A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by Lee Beck, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Lee Beck

    Lee Beck Guest

    I got this message a week or so ago and came here and did a search. The
    respondents to other similar queries seemed to indicate that my hard drive
    had gone bad (after checking that there was not a disk in the drive, etc.) I
    ran Seagate’s HDD diagnostics and it says that the drive is okay. So this
    leads me to probably a software problem (e.g., my XP Pro). I also ran a
    software download called GetDataBack which allows you to see if there is
    readable data on the HDD by installing it as a slave in an operating
    computer. I can see my data. Also, Device Manager says that the drive is
    operating normally, but clicking on the “Properties†tab shows no capacity (0
    GB used 0GB available).

    Before purchasing the GDB software and getting data back (but not programs)
    I'd like to try a few more tricks, since the next step after attempting to
    get data off the drive is to reformat it and reinstall windows. I have a few

    1. Of course my first question is whether any of you computer experts can
    lead me down a road to a solution. I'm at the point of doing whatever might
    work since my next steps will lose my data/programs anyway.

    2 Is there any chance that performing a Windows utility might repair the
    drive? I’ve already tried the “Repair†utility on the XP setup CD. It found
    some bad sectors and said that it repaired them, but I continue to get the
    cited error message with every boot try. Maybe I have a damaged MBR? Is
    there some way to check that out, or would that give a different error
    3 Should I reinstall XP? At this point, the computer is not even getting to
    the OS. I get the message right after the BIOS screen.
    4 I have Norton SystemWorks and have kept my virus definitions up-to-date.
    I did a virus check and no viruses were found. Is there a Norton utility
    that will help?
    5 Would you recommend a data recovery utility other than GDB? The software
    costs $50 and seems a little squirly. Maybe it’s because I’m using the free
    download that only checks data availability, but it freezes my machine after
    finding the data (the HDD continues to churn away using all available system

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
    Lee Beck, Jan 23, 2006
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  2. I had something similar happen (but never to a Seagate). I eventually had to
    reinstall the OS. However, this install eventually went bad too - while a
    reformat can lock out bad sectors, if the disk is going bad, chances are it
    will continue to go bad.

    Fortunately, disks are pretty cheap these days. My suggestion would be to
    buy a new disk, install the OS on it, then connect up the bad disk and see
    if you can recover anything from it.

    When you partition that new disk, I'd also suggest you create a small drive
    (C:) for the OS, and partiton the rest (D:) as a place to put your data.
    That way if you ever have to reinstall the OS, your data may still be there
    in the separate partition.

    Dana Cline - MCE MVP
    Dana Cline - MVP, Jan 23, 2006
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  3. Lee Beck

    Lee Beck Guest

    Thanks, Good advice. Part of my question though is whether the problem is
    even related to Windows, or whether it's a damaged MBR or whatever. I'd like
    to revive the drive if possible, then back up the data like I should have
    done in the first place. this is actually the second time that I've had a
    similar problem on this drive in about 3 months. I am planning on replacing
    it and using it only for data that I can afford to lose (like NOT my OS).
    However, My knowledge is not deep enough to know whether I might be able to
    revive this drive, which would make my plans a lot easier, or whether I need
    to install it as a slave and buy some kind of 3rd party software to try to
    get the data off of it, and possibly mess up the files in the process. If
    there's some way to repair the MBR or whatever to get it going again, that's
    my first choice.
    Lee Beck, Jan 23, 2006
  4. I doubt it's the MBR. If you can boot on a Windows CD and get to the repair
    console, try "chkdsk /r /p". That _may_ let you get to the point where you
    can boot (into Safe Mode if necessary) and recover data.

    Dana Cline - MCE MVP
    Dana Cline - MVP, Jan 23, 2006
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