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A disk read error occurred, press ctr-alt-del to restart

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BootUpAndRun, Jun 1, 2009.

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  1. BootUpAndRun

    BootUpAndRun Thread Starter

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    Hello - I'm receiving this error message at the end of boot up process (BIOS posting):
    "A disk read error occurred, press ctr-alt-del to restart"

    I have Dell Dimension XPS B800r, Pentium III, 512MB ram, running Win XP. My hard drive had crashed 2 years ago so I upgraded from Win 98SE to XP and had installed 200GB HDD and was smooth sailing until this disk error appeared out of nowhere on a routine Restart.

    The hard drive model number appears (registers?) in the BIOS set up, but doesn't appear to be recognized during BIOS posting.

    I've poured through forums looking for resolution and have done the following:
    1. checked hardware and cables, jumpers, master / slave arrangements - all good
    2. reset BIOS to defaults - also tested different scenarios for boot up, with HDD being first or after CD-ROM, etc.
    3. booted from Windows CD and wend to Recovery Console, logged in and ran Fixmbr, Fixboot, and later ran Bootcfg - all to fix the master boot record and boot.ini
    4. could see directories and files through Dos so it appears data is intact but not sure

    Nothing has helped resolve disk read error. Also cannot get to Safe Mode during boot up. I didn't make a Windows Recovery CD - learned my lesson...

    From my reading I have three potential possibilities for the disk error but have no clue whether either of these is the problem or how best to troubleshoot. They are:
    1. I wasn't aware there may be a BIOS limitation for hard drive storage, but discovered that the 200GB HDD exceeds it's limit - but could this be causing the error 2 years after install?
    2. it's possible a virus caused the disk read error, although Kapersky didn't catch anything and I didn't notice any performance trouble
    3. it's possible the machine overheated

    How likely is it that the BIOS disk size barrier is causing the error? Any way to check?

    Is there a good boot CD with virus scan? I've seen Ultimate Boot CD but am leery to use (no documentation, will the scan work?).

    Any other causes? Your suggestions are most appreciated; you're my last hope! Thanks much in advance..
     
  2. By_Rock

    By_Rock

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    Sep 26, 2008
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    Which file format are you using? NTFS or FAT32? Also what version of Windows Xp are you using?
     
  3. BootUpAndRun

    BootUpAndRun Thread Starter

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    I don't know... how can I check whether it's NTFS or FAT32? I'm using Win XP Professional Version 2002. Thanks
     
  4. By_Rock

    By_Rock

    Joined:
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    You can see on Disk Management. Right click on My Computer > Manage > Disk Management. And which service pack installed?
     
  5. Asenine

    Asenine

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    Or, even easier, right click on the disk and then click properties.
     
  6. BootUpAndRun

    BootUpAndRun Thread Starter

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    Thanks, but unfortunately I can't boot up to get to My Computer. Is there a way to find out using Recovery Console or could the file format be listed somewhere during BIOS posting? Thanks again for your input!
     
  7. By_Rock

    By_Rock

    Joined:
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    Did you try to use a bootable program such as BartPE? All free, bootable and has lots of tool to fix Windows like MBR problem.
     
  8. BootUpAndRun

    BootUpAndRun Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I've only used the Windows boot CD to run Recovery Console, but it looks like BartPE has virus scan and other features - cool, I'll give this a try! I'll need to wait until Friday to burn a CD when my wife brings her laptop home. I'll reply again once I give it a try. Thanks for the tip.
     
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