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A disk read error occurred, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart


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#1
stwstl5926

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Ok...

I know this is a common thing in forums across the internet. Everyone seems to be having this "A disk read error occurred" problem. But mine is a bit different from all the other circumstances I've found...

This first happened to me two months or so after I built my computer. I, of course, figured I had done something wrong. So I formatted, checked to make sure everything was properly installed, etc., and to the best of my knowledge, it was (and still is). About two months later, it happened again. After another formatting of the drive, it happened again in two or so months.

This continued to happen about 7 or 8 times until I could save up enough money to buy another HDD. So I did. My old one was Seagate, my new one is Western Digital. Everything seemed to be working great. But then...

Yes, it has happened again. Except now I have a more extensive knowledge of recovering computers (after all these problems, you would think I would). In scanning the forums yesterday and today, I've done the following (not in this order):

  • Let Windows XP try to fix itself.
  • Gone into the recovery console and run chkdsk /r, fixmbr and fixboot
  • Reseated the HDD itself.
  • Changed the IDE cable out (several times with several different cables, just in case)
  • Updated the BIOS
  • Run a diagnostic on the HDD (The drive is FINE)
  • Tried changing a few of the settings on the HDD itself in the BIOS (Nothing changed anything)
  • Changed the jumper on the HDD to just Single/Master rather than Cable Select.
  • Taken out my RAM (I have two 256s in there) one by one to see if maybe one was messed up somehow.
  • Taken out my Ethernet card (it had been giving me trouble in the couple of days before this happened, saying that the drivers needed to be installed, though they had been installed for months prior and the card had been functioning properly)
I think that's everything, but I might be forgetting something. Anyway, I know the data is still on my hard drive, because in the recovery console, I can still see the folder structure, and it looks fine (although I can't get to any files outside of C: and C:\Windows; I am logged in to the admin account, but it won't give me permission to anything else). If it comes to it, I'm sure (or at least, I hope) that I can borrow a live CD from a friend (I have dialup, so no downloading one for me) and get my files in this manner. The thing is, I'd really like this to stop happening, because it always happens at the worst possible time, it seems.

One more thing I should mention: there is no common factor as to when this happens. There's no one thing that I do that always causes this; it just seems to randomly happen.

Please, any other methods of solving this, let me know! If you have any questions about anything else about my computer, please ask. I'm quite good with computers and know what all my hardware is, etc. But this just baffles me. I thought I repaired this when I replace my HDD.
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#2
The Skeptic

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I encountered a similar case in which the computer wouldn't boot, randomly, giving error message. It only worked after I pulled out the power cable from the wall socket or the psu. In addition to what you did I tried to replace the power supply unit and clear the BIOS. Nothing helped. My conclusion is, that there is a defect in the motherboard, which I can't pinpoint.

Try to reset the BIOS (disconnect power, take the battery out for 10-20 minutes). If that doesn't help then I am afraid that there is a problem with the motherboard it needs to be replaced. I hope it's still under guarantee.
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#3
stwstl5926

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Is there any chance that a low CMOS battery could've been causing this? When I put the CMOS battery back in, it said that the battery was low when I booted up. Could that cause problems like this?

The motherboard never had a warranty; I bought it on eBay. And yes, I have learned my lesson.
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#4
The Skeptic

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I doubt if a low battery can cause this but I may be wrong. Try to pull the battery out and measure it's voltage. It should be no less then 3 volts. If less, replace it.
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#5
stwstl5926

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Actually, the battery did put out a full 3 volts... I guess my motherboard is just shot.

Oh, in scanning more forums, I noticed a continued mention of SP2, which I have. My install CD is Windows XP Professional SP2. Any relation to my problem, do you think? Or did I cover what I could?
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#6
The Skeptic

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You already formatted and this didn't solve the problem. That excludes software origin for the program. I am afraid that the motherboard is faulty.
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#7
stwstl5926

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Well, thank you very much for the help, Skeptic. I truly appreciate such a quick response.
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#8
The Skeptic

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You are welcome.
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#9
Steve_Isnt

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I have had the same problem with a Toshiba L300 laptop. It's been bugging me for 2 days & I have tried various & sundry fixes from forums on the net. The problem occurred after I fitted a new hard-drive. The solution I have just discovered by accident is to change the BIOS settings for the harddrive to "compatability mode". Problem ended!
Hope it helps.
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