Disk Read Error - can not boot laptop

I am getting "a disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

When I do, I just come back to the same screen. This is a Dell Studio (1555?) laptop runnings Windows XP. It was running fine yesterday, and just started this when i booted this morning.
I have not added any hardware, software or updates. All I have done today is try several times to Ctrl+Alt+Del, remove the laptop baterry and reinstall, and went into Boot Options (F12), Enter Setup and Selected F9 (Setup Defaults). No luck.

I am unable to boot in safe mode to run chkdsk. Is there another way to do this?
Any other thoughts? Step-by-step guidance?
7 answers Last reply
More about disk read error boot laptop
  1. Looks like HDD is gone bad.

    Try PartedMagic. This is a Linux based OS. You can boot from CD as no install is required. There are different tools in this utility.
    Partition Manager is another good utility.
  2. If the hard drive is truly bad - how can any (another) os actually read it then?
    (I am running Ubuntu now - and it seems to be wokring...)

    Also - from Googling - it seems like a lt of people encounter this issue, and it is not hardware related at all...

  3. Yes, I have seen so many times that when Windows do not detect a HDD, Linux does :)
  4. okay - lol
    stll confused
    my question was not really whether it was bad or not (always hopeful anywas..)
    but IF is is bad and Windows is not able to run, then how can any operating system run???

    i.e. if it is a hardware issue (not Windows or anything interacting with Windows), then how can anything perform at all??

    also - do you recomend those utulities over Ubuntu?
  5. If you are able to use Ubuntu, no need to try other utilities - were you able to install Ubuntu on HDD or you are using that from CD/USB drive.

    I understand what you mean that if hardware is bad, how can any system run on that bad hardware. I don't have any specific reply on that :)

    What I would do:
    I would boot from CD and test/scan/format HDD and try to install Windows.
  6. I have run Ubuntu from a live cd and from the flash drive - I just can't seem to mount the drive and see anything (and maybe that's the answer... I won't be able to...)

    I did not want to actually install it, b/c I don't want to change anything on the hard drive, in hopes that I may still be able to get my files off.

    And it gets better...
    I don't actually have a Windows disk (don't think they ever sent one with the laptop, and the recovery console thingy never worked right either - I know this b/c I had an almost devastating virus, and issues trying to get 'back to good' once before...)...

    anyways.... my primary goal is to try to save the files, then I have no issues just replacing the hard drive as necessary...

    I am running the Dell diagnostic tool from setup, to see if it yields any relevant info.
  7. Hope running Dell Diagnostic Tool fetches good results and you are able to save your Data. All the best!!!
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