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Win 7 Disk Read Error - help

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 7, 2012 12:50:49 PM

Hi folks. I have a self-built desktop PC that is running Win 7 64 bit. It's a fairly bare bones setup as I only use it for gaming, some Internet browsing and occasional work using Microsoft Office. I've been running a 250 GB HD for a while now and everything has been working just fine. Until this morning of course.

My typical routine is to game at night for a few hours, sleep the PC while I go to sleep, then repeat the process after I get home from work. I reboot the PC probably once a week or so. This morning, when I went to wake the PC up to check something online it Posted, then immediately went to the Disk Read Error message. Ctr/Alt/Del, as you can imagine, just brought me back to the same screen after a failed boot. Again, everything has been working fine on it, including last night - no issues at all that would lead me to believe something might be wrong.

When it does Post, I have options to change the boot order or go into Bios, but F8 does not work to give me a safe start option. It does seem to recognize the HD though, as well as my DVD drive as those are the only two options in the boot menu.

I tired restarting it a couple of times to see if I could luck out with a boot, but all attempts came back to the disk error screen. Except one that is. On one of my tires it hung for a second after the Post screen, then the "resuming Windows" screen popped up like it was about to start normally. I celebrated too early though as it froze on that screen and didn't go anywhere. I restarted the PC and have not been able to reproduce this occurrence.

So, what are we thinking here, bad HD? I'm about to go into the weekend without my gaming fix available and I'm starting to panic on what to do. Thanks for any help you all can offer.

More about : win disk read error

December 7, 2012 1:06:33 PM

There isn't much information here, but I'll ask a couple of questions. Is this a error message during POST (from the BIOS) or is this an error message while booting Windows? If it is an error message during Windows boot (maybe a bluescreen), it could be that somehow the SATA mode in the BIOS has changed since you installed Windows 7. If it was set to IDE and now its changed to something else or vica versa this could cause this. However without some more detailed information such as the exact error message you get and when, it will be hard to direct you further.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 7, 2012 1:14:18 PM

It's a rarity that drives randomly fail, but if you've been running the system for sometime with that drive it's certainly plausible as it's a slow but sure process.

These errors can also occure from a corrupted OS not being able to boot, are you able to try a reinstall?

As stated above, the more information, the more help.
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December 7, 2012 1:21:50 PM

Thanks for the reply. The exact message I get occurs right after Post - "Disk Read Error, Press Ctrl, Alt, Del to restart." This comes up on a black screen (DOS looking) right after a blinking cursor in the top right portion of the screen.

So, sequence of events is this - Press PC power button -> MB graphics and key options come up on screen as it Posts -> Post concludes -> At this point a screen with Windows 7 should pop up to indicate the OS is loading but instead I get the blinking cursor for a few seconds, then the Disk Read Error message.

Does that help explain it a bit more?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 7, 2012 1:39:59 PM

EarlOfSloot said:
Thanks for the reply. The exact message I get occurs right after Post - "Disk Read Error, Press Ctrl, Alt, Del to restart." This comes up on a black screen (DOS looking) right after a blinking cursor in the top right portion of the screen.

So, sequence of events is this - Press PC power button -> MB graphics and key options come up on screen as it Posts -> Post concludes -> At this point a screen with Windows 7 should pop up to indicate the OS is loading but instead I get the blinking cursor for a few seconds, then the Disk Read Error message.

Does that help explain it a bit more?


As stated above, if you're running a SATA drive have you ensured that AHCI mode is enabled instead of the legacy IDE mode in BIOS?

Also, make certain that your drive is fully connected on both ends hardware wise, as even this simply issue can result in that error.

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December 7, 2012 1:42:20 PM

Also, if it helps, here is a bit more info. Built new computer back in February using a mix of mostly new parts and some old parts (HD was an old part but still functioning perfectly fine). At first was running XP. Bought Windows 7 back in April and did a clean install. So, Ive been running Windows 7 on this custom PC without any issues since April.

Only games I play currently are Planetside 2 and Diablo 3, and that is primarily what I use the computer for. I haven't changed out any parts or fiddled with anything (including the OS) since I installed Windows 7. And like I said, went to bed last night doing my usual routine and nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary. Wake up this morning to this issue.

I think that is what has me most baffled - there was absolutely no indication that anything might be wrong that would lead to a HD read error. It just kind of decided to happen, randomly.

Also, its running a 2500K Intel chip, 8 gigs of DDR3, Geforce560 ti, ASRock Z68 Extreme3 MB.
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December 7, 2012 1:48:57 PM

CDdude55 said:
As stated above, if you're running a SATA drive have you ensured that AHCI mode is enabled instead of the legacy IDE mode in BIOS?

Also, make certain that your drive is fully connected on both ends hardware wise, as even this simply issue can result in that error.


Unfortunately, I had to rush off to work this morning so I didn't have time to check the connections, but I fully plan on doing that as soon as I get home. If the PC wasn't touched or moved over night though, is it possible a wire could still come loose like that?

Also, it is a SATA drive and I initially had it set up for AHCI. I've never touched the settings since I set it up, so is it possible the system can change this setting on its own? Maybe through a windows update or something like that? Thanks.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 7, 2012 3:50:09 PM

if you could try this drive in a external box on another computer,start the other system then plug it in as usb drive and use the drive maker tool on short test and report your result back.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 7, 2012 3:58:09 PM

if your reading this from work pick up a new drive on the way home. when your at work or have another pc make a hirem boot cd or usb stick. run smart test and drive vendor test to see if the drive has failed. the hirem boot cd has a small xp boot on it so you can boot into a mini xp and see if your data still there.i would if you can see your data to back it up to a few usb sticks. if you cant then you know your drive or mb failed. unplug the old drive and connect the new drive and put the os on it and see if your system boots fine. if it does you know 100 percent that you had drive issue.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 7, 2012 6:13:19 PM

Hi :) 

Run a hard drive test in DOS...HIRENS CD etc, it sounds like a failing hard drive...

All the best Brett :) 
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