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  Getting rid of "A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart" error. 
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lol sig Apr 15, 2005, 06:15pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
hi ive gota lap top.... specs dnt really make much difference i suppose... but it has bin running fine untill i installed a windows update and now im getting.

loading PRB for descriptor 2.
A disk read error has occurred
press crtl+alt+del to restart"

I dunno if it was the windows update or what.... i cnt get it to run into safe mode and i tried press F12 and starting it with my windows XP cd but no luck... it said i couldnt load a certain file could not be found... i need help bad guys!!!!!!!

Any help would be gladly apppricitae.. either mail me here or on

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steve T Apr 20, 2005, 11:37pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Disk Read Error
I hope I never have to see these words on my computer screen ever again. So this is what I got:
In november of 2004 (only 5 months ago!), I purchased this computer -- Dell 8400
1GB Ram
160 GB Maxtor SATA HD
blah, blah, etc.
... and in 5 months, my HD crashed, for good.
Anyway, the pain, the torment, the technical details - it's all been covered in this forum. What I didn't see was any discussion of REAL HD recovery. I'm about to mail out my HD to AUTHENTEC, a subsidiary of a company called VOGON-International. For about $450-900 they are going to make sure they get data off my HD as unscathed and complete as possible. I don't know anyone else who has done this, so I will be your guinnea pig.

Why, you ask?

Because NOT getting my data back is NOT an option.

These people will do everything up to and including ripping my drive apart in a "Clean Room" and installing the platters in working drive. Of course, I feel like platters are going to be ripped out of me right now.
There is a moral to this and every other story in this forum.




We spend so many hours in our lives doing so much work that lives soley on a dustless, spinning, magnetic platter that's more isolated and hard to get to than Dick Cheney.

Buy a fireproof safe. Do a google search on "archival quality". Ladies and gentlemen, our work is nothing but 1s and 0s, but even that is an abstraction. Once you lose the ability to translate it, it's not just gone, it may as well have never existed. Yet it's really a whole lot worse because you know you'll never, ever, get back the time you put into it... unless of course you include the experience you gained along the way. May that experience comfort you and protect you from lapsing into a catatonic stupor as you realize that every photo, every web page, every song, every film, every menu, paper, resume, drawing, contact, financial record, address, project - every everything you poured yourself into - has coallesced into a macabre melange of frantic memories, desperately trying to remain intact in hope that you may once again recreate all that IS lost... maybe never even existed.

What proof do you have? A hard drive? It's not very pretty. It feels quite hot.. Heavier than you thought. Funny, it doesn't look that fragile. Reduced to nothing more than a nihilistic monolith, it lays there in your open hands, comfortably warm, tempting you like a satan with no hell or pleasure.

Backup your memories, your hard work. Back it up... or take up sculpting.

Donald Truong May 13, 2005, 08:31am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Do you guys have a CD-ROM or DVD writer connected as the slave device on the same cable that's connected to your Master hard drive? What I've come to find out is that XP has a problem with mixing ATA-133/UDMA and non-ATA-133/UDMA devices on the same IDE channel or devices that transmit data at different speeds. I know many of us rarely look up the Event logs, but check your System logs to see if it shows that your hard drive has a bad sector or not. I've worked on many pcs and noticed that error message. Everything appears to be going fine you say to yourself, but that error message is a precursor of something disasterous that will occur. I believe data seems to be getting corrupt in this sort of hookup. Eventually after a disk transer/access event you may see your computer rebooting itself out of the blue. Upon reboot, you will end up with a "read error".

Restoring through chkdsk, fixmbr, & fixboot will only temporarily fix your problem. What you've got to do is separate your non-ATA-133 device to the Secondary IDE controller. By the way, if you happen to have 3 hard drives, you'll end up with the same problem even though the 3rd drive is on the Secondary IDE controller. I believe there is a timing/clocking problem with some system BIOS' and XP's HAL. I don't know if this as been solved in Service Pack 2 yet, because it was still going on in Service Pack 1.

raakesh bhat May 23, 2005, 01:45am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart

I new here but I share the same problem as you guys. After surfing on the net, all of a sudden the computer crashed and I tried to reboot but it would give me disk read error. Then after some time it allowed me to get into safe mode, but the it gave me blue screen of death and Unmountable_Boot_Volume. Possibly this might be a worrysome problem and its scaring the heck out of me! Any ideas? I am still trying to make sure the computer works and not become a huge silicon block.

