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  Getting rid of "A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart" error. 
 
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Chase Park Mar 06, 2007, 10:59am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 06, 2007, 11:03am EST

 
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Courtney,

Thanks very much for posting this potential fix. It sounds like it IS the fix for this issue however I can't verify it because I searched for a solution for four days when I first ran into this error message. I didn't find one so I finally had to do a complete format and re-install from scratch... after I had taken out the damaged hard drive and placed it in one of my USB external enclosures. Thankfully, I was able to read the drive contents and saved all of it.

Bottom line -- lots of extra work to do this and it would have been really neat to solve this in the beginning with a solution like yours! But there is a life lesson here for me -- Back up every three days.

Thanks again for your post.

Chase


Courtney Johnson said:
First I'd like to thank everyone for the suggestions offered, which pointed towards this fix, which I haven't seen here.

- Download Hiren's BootCD 8.8 (I'll leave it up to you to find it...). Burn and boot into it.
When you see the menu, select 'Next', then select MBR Tools, and finally Partition Table Doctor.
OR
- Get the latest version from ptdd.com.

Select the 'faulty' HDD.
If PTD detected some sort of error, you'll see a little 'x' besides the partition number.
Select that partition, click on 'Operations' and then 'fixboot'.

If everything goes according to plan, you should get something like 'Congrats PTD successfully fixed your partition!'

Reboot and voila, XP starts without any actual HDD mod/conversion/...

Hope this helps out a few of you guys.


Edit: Also, just a thought, but the reason why this issue hasn't been addressed much by major companies is: it's a generic message which occurs in way too many different problematic cases. So it's hard for anyone to know the exact cause and issue a proper fix.


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Courtney Johnson Mar 06, 2007, 02:00pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Glad to help. Should any of you want more info on fixboot, you can check their website:
http://www.ptdd.com/partition-table-doctor/help/fixboot.htm

If you read carefully, you will notice that this will not work for everyone.
For NTFS partition, even if boot sector is correct but MFT (Master File Table) is corrupt, symptoms are the same.

That's where converting to FAT32 might help some.

John McCormick Mar 06, 2007, 02:17pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Chase,

The problem is that this is not ONE PROBLEM but SEVERAL PROBLEMS. Certainly, Microsoft should fix the errors, but do you really think they will with the advent of Vista?

The list of 21 possible solutions is a reasonable method to solve a problem that may have one or more sources. Sure, it's a bunch of work, but nobody has come up with anything better that handles every source problem...


Chase Park said:
Wow! This thread has been running for over three years and still no one knows the exact answer. That's hard to believe. After reading thru 14 long pages - with many very well intentioned people offering solutions - this topic is still a mystery and is clearly unsolved.
How can this be?

I would think that this thread could be forwarded to Microsoft engineers, specifically to the development team that crafted that exact error message, so this issue could be listed as a "known fixable issue".

What about it, Mods -- can you get this thread over to Microsoft? 21 steps to try to resolve this seems like a lot of wasted time and effort.

Fran Maye Mar 08, 2007, 10:58am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I've had the exact same problem on several occasions. I originally thought it was a Maxtor hard drive issue, but it's not. I have found a solution. I have a Gateway 2.2 gig with a intel motherboard. Maxtor Diamond max 10 250 gig hard drive with 16 meg cache.

When I first got this dreaded message, white text on a black screen, I had been on bit torrent and next morning that screen was starring at me. I thought hard drive was dead, so I took out the Maxtor 250 drive, swapped in a working 120 gig hard Maxtor drive and I could read and transfer files with the Maxtor 250 as my slave. So all the files were there, so I thought the problem had to be the hard drive with its 16 meg cache. I disconnected the hard drive controller and reinstalled and same problem in middle of reinstall of Windows xp Professional. Now I was certain something was wrong with the drive, perhaps the cache was too big.

So I bought a new Maxtor hard drive, this one with 8 megs of cache. I installed Windows XP, slipstreamed to XP2, and it worked -- for a few days. Then I got the dreaded black screen - a read disk error occurred. Press ctl alt delete.

I next tried swapping out ribbon cables, 40 wire and then 80 wire. No luck. Then I resorted to putting in my 120 Maxtor and used the 250 as a slave. Not what I wanted, but the computer ran fine. That was the case for several months.

