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A Disk Read Error Occurred

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by 3Bengals, Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. 3Bengals

    3Bengals Thread Starter

    Feb 10, 2008
    Hi, my friend has a computer that was working fine until she went to start it up yesterday. It starts to boot up but then there is a black screen with "A disk read error occurred, Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart." Doing this only brings the same message. This is a computer she bought from Tiger Direct and the only thing I can see inside is: Systemax Dual Core Athlon PC. It is running Windows XP, SP unknown. Looks like it has a Hitachi Deskstar HDO 250 GB SATA hard drive.

    I tried doing some research on this but mainly found posts years old and a lot of arguing about what to do on other sites.

    Can anyone help?

  2. Saga Lout

    Saga Lout

    Sep 15, 2004

    Hello and welcome to TSG.

    Her best bet is to use her XP CD to boot the system and go to the first Repair option. At the Command Prompt she needs to type chkdsk /r (including the space) and that will start a five stage process of checking the disk structure and file system, and that might fix any errors it finds.

    That procedure is sometimes enough to fix this problem but there are other suggestions if this one fails.
  3. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    Since it is a SATA drive, you won't be able to access it through the Recovery Console (unless you find drivers to load first).

    It would be best to remove the drive and try it in another machine or an external case. Booting with a Live CD to see if another operating system even sees the drive is another option.

    Check the connections. It may be something simple. Many Systemax systems from TD are kits, so it is possible something minor happened or wasn't connected properly. In any case, the board is not Systemax and that is what you need to know about. Can you see what make/model the board is?

    Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
    If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

    This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
  4. 3Bengals

    3Bengals Thread Starter

    Feb 10, 2008
    From what I could read inside the machine the MB is an MSI mATX. We checked the connections and she is (sigh) trying to find her Windows disk. I'm going to take the drive out and try it in my machine and see what happens.

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