad to hear back from you :bounce:  WOW! you actually had an answer for that? Gee Whiz.

The Laptop is a Compaq Evo N610c Pentium 4. It looks like it might be a notebook, and not a laptop -- if there's a difference? It the Bios, it says this is the "Notebook Serial Number", which means that its a Notebook right? Are Notebooks more limited than "Laptop's"? That been my impression. My specialty is with the Desktop so I don't know much about Laptops. :sol: 

But anyways, this is a "very" limited Bios, I mean, it is the worst Bios that I have ever seen -- it barely has any options or listings. I can't believe it. So while in the Bios, I went to the "System Information" which is the only option that allows you to see anything about the computer, of things that are detected. And all that it shows is the model name, processor speed, and memory size. There are literally no other listings for other things like even empty listings such as Primary Hard Drive: <None>, CD Drive, etc. This is truely unbelievable. What a crappy Bios!!! :pfff: 

So I got an ungraded Bios for this computer, but I found out that you can only install the Bios from inside of an OS, and only for the computer that you are physically on at the time -- meaning that it can't be installed to a hard drive and then switched to another computer. I guess the Bios has nothing to do the hard drive. :sarcastic: 

Basically, with such a limited Bios, it is hard to say whether the Hard Drive or CD drive is detected, much less anything else!!! I know this because I have seen other Bios's, and they "always" list IDE devices and the CD drive among other things, as the "device type" even if the device isn't detected or physically installed. :ouch: 

But what I can tell you is that apparently the CD drive seems to function and was detected, because originally it booted from the Windows CD and installed. And the hard drive seems to function because originally it came with the windows OS installed on it and was interactive with the user's commands, keyboard inputs, and mouse pointing.

One thing that is strange about this Notebook is that it lists under the Boot Order, "Notebook MultiBay", "Notebook Hard Drive", and "Notebook Ethernet". I don't know what "MultiBay" is, unless it means boot from the CD first. And I really don't know why these computer manufactures included the "NIC" option if that means the Ethernet boot, because I haven't setup the internet yet this time. Before I formatted the drive, I did setup the internet. But now that the drive is formatted, I don't see how this can help?

But as far as a "heat issue"? Well, it doesn't matter whether I start the computer when it is cold and hasn't been turned on for a full day, and still the same issue :sleep:  ....
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Best solution

a c 204 D Laptop
August 4, 2011 1:55:47 PM

Notebook and Laptop is the same thing. MultiBay is a fancy way of saying "hole where you can plug in optional components. The CD drive sits in the MultiBay, and in some laptops you can plug in a Floppy drive in the same spot, or a hard-drive, or sometimes even another battery. If you have a chance to try out another CD drive, would be worth it, or maybe try to reset the BIOS (you'd probably have to open the cover and pull out the bettery for a few seconds for that).
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May 28, 2012 9:59:04 PM

Thanks for the reply. Your answers were very good. It sounds like you have the gist of the basic error causing routines down. :o 

Solved: Bad OS Disk :pfff: 
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May 28, 2012 10:03:10 PM

Captain's Log Stardate 3118,

All systems are up and running. The mainframe computer is back up and running. The problem has been fixed. Problem Solved: It was a bad OS disk.
We are now preparing to reactivate the hyperdrive. Launch us to warp speed.

Beam me up Scotty,
over and out,

Captain Kirk
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