Then a friend sold me a Western Digital 250 gig hard drive. So I figured since it wasn't a Maxtor, I should be fine. I installed fresh copy of slipstreamed Windown Pro XP2, and it worked like a charm. I used the other Maxtor 250 as a slave. It worked for several weeks. Then I upgraded ram. I bought a gig of Rambus ram. When I put in the two 512 sticks and rebooted, I got the dreaded screen again. Arrrrghh.... This time, it was a Western Digital drive. I was certain it was the ram -- it worked before I put it in -- and I put original ram back in. Still that dreaded message. I was certain I was going to have to reinstall again. I had everything backed up on 400 gig USB drives, and since I could use my "damaged" drive as a slave, this was easy.

Before I was going to go through nights of reinstall, I wanted to try several things, and do trial and error. Tried new pATA cable. No luck. Tried swapping out RAM. No luck. Tried setting bios to fail-safe. No luck. Switched hard drive from auto to LBA. Tried mode 1 and 4. No luck. Tried all of the settings for User defined hard drive. No luck. Tried only one HD, using jumper for master setting -- not using cable select. No luck. Took out CMOS battery for 10 minutes and replaced. No luck (remember to change clock to right time after doing this). Thorough virus check - clean. (This problem is NOT a virus, folks) I didn't even have 90 gigs of files on this hard drive, so I knew it couldn't be the 127 gig limit thing some people have referred to.

Then I went to Gateway site and got updated bios. I flashed bios, rebooted and --- IT WORKED!!!! Everything was back to normal, just the way it should be. Nothing skipped a beat. There was nothing wrong with this drive afterall. And probably nothing wrong with the other.

I noticed that the bios showed my 250 gig hard drive as having only 127 gigs before the flash. After the flash, it showed up properly.

I had the advantage of not having to go into recovery. That fixmbr will give you more problems and it's really a long shot. If you can, pick up a small HD (you can get 8 gig HD for a few bucks on ebay), and install your operating system. This way, when something bad happens, you can boot up and use your original master as a slave (just be sure to set the jumpers properly). This has saved me countless times. Be sure everything is backed up (in my case, external USB drives).

Before flashing bios, be sure you know what you are doing. You can ruin your computer completely!!! It's really easy though. Just use Sandra, and check mainboard settings, or press F1, F2 or del (depending on computer) and go into BIOS and write down your bios. Be careful about what you write down. Double check it. Type in the name of your mainboard followed by biois and google it. If it's an Acer, or Dell or Gateway, you can go to their sites and write in your serial number or tag number and it go download the bios. Copy the files to a floppy and reboot. It takes about 2 minutes.

Hope this solution helps. This is a problem microsoft should have solved by now, but now that VISTA is out, they don't care.

Vivek Renganathan Mar 09, 2007, 07:54am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I have the same problem. I have been using Windows XP Pro installed on a Segate Baracuda 80GB drive.Everything was fine for about 4 months, and I have had the problem for the past one week. I have my HDD formatted in FAT32. Please provide a solution.

Matt S Mar 16, 2007, 05:07pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
My "Disk Read Error" began after a voluntary reboot. I was using PerfectDisk 8 to defrag my drive and scheduled an offline defrag of the pagefile and MBR before bootup. I wasn't paying attention but I think the MBR and pagefile was defragged, then the error was triggered at the reboot attempt. I'll start going through the list and let everyone know if I have any success.

Mobo: Asus P5WD2-Premium
Ram: Corsair
Hard Drive: 2x 36gig Western Digital raptors
CPU: Intel 830 Dual Core 3.2ghz


D Bessmer Mar 27, 2007, 06:52pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Just some more info for thought. I have a epox mb about 1 year old using a amd 3500 processor. I also use multiple hardrives connected to the computer via those plug in harddrive drawers. Running xp home sp2 installed. The drives ranges from ide ibm 20g to wd 160g, also have 2 wd 250g satas which are internal to the case using a multipole switch to switch the 12volt and 5 volt power thus turning this drives on off as needed (with sys powered down).In any event 5 of the drives have cloned copies of my xp system on them, use one for gaming one for internet etc. The 80 g wd drive suddenly developed the disc read error. While I have not tried the mbr fix I have used the drive by itself as well as with the other 2 ide burners installed, tried the cable swapouts also the bios checks as well as using the wd diag utilities, nothing wrong with the drive, If I connect it as a slave to one of the other drives I can read the drive with no problem as others have reported. The new glitch that no one else has reported, if I take the drive out of the drive enclosure and hook it up to the ide cable direct it boots up into windows every time. It only fails when its in the drive enclosure. changed out the enclosure and wiring with no luck. All the other drives with also use the enclosures work fine and boot up as well as the sata drives. I run all drives ntsf. The failed drive is partitioned into 2 partitions 40g each. I will be trying a ghost restore on that drive to see if that clears up the problem. It does seem that there may be multiple causes for this problem. I just thought I would give my inputs I do not think its a cable issue maybe a weak driver chip issue on the mb or drives.

