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Disk Read Error on starting Windows

posted by JedExodus on - last edited - Viewed by 314 users

My bro got a new comp for Christmas, after a month or so he started getting the "Disk Read Error" message when starting Widnows, or Windows would freeze when starting up and when he restarted he'd get the message, as a work around I find that disconencting and reconnecting the cable to the hard drive gets him around it but it still happens quite a bit, was wondering if any of the more technically minded peeps round here would have any ideas or solutions. Don't really wanna send it unless absolutely necessary cos it's a big old box and shipping it would be a pain in the bee-hind

Anyhoo any help help will be met with much appreciation and hugs and smooches...or just the appreciation :p

Cheers folks :)

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  • Ooo, that's a painful error to get. From what I can tell, it sounds like there's a bad sector on the hard drive which has screwed up your PC. Your brother's gonna have to reformat the hard drive in question and reinstall Windows.

    I share your pain - I've just reformated my hard drive, though for a different reason. It's not a nice thing to have to go through.

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    DjNDB Moderator

    That could have a couple of reasons and is probably difficult to debug remotely, but I'll share some ideas with you.
    First of all it would be good to know more about the System.
    What are the Manufacturers and Model of the Mainboard and Harddisk?
    What Windows Version is he running?

    I would start by looking for clues in the Windows Event viewer (E.g. Errors and Warnings in the System log).
    Also make sure that the data and power cables are connected properly on both sides. It doesn't hurt to try a different data cable too.
    Make sure the Mainboard runs the latest BIOS and IDE/S-ATA Drivers if applicable. Also check their changelogs for hints if available.

    You should also enable SMART Monitoring in the BIOS and you could run the drive manufacturers diagnosis tools to check the drive for errors.

  • @Darth Marsden said: Ooo, that's a painful error to get. From what I can tell, it sounds like there's a bad sector on the hard drive which has screwed up your PC.

    I would tend to agree. If it is a bad sector though, reformatting won't quite do the job if the hard disk's header tables don't know that the bad sector exists.

    My advice are to do one of two things (or you can do both):

    1) Run CHKDSK to search for bad sectors. Make the computer dismount the drive and run it after reboot so that nothing is running while it does so.

    and/or

    2) RMA the hard disk (that is, send the hard disk to the manufacturer and get a replacement.)

    -----------------------------
    Since it's a recently acquired computer, I would hazard a bet that the hard disk is still under the manufacturer's warranty and can be RMA'd (define RMA: Return Materials Authorization: A form initiated by a vendor to accompany goods returned to a vendor. An RMA may authorize the vendor to repair or exchange the returned goods.)

    I had to do that once when I was building a PC and the hard disk was bad. All I had to do was call the HDD mfg. (I think it was Western Digital) and tell them I needed an RMA for it, then they asked me for serial numbers and stuff written on the HDD... blah blah, they told me it was under warranty so I shipped it (the hard disk, not the whole case) to them and they shipped me a new replacement. It was quite easy and didn't take long to get the new one back. You might also have a warranty on the PC from a distributor (ie. Dell, HP, Toshiba) and can send in the whole case or HDD to them, I suppose. Of course in either case you would then have to reinstall Windows and such, but I wouldn't find that to be a big deal considering you said it was new anyway.

    -----------------------------
    However, if you don't want to do that or if you really want to try other stuff first, what you ought to do (rather than format) is to have the computer run a test for bad sectors and corrupted data. Windows has such a program called "chkdsk".

    So then what you do is:

    1) open a command line window [click "start", then "run...", type "cmd" (no quotes) and hit enter.]

    2a) type "chkdsk c: /r /x" (no quotes) and hit enter.
    b) when you are prompted to run chkdsk at next reboot, type "y" and hit enter.

    3) Reboot your computer, and wait for chkdsk to finish.

    Here is a screenshot I made of what it looks like when you're typing it in:

    chkdsk.png

    And one of what it looks like in XP when it's running after reboot:

    windowsxpchkdsk2.jpg


    Good luck.

  • Hey folks, this is all really good stuff. I'll not be seeing my bro untill Saturday afternoon probably so we'll run through all the stuff suggested and i'll get all the info for DjNDB.

    You guys are well helpful, thanks very much, you're the best :)

  • Fashionably late as always :P

    So here's a little update, tried chkdsk but to no avail. Tried a format on his computer but froze during Windows installation. Moved hard drive over to mine and got WIndows installed, then moved back to his and upgraded to Vista (had to install XP 64-Bit first before upgrading to Vista, bit of a long story) Seemed to work grand for a while but he told me he's got the error at least once since the format.

    He has a Maxtor drive, it's like DiamondMaster or something, I can't quite remember. The motherbpard is the ever illustrious and catchy ASRock K10N78FullHD-hSLI for AMD CPU's (I just happen to have the box here right beside me) The CPU's dual-core AMD running at 3GHz, no idea which model i'm afraid. OS is Vista Home Premium 64-Bit.

    I had a gawk in Windows Event Viewer and found that the error "Kernel-Processor-Power Event 6" was coming up consistently whenever Windows was crashing (which leads to a reboot which leads to the error in the bios)

    Bro phoned the guy at the company who built the computer and they reckon it's a bad sector as well and to send the hard drive back, but while possibly right i'm thinking they'll anything to save the computer coming back to them I suspect

    Sorry for the sketchy details but any more help would be lovely

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