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Windows XP Problems - Disk Read Error


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#1
hdhock3y

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Hello, I currently have a problem with my Dell Dimension 8250.

The DELL Bios screen loads fine with F2 going to setup and F12 going to the boot menu, but right after that screen loads I just get:

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

Obviously I press that and restart but it just keeps happening over and over again. So then I press F12 and go to the boot menu and put in my Windows XP CD, and I boot from the CD-ROM because I figure I can just repair or reinstall. I press any key to boot from the CD and then across the top of the screen comes up: "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..." but then the Windows installer never loads. I even let it sit their for a good 15-20 minutes just to make sure.

So I figured it might be the CD, so I thought if I had to do a repair I could try to use the XP CD from my computer upstairs just to make sure. I repeat the same process and no luck, after it inspects the hardware configuration nothing happens.

So I'm not great with hardware but I figured out with the help of the Dell instruction manual how to install the secondary drive (from my OLD computer...its only like 20GB) and then I made that the primary drive and was able to load Windows and at least get my documents etc off of the one that wont boot (Western Digital 500GB hard drive) so at least if I had to reinstall Windows I wouldn't care that much. That hard drive is now taken out and I'm pretty sure that the 500GB one is now back to the main hard drive and it's the only one in there.

Since then I have tried to use the Windows XP disk again with zero luck (I also tested it on my other computer and it loads just fine).

I also have a Ubuntu 10.04 disc that I tried booting with and it seems to work just fine. I can get into Ubuntu and could probably even install it if I wanted. When I go to install it even says that Microsoft Windows XP is on it at /dev/sda1 taking up the whole disk. I can run Ubuntu off the CD as well, so if there is anything I can do in there with that I'm up for trying that.

In the BIOS the Primary Drive 0 is Hard Drive and if I press enter on that it says.
Model: WDC WD5000AAKB-00H8A0,
Drive Type - Auto
Capacity - 500 GB

I performed the IDE Drive Diagnostics and these were the results (Pressing F12 and then selecting the option during boot):

IDE Drive Diagnostics running, please wait...
Primary IDE
Drive O: WDC WD50000AAKB-00H8A0 - Pass
Drive 1: No IDE Device

Secondary IDE
Drive 0: TSSTcorpCD/DVDW SH-S182M - Diagnostics not supported
Drive 1: SAMSUNG CDRW/DCD SM-332B - Diagnostics not supported
Test complete, pRess ENTER to reebot.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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#2
Alzeimer

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It sounds like your hard drive boot sector is damage or corrupted making that drive not bootable.

The fact that you can boot from your CD but it gets stuck at inspecting your hardware (which means your hard drive) probably means in my opinion that your Hard drive is causing your system to freeze.

You wrote you were able to save your data unto another HD (your current faulty hd as a slave and not the bootable one) might mean it is not completely dead.

Try to download the bootable Western Digital HD utilty to test if your drive is still ok

You can try to do the same as you did earlier to access and save your data, leave it as a slave and perform a complete and thorough formating, making sure it will erase eveything on it =(boot sector and all) try it by using a program like DBAN to wipe your drive clean.

After it has been wipe clean you can try to install Windows on it, if you still are unable to access it then it is dead and you will need a new HD.


Hope that helps
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#3
Macboatmaster

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So I figured it might be the CD, so I thought if I had to do a repair I could try to use the XP CD from my computer upstairs


Firstly - you cannot do that, unless the computer upstairs is also a Dell and this is the Dell XP disc and the same Xp as the installation ie: Home to Home, Prof to Prof etc.

XP on an OEM installation is usually NOT the same as the Microsoft XP CD. On most occasions it is a special OEM disc to include the Dell specifically required installation software for that computer.

WHICH CD were you using before you tried the one from upstairs. Is that the DELL CD for the faulty computer.

You may if you wish try the Western Digital hard drive utility previously suggested, but it does appear that this aspect of the drive, has been adequately tested by the Dell diagnostics.

THIS ERROR on loading windows

A disk read error occurred


IS more than likely the same fault as this error on attempting to boot from the CD

Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..." but then the Windows installer never loads.


Edited by Macboatmaster, 21 December 2010 - 07:02 PM.

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#4
hdhock3y

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So I figured it might be the CD, so I thought if I had to do a repair I could try to use the XP CD from my computer upstairs


Firstly - you cannot do that, unless the computer upstairs is also a Dell and this is the Dell XP disc and the same Xp as the installation ie: Home to Home, Prof to Prof etc.

XP on an OEM installation is usually NOT the same as the Microsoft XP CD. On most occasions it is a special OEM disc to include the Dell specifically required installation software for that computer.

WHICH CD were you using before you tried the one from upstairs. Is that the DELL CD for the faulty computer.

You may if you wish try the Western Digital hard drive utility previously suggested, but it does appear that this aspect of the drive, has been adequately tested by the Dell diagnostics.

THIS ERROR on loading windows

A disk read error occurred


IS more than likely the same fault as this error on attempting to boot from the CD

Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..." but then the Windows installer never loads.


They are both Dells and both discs are Windows XP Professional...I just wanted to see if the disc would actually load. And yeah I guess it is a special disc since the both have the Dell logo on it. But they also say 'This CD is not for reinstallation of programs or drivers'

I always thought most of the additional software was unnecessary and just bloat anyways, but I'm probably wrong on that part. Because I've had another computer in the past that I just wiped and installed using a standard Windows XP key with a separate license where I had no problems with it.

Edited by hdhock3y, 21 December 2010 - 06:59 PM.

