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Disk Read Error Occurred

XP Hardware

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Old 25-05-2010
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 142
Disk Read Error Occurred

I am running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 on a gateway computer. There was no issues with this pc but all of a sudden it started to slow down and then it was also not able to load any web page at all. So I restarted my computer and now I am getting an error message that says "A disk read error occurred. Press ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried it and again got the same message. I am not able to get into the safe mode as well but can get into the bios for sure. Does this means that my hard drive has died? Will anyone explain to me? Thanks

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Old 25-05-2010
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 973
The problem that you have described in your post seems to me that it sure is a hard drive failure. You should backup the data from your hard drive by connecting to another pc and then transfer all the data on the other computer because I believe that you got the error first time and there might be still some juices left in the hard drive that will make it work. Once all the data is transferred, diagnose the hard drive with different hard drive utilities available in the market.
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Old 27-10-2010
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
Bizarre solution.... I fixed this problem after several hours over several days searching the web. This is apparently a Windows XP and NTFS issue. Mister Softie has failed to correct whatever is happening.

I have a ASUS MB with Athlon 64 CPU that has been a great machine for several years. I installed a new Seagate Maxtor drive, set a NTFS partition and began a fresh install of XP. All seemed well until the machine restarted to complete the installation where windows failed to start and I got a "disc read error" message. A couple redos and same result. Got Seagate drive tools and drive passed self test several times. Zeroed the drive several times. Every attempt to install windows failed with "disc read error" on windows installation machine restart.

Found a post telling me to disable the BIOS "IDE Bus Mastering" I did that and cleared the disc read problem only to have the install crash with a "blue screen" hardware crash shortly after machine restart. Did the disc clearing etc with a couple install redos and all crash in same spot. Found a post indicating NTFS was the issue with XP installs but gave me no solution suggestion.

Decide to see if I perhaps had Motherboard or BIOS issues or if the drive was bad and still passed Seatools tests. So I grabbed an old drive with a FAT32 partition and plugged it in in place of the new drive. Did an install and Windows installed with no problem on the FAT32 partition.

Now here is the bizarre part. Reconnected the new drive with the NTFS partition and Windows installed normally! I've had the machine running for about two weeks now with many restarts installing all the windows updates and my software and no trouble at all. So I'm pretty convinced the machine is fixed.

Now I know you're thinking it must have been a connector issue since I had to unplug and reseat the connectors switching the drives. Well, I had reseated the connectors on the new drive several times trying to fix the problem. I even installed a new cable and that didn't fix it.

I've asked several smart computer friends of mine and we all agree this makes no sense. Doing a FAT32 install on the old drive worked for me; maybe will work for you. grab an old drive and try it.
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