John McCormick Mar 27, 2007, 08:01pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
It looks like D. Bessmer has identified a problem that I missed in my long list of problems/solutions. It does seem that the problem could be caused by a weak driver chip that has a weak connection to the offending drive.

If this is the problem, then the solution would be to use a shorter drive cable or a better-quality cable to provide better signal strength to the motherboard.

Tell us if you decide to try a better cable and it works, D. Bessmer!!!


Just some more info for thought. I have a epox mb about 1 year old using a amd 3500 processor. I also use multiple hardrives connected to the computer via those plug in harddrive drawers. Running xp home sp2 installed. The drives ranges from ide ibm 20g to wd 160g, also have 2 wd 250g satas which are internal to the case using a multipole switch to switch the 12volt and 5 volt power thus turning this drives on off as needed (with sys powered down).In any event 5 of the drives have cloned copies of my xp system on them, use one for gaming one for internet etc. The 80 g wd drive suddenly developed the disc read error. While I have not tried the mbr fix I have used the drive by itself as well as with the other 2 ide burners installed, tried the cable swapouts also the bios checks as well as using the wd diag utilities, nothing wrong with the drive, If I connect it as a slave to one of the other drives I can read the drive with no problem as others have reported. The new glitch that no one else has reported, if I take the drive out of the drive enclosure and hook it up to the ide cable direct it boots up into windows every time. It only fails when its in the drive enclosure. changed out the enclosure and wiring with no luck. All the other drives with also use the enclosures work fine and boot up as well as the sata drives. I run all drives ntsf. The failed drive is partitioned into 2 partitions 40g each. I will be trying a ghost restore on that drive to see if that clears up the problem. It does seem that there may be multiple causes for this problem. I just thought I would give my inputs I do not think its a cable issue maybe a weak driver chip issue on the mb or drives.

Vivek Renganathan Mar 27, 2007, 10:46pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Guys,

My issue has been resolved. the reason fr the problem was that my bus drives were old. So I got new ones and the entire thing was resolved.

chellow chellow Mar 28, 2007, 08:47pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I had this problem installing x64 on a VIARAID 0 setup, asus A8V mobo.
the problem is definately with MS installer writing an invalid bootsector. not bios,etc...
(prehaps there is a workaround with tweaking bios,changing clustersize, but ultimately the problem is still with ms)
ok so this is the only solution that worked for me:
indeed fixboot is the solution BUT
-fixboot from the recoveryconsole of x64b cd(with integrated raiddriver) did not work
-fixboot with partition table doctor did not work(and i ended up losing 10 gb using ptd,not recommended)
Solution:
-after installing x64, the "Disk Read Error Occured" appears
-startup recovery console WITH XP32bit CD!(with integrated raiddriver) use fixboot
-you should now be able to reboot (dont forget put the the x64 cd back) and finish the installation!

Nathan Willar Apr 22, 2007, 03:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Apr 22, 2007, 03:20pm EDT

 
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Fran Maye said:
Hope this solution helps. This is a problem microsoft should have solved by now, but now that VISTA is out, they don't care.



I have an HP pavilion, and i recently installed Vista Ultimate. Two weeks of running Vista seemlessly.... you guessed it: "A Disk Read Erro Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart"
I called the nice people in India and they do not know how to fix it. I've ran the scan disk tests and tried inserting the Vista DVD, but nothing works.

Mark Philip Luspo Apr 28, 2007, 02:02pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I have the same exact problem! please help me! i have a P4V8X-X motherboard and a 120GB SATA seagate hard drive.. what should i do?

my sister used the pc and after a short time she opted to restart the system leading to the "a disk read error occurred" msg. i followed this site..


i tried tweaking the bios.. no go
i tried reseating the cables.. no go
i tried removing the other hdds.. no go
i tried the bootcd 8.8 to run the PTB. no go
i tried PTB,. msg "can not fix.."
surface test of PTB was OK.
No noises or clicks.
even MBR was fixed when i tried the option at PTB. no go.
i even upgraded to the lastest bios found at the asus site.. no go.

please help. im trying to recover my files.. i havent seen my files yet..i hope they are still there. i can't seem to access the drive when booting to floppy (its a SATA drive so i know it will probably not be visible in DOS).. or even at the recovery console (this is weird.. or i dnt know how to do this).. but windows xp sp2 setup it can see and identify the hdd for a fresh copy installation.. is it possible all my files are gone? i dont think so.. i hope not.

how do i get to use the recovery console for chkdsk or fixboot using winxp sp2 cd.. im using a SATA drive.