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#5
Macboatmaster

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http://support.dell....ced.htm#1105577

1. See the link please and report what the Dell diagnostic lights say.


Yes, in relation to your reply to my first post, you can usually format the drive and install from a MicrosoftXP CD using that product key if available. What you CANNOT do, is to use a Microsoft XP CD to install on a Dell and use the DELL product key, as it will NOT be accepted.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 21 December 2010 - 07:18 PM.

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#6
hdhock3y

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I just finished using the Western Digital Drive Diagnostics, both the quick and extended scans stated that there are no errors.

Also, all four lights are green.
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#7
Macboatmaster

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This is a bit of a long shot, but worth a try.
You say that the drive from the OLD computer ran Windows on this computer.

The drive in this computer is IDE - PATA and obviously so is the old one.
Put back the old drive.
Run chkdsk, either from a cmd prompt as chkdsk (drive ltr)eg E: /r.
OR from the GUI in My computer checking both boxes.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 21 December 2010 - 07:35 PM.

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#8
Macboatmaster

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If the above does not work
I have thought since I first looked at this that the Master Boot record is faulty.
All OEM computers have their own particular MBR files and attempting repair, by various means is usually not successful.
However you are fortunate that you have another Dell - working.
See this
http://www.goodells....tore/fixmbr.htm

I cannot assure you it will work, but then you have little to lose.
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#9
hdhock3y

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This is a bit of a long shot, but worth a try.
You say that the drive from the OLD computer ran Windows on this computer.

The drive in this computer is IDE - PATA and obviously so is the old one.
Put back the old drive.
Run chkdsk, either from a cmd prompt as chkdsk (drive ltr)eg E: /r.
OR from the GUI in My computer checking both boxes.


I did that, and it came back with no errors or bad sectors when using the chkdsk with the other hard drive as the main one.

If the above does not work
I have thought since I first looked at this that the Master Boot record is faulty.
All OEM computers have their own particular MBR files and attempting repair, by various means is usually not successful.
However you are fortunate that you have another Dell - working.
See this
http://www.goodells....tore/fixmbr.htm

I cannot assure you it will work, but then you have little to lose.


I tried copying that over, but it's still the same disc read error when starting up even after replacing the mbr with the working one.

When i run that 'DSRFIX' program though I get all these errors?

alert: boot code does not match dell mbr
alert: pbr descriptor 1 is type 07, not DE
alert: pbr descriptor 2 is type 00, not 07
alert: pbr descriptor 3 is type 00, not DB
info: pbr descriptor 4 is type 00
!!fatal: pbr1 is not fat16
!!fatal: pbr3 is not fat32
alert: reference partition table not in sync
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#10
Macboatmaster

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If you could boot to the CD for recovery console or repair install of Windows, or indeed to use the recovery console to "select restore point"
which can be done from the recovery console this may have been easier.

I regret I do not have another meaningful solution, I think you are looking at a fresh install. However see this
I have read your first post AGAIN.
When the other hard drive from the old computer is installed will the XP CD then load and find THAT drive on THIS computer.
Is there a chance that the IDE connection cable from the motherboard to the 500Gb drive is faulty. I appreciate the drive was seen when the 20Gb drive was installed but a fault on the cable may still not allow it to be seen as the boot device.

Even if the suspicion regarding the MBR was correct this should not stop the recovery console from loading.
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#11
hdhock3y

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If you could boot to the CD for recovery console or repair install of Windows, or indeed to use the recovery console to "select restore point"
which can be done from the recovery console this may have been easier.

I regret I do not have another meaningful solution, I think you are looking at a fresh install. However see this
I have read your first post AGAIN.
When the other hard drive from the old computer is installed will the XP CD then load and find THAT drive on THIS computer.
Is there a chance that the IDE connection cable from the motherboard to the 500Gb drive is faulty. I appreciate the drive was seen when the 20Gb drive was installed but a fault on the cable may still not allow it to be seen as the boot device.

Even if the suspicion regarding the MBR was correct this should not stop the recovery console from loading.


The problem is I can't do a fresh install. Windows CD wont load. (Also means I can't get to the repair console on the CD). And the 500GB was listed as Primary Drive 0 in the BIOS, so I think it was listed as the boot drive? I did try to use DBAN to wipe the hard drive completely, and then I was able to load and start the setup for windows but as soon as it loaded all the files I was back to the Disc Read Error.

The thing is afterwards..I did manage to get it load. If I use the other WD 'Data Lifeguard Tools' disc to set up the hard drive, it makes me limit the hard drive to only 137GB (even though my XP install CD is SP1+ ?) and then for some reason Windows XP does install perfectly. So was this my problem all along? But it was working fine before.

Is there a way to make the other space available to me using Windows, like create another partition with the currently unused space? I don't wanna screw with the Windows partition at all again as this has all been extremely frustrating.

Edited by hdhock3y, 22 December 2010 - 09:54 PM.

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#12
Macboatmaster

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I do not know if I am missing the point.
If I am I aplogise.


What is the state of play NOW.
Is Windows installed and working.
albeit on only the 137Gb that the install saw.

What is shown in Disk Management - that is Control Panel, Administrative functions, Computer Management, Disk Management.
If that shows ALL the 500Gb drive with the unused space.

Use THIS
http://www.partition...om/personal.htm

It is excellent use the free edition it has all you need. ENSURE you look carefully at what exists as active on the drive and ONLY use the UNUSED SPACE to increase the partition size.

IF IT was me with