Geoff Hardwick Jun 07, 2005, 09:42am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart

Something else for people to try....

Had the same problem on an HP Netserver LH4r.
Trying to install Windows 2003 Server on a SCSI hardware raid 1.
Worked out the problem was the partition size. We were trying to install on an 18GB Partition and it didn't like it (That's the logical partition that Windows allows you to create during the install, not the logical partiton you crerate in the RAID configuration utility). Put it on an 8GB partition and it installs no problem. Must be something to do with the BIOS as I know Windows 2003 doesn't have any such restriction.

Hope this helps


Peter Wilson Jun 15, 2005, 09:03pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I experienced this problem yesterday. But I was fortunate that I had been using Norton Ghost to backup my drive.

However, it does not appear to be a problem with the drive itself. From my experience today in trying to get back to status quo I am narrowing it down to either bad cable, bad Primary Connector, or the m-board coming to its end.

Not taking a chance I did not transfer my Ghost image over the drive that wasn't responding. Mainly, because I could still read the drive via the Norton rescue utilities. I bought a new drive and transferred the ghosted image to it. Then I hung the defunct drive on a PCI controller card. And guess what? Through a combination of my new drive on the Primary connector and the defunct drive on the PCI controller card the defunct drive came back to live as my "C" drive and the new installed drive became "F." (My CD-ROM and DVD drives are "D" and "E")

When I removed the "defunct" drive from the PCI controller card, the new drive on the primary connector got past the windows XP startup page and made it to the blue page but without any icons for users.

This new drive had been working before I put the defunct drive back into my machine on the PCI controller card.

This new problem simply could be Windows XP/Norton Ghost related. I may have to reimage the ghost to this drive.

But it could also mean that it's the primary connector that is wearing down since it's where the problem began.

Anyone who would like to comment please feel free. I read everyone of the posts in this area yesterday. And I like the rest here, I have no firm answer.

Bill Paquette Jun 22, 2005, 09:53am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart

Peter Wilson Jun 22, 2005, 11:21am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Just a follow-up to my drive letter issues after the "A Disk Read Error Occurred. Press CTRL ALT DEL" troubles. I was able to rename the drive letters. There is a tech support note on the microsoft web site that documents on how to rename the drives. You have to change your registry settings to make this change.


It worked for me and for now my system is working as it should. But I still have no answer as to where the initial problem came from. I was fortunate to have my stuff backed up that I could reconstruct on a new drive.

Ramzie Jun 27, 2005, 02:51pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I too have had this problem on my Maxtor 250GB diamondmax 10. I use it with a ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe and basically what ive noticed is this ...

The problem stemmed from booting up and the computer claiming that a windows image was not authentic or was corrupt. This then messed with Norton Antivirus 2005 and thats from a user interface standpoint the errors seemed to be coming from. After repairing windows a couple times (and the error coming back) and installing norton over and over ... im going to say its NOT either of those even tho thats where the error messages are coming from.

I beleive earlier in the post an issue was brought up that NTFS file system is just buggy with Windows XP and this might be true because i doubt its my HD or the files being installed. so the question is this ...

Whats the diffirence between NTFS and FAT and while moving onto a diffirent fileing system have any detriments over NTFS? basically

should i switch to FAT to correct this corrupt image blue screen same bug as everyones described glitch? and if so ... how do i get a compleatly fresh start?

thanks guys :)

Randy S Jun 29, 2005, 11:05pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I finally got my HD to work did the following.
I first tried deleating the partion with the XP install disk and re-partiontioned and formatted in NTSF. no luck same problem.
I then tried gDisk from Symantec you can get it here
you can use gdisk no need to use gdisk32
print out the switches this will help with the command lines.
Load gdisk on floppy and then boot computer from floppy.
At the prompt A:\> type in the following without quotes "gdisk 1 /del /all" Press Enter to start process BUT FIRST READ WARNING below, use 1 if the hard drive is on the Primary Master. If your not sure you have the correct drive just remove power to Hard Drives you don't want to delete, that way you can't delete them in error. WARNING this will delete ALL partions on the Hard drive. After you delete the partion quite gdisk Do Not create a new partion.
Reinstall the XP Cd and try installing XP again. This time create a new partion with the XP disk and format with NTFS. After several days of trying variours fixes this is what worked for me.

Ramzie Jul 01, 2005, 11:30am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
awesome Randy im going to try this,

can you pleas post if anything changes or give some more info as to stability?

my HD is going through all these issues ATM and one thing i notice is it makes funny sounds or takes a second or 2 to boot when i turn the comp on

did u have these symptoms or better question, what were your symptoms, and hows it shaping up now?

Randy S Jul 01, 2005, 06:53pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
So far no problems. I installed Sp1 and Sp2 without a hitch.
I ran SpinRite 6.0 on the disk prior to getting the gdisk solution. No problem reported with SpinRite.
You can read about SpinRite here
My hard drive showed no indications of mechanical problems. If yours is noisy consider replacing.

Harry Mason Jul 03, 2005, 03:41am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Currently, I have the following configuration:
P4 3.0 GHz
Intel D915GAV motherboard
80 GB SATA Samsung Harddisk
Geforce 6600GT graphics card

My PC is 3 months old and I have been getting this error ever since I purchased it :(. I have tried **everything** to fix the problem, but nothing seems to be a permanent solution. I have only used WinXP and have no other OS installed. Also my current filesystem is NTFS (FAT32 did not solve my problem).

Initially I also had an old 40 GB IDE harddisk attached, in addition to the configuration mentioned above. About 5 days after I bought my PC, I first got this error message while booting. I opened the cover of my PC, to tighten the SATA cable, but WITHOUT even touching the cable, when I turned on the PC (with the cover still open) it started up fine, after I selected "Start Windows normally" from the "Previous startup attempts have failed...." menu. I closed the cover again, without doing anything, and the problem appeared to have been solved, until after about another 7days, when I got the same error again. Again, I simply opened the cover and the problem disappeared. After replacing the cover again, the problem did not recurr till about 4-5 days.

Naturally, I suspected a faulty harddisk cable. I replaced the cable, and the problem was solved (but only temporarily,as it would turn out). After about 15 days, I got the very same error message again. Refixing the cabinet cover I got rid of the message temporarily, and this time, I completely reformatted my Harddisk with NTFS (after deleting all the partitions) and installed a fresh copy of WinXP, only to see the same error message after 7-8 days again.

This time, I suspected the SATA harddisk. After replacing the harddisk and all the cables attached to my harddisk, I formatted with FAT file system and installed WinXP. Same error after 10-11 days.

My hardware vendor replaced the power supply to see if the problem was solved, but after 10-15 days, it appeared again. So my hardware vendor replaced the power supply, RAM, motherboard, processor, SATA cable, harddisk. I formatted with NTFS and installed WinXP again. Same problem after 5-6 days.

The old IDE harddisk (which has never given me any problems) was the new suspect. I disconnected it. (In case it matters, this time I also installed a new 6600GT graphics card). The problem finally seemed to have been solved when it did not show up for 1 month. However, one week ago, when I booted the PC, I got the same error again. As before, by refixing the cabinet cover I temporarily solved this problem and visited this forum. I tried all the things mentioned here.

But today, I get the same error again. Although I dont fear any data loss as I have no important data on my harddisk, this error is very very frustrating to say the least. Any ideas? Please help!!!

Thanks in advance!

Bill Paquette Jul 03, 2005, 12:11pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
You said you had 2 hard drives in the computer right? Check to make sure they are jumpered correctly, and NOT on CABLE SELECT. Even if it's just one hard drive, make sure it is jumpered to MASTER. That seems to have worked for me thus far. Seems that NTFS and WinXP are very picky about the jumper settings, espacially with larger drives. Hope this helps.


Alan Hashem Jul 04, 2005, 07:36am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I faced this problem however I have a 200GB hard drive on a old K7S5A AMD motherboard. Now the strange thing is this problem just occured out of the blue. The 200GB hard disc was in operation for about 2 months. It turns out a WINDOWS XP Repair will not fix the problem. I found updating the BIOS resolved the problem immediately. Give that a go before formatting or trying a much harder solution. Worked for me :)

Luck Ninetyone Jul 06, 2005, 10:58am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
You're so lucky. My 80gig WD is sporodically recognized by BIOS during boot up. Dough! So I can't even data recover or image the thing. Result: Hard drive failure. Even the ol' freezer trick didn't work.

Mike Davis Jul 13, 2005, 04:05am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
OK I finally have my system up & running after having this error.
I also had a bitch finding this page again after format etc.

I found out that Windows XP does not like some hard drives not set to LBA mode or Auto.
Once I set to "Auto" for the hard drives it booted fine.

Could be why some of the fixes were resetting the bios etc.
My BIOS doesn't work that way, so none of the above fixes worked until I simply set each hard drive to LBA or Auto.

I got this idea while searching at the Microsoft website and here is the link:;en-us;222996


Luck Ninetyone Jul 13, 2005, 01:23pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I can't think of a good reason to not set to auto with today's hard drives.

Mertsi Merimies Jul 14, 2005, 01:59am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Well, yesterday I got this dreaded message. My set up has been working fine for the past 2.5 years.
I have a Maxtor 80GB as primary and a 6 GB Seagate (probably over 7 years old) connected on the same IDE cable.
1 - When I disconnect the Maxtor and put the Seagate as primary (jumpers are placed in the correct position ie. on the Seagate the jumper is on Master) and try to boot the PC, I get a message telling me there is a dll file missing from my windows2000 directory and I should reinstall that file. I must add that a few years ago I had WIN2000 installed on the Seagate but later I used it as a place to place a copy of some files. All I wanted to do was to install XP on this drive and use it as primary (master) disk so that I could get Windows up and going and then try to repair the Maxtor HD but with no success!
Even though, the XP setup CD is placed in the CD-rom it won't boot from the CD-rom. I even tried F11 during boot up and chose the CD-rom but it simply would not boot from the CD-rom.

2 - When I connect the Maxtor to the above configuration but as slave, none of the drives are detected but It will run the XP setup from CD-rom and then complain that it did not detect any hard-disks on my PC and I must exit setup..

3 - When I connect only the Maxtor as primary drive (master), I get the "A Disk Read Error Occured" message and can not do anything but to restart the whole thing and go over the same things. It once again refuse to boot from the CD-rom so I can not run the repair utility on XP setup disk.

So I can not even run the repair utility on the XP setup disk, or get to the DOS prompt under any circumstances.

I would appreciate any suggestions you might have on solving this issue.

Davy Dane Jul 18, 2005, 12:28am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I've had this problem come up when I've had bad RAM or a bad VIDEO CARD. You might want to swap them out first to make sure this isn't the problem. Especially the RAM because I think that's what it is. You don't need to buy new RAM or a new VIDEO CARD. Just borrow them from a friend to make sure this isn't the problem. If that isn't the problem and it is your HD then read the following: You won't be able to do anything with the MAXTOR. Connect only the SEAGATE setting the jumper to master. Then make sure your bios is set to boot from your CD ROM FIRST and when it says "press any key to boot from CD ROM" make sure you do that. If that doesn't work try updating your BIOS and set your BIOS again to BOOT FROM CD FIRST. If you don't need any of the information on your SEAGATE then you could also reformat it first. But an easy solution to your problem is to take your MAXTOR to a friends house and chkdsk from there. Make sure you do the full chkdsk to repair bad sectors.

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