Thanks so much.. hope you guys can help me..

what else havent i tried...

Mark

Mark Philip Luspo Apr 28, 2007, 02:02pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I have the same exact problem! please help me! i have a P4V8X-X motherboard and a 120GB SATA seagate hard drive.. what should i do?

my sister used the pc and after a short time she opted to restart the system leading to the "a disk read error occurred" msg. i followed this site..


i tried tweaking the bios.. no go
i tried reseating the cables.. no go
i tried removing the other hdds.. no go
i tried the bootcd 8.8 to run the PTB. no go
i tried PTB,. msg "can not fix.."
surface test of PTB was OK.
No noises or clicks.
even MBR was fixed when i tried the option at PTB. no go.
i even upgraded to the lastest bios found at the asus site.. no go.

please help. im trying to recover my files.. i havent seen my files yet..i hope they are still there. i can't seem to access the drive when booting to floppy (its a SATA drive so i know it will probably not be visible in DOS).. or even at the recovery console (this is weird.. or i dnt know how to do this).. but windows xp sp2 setup it can see and identify the hdd for a fresh copy installation.. is it possible all my files are gone? i dont think so.. i hope not.

how do i get to use the recovery console for chkdsk or fixboot using winxp sp2 cd.. im using a SATA drive.

Thanks so much.. hope you guys can help me..

what else havent i tried...

Mark

John McCormick Apr 29, 2007, 01:36pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Hi Mark,

Before trying the 21 or so steps that I listed (see earlier in the forum), you may want to retrieve your files and burn them to CD. Your data may still be on the drive. There are two easy ways to go about finding out if they are still there, so that you can save them.

First, you can pull the drive and try it as a secondary (slave) drive in another computer. You should be able to access your data that way.

If that doesn't work, an easy way to get your data off your computer, then burn it to disk is to use one of the Linux LiveCDs. A LiveCD allows you to run Linux without installing it to your hard drive. It's easy to use and really quite automatic. Find a good Linux version (I personally recommend Ubuntu for ease-of-use, http://www.ubuntu.com), burn it to a CD, then boot it up on your computer. It will automatically find your hard drive, where you can locate the files you want to save, start up Ubuntu's CD-burning program, then save your files to CD. Easy, and you don't need another computer (except to burn the Linux CD).

There are many other ways to save things, including following some of the less drastic steps on the 21-step list to solve your problem, but if you try the easy steps and can't get your computer to boot, then you can try one of the above ideas, which are about as easy as you can get to save your data!


JohnBoyTheGreat


please help. im trying to recover my files.. i havent seen my files yet..i hope they are still there. i can't seem to access the drive when booting to floppy (its a SATA drive so i know it will probably not be visible in DOS).. or even at the recovery console (this is weird.. or i dnt know how to do this).. but windows xp sp2 setup it can see and identify the hdd for a fresh copy installation.. is it possible all my files are gone? i dont think so.. i hope not.

how do i get to use the recovery console for chkdsk or fixboot using winxp sp2 cd.. im using a SATA drive.

glen wilkie May 03, 2007, 12:58am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: May 03, 2007, 01:09am EDT

 
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
O.K. mark up another to the "large HDD on old machine" as cause for this error.
After installing 160GB Maxtor and XP Pro (single partition NTFS) nearly a year ago on my HP Pavilion 8765C (1GB PIII) and having no previous symptoms (also failing to pay any attention to how much trash I was accumulating, or to defrag) suddenly received this error on startup; attempted to boot from CD, got black screen after "setup is scanning hardware configuration". Thought, uh-oh HD is dead for sure. Online search found this thread (Thanks to all who posted), kept me trying. Tried lots of the fixes listed here, no help. Finally borrowed and installed old 40GB Maxtor as Master with my 160 as Slave, was able to see all files on 160 still intact, ran chkdsk, no errors. Backed-up and deleted 90GB of crap, ran Defrag, reinstalled as Master, booted right up like the day before. WOO-HOO. No (free) BIOS update available, and being unwilling to reinstall all my programs preventing me from repartitioning within the magic 137GB limits, will just have to clean and defrag more often (like ME was still here) and hopefully the scary screen will not return.

Toomas Teder May 03, 2007, 01:31pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
Today i got that very same error, tho previously my computer froze in the same place but did not produce an error message. Both times it happened after hard lock (keyboard and mouse stop responding but computer seems to be working).
And both times i fixed it by: rebooting the computer and getting the error/just locking, shutting down and unplugging both SATA cables, booting up and getting the "system disk or whatever not found", shutting down and reconnecting the cables and it boots up just fine.
I run WinXP on NTFS, the drives used to be in raid-1 but after a forced reboot they dropped out, since i get forced reboots quite often i tought i have a faulty mobo thats to blame for all that mess..

CPU: Athlon64 X2 3800+
Mobo: Asus A8N-E s939
Video: Club 3d X1900XT
Ram: 2x 1GB Kingston PC-3200
HDD: 2x 250GB WD2500KS

Mark Philip Luspo May 03, 2007, 08:01pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
thanks for the reply JohnBoyTheGreat. i tried several steps from the forum.. the easy ones.. to no avail.. Partition Table Doctor mentioned its either a corrupted partition or a corrupted MFT.

after a few tries i gave up hope in fixing it.. just like what you said.. i focused all my powers in retrieving my files instead.. most recovery programs where unable to recover my files.. except for one.. and i think is the best one. *wink* its Kroll Ontrack's EasyRecovery Professional.. it did the trick.. saved all my files from a RAW hdd.. after that.. I FORMATTED my drive and instead of installing winxp.. i installed my newly acquired windows vista! hope the problem wont go back.. i installed the latest bios just in case.

This forum is really very helpful! i would like to thank everyone for continuing to support this thread... its very useful!

Mark

Graham Scott May 23, 2007, 06:11am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
I've posted about this a few times (last on p14). I used to have the problem (sometimes) weekly but, after reducing my disk usage below 100gig, I managed to reduce the frequency to about monthly. I said last time that I was just going to update my mobo bios (Matsonic MS8137C+) and that I would report back. That was over 3 months ago and, knock on wood, I've not had a problem.

I wish I could say that the bios update was the only thing I changed in the 3 months but.... one of the harddrives (200gig Seagate), I use for backing up, failed and I put the replacement 250gig (same model Barracuda) in the PC. The failed disk had bad sectors which, since it was stored out of the PC, may have been caused by the wife ;->.

Also, after reading a previous post, I did defrag the disk.

Hope this helps someone.

Nathan Willar May 23, 2007, 10:20am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
John McCormick said:
Microsoft should fix the errors, but do you really think they will with the advent of Vista?


I recently upgraded to Vista Ultimate from XP. I got this beautiful error message while running Vista.

Because I have a three year warranty on my laptop, I sent it to HP to fix. It took them two weeks to deduce that it might be a motherboard issue. They ordered the part but it was not due to arrive for another two weeks. SO they are sending me a new computer.

Joao Soares May 25, 2007, 03:06am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: May 25, 2007, 03:47am EDT

 
>> Re: A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL ALT DEL to restart
The same thing just happened to me today. But there is a twist to my story.

I have a 120giga samsung hard drive partitioned in 3.
One for Os, another for programs and the last for backup.
So, C D and E. C is 20 gigas.

After the famous message, I run the xp cd and went for the recovery console.
Run chkdsk on C, it told me there were one or more errors, so I tried to fix it.
Next thing.... what do you know, out of the 20 gigas available (I only had 4 gigas free), it know tells me that I have... 20 gigas free. I thought, my gosh, I formated drive C using chkdsk. That must be new (or a virus).

Not all is bad luck. Even though I can't access the data in the partition (it only shows me 2 files in the root directory), some of the recovery software available actually detects and reads all my files in deep scan mode (bad thing is that most of them are in directories like direc1, direc23 and so on, when I try to recover them).

So, it didn't format anything but non of the mentioned programs, hiren's bootcd, fixboot, fixmbr, etc seem to do anything. Disks D and E are still available and it seems nothing happened to them.
One other thing, Disk C still retains the name I gave it. Isn't that strange?

My mobo is asrock 775DUAL-VSTA with the latest bios update
Windows XP SP2
Core 2 Duo 6300

Is there anyway I can rebuild the mbr? And why would chkdsk mess everything around?

P.S. I'm writing from a notebook I still keep around (from 2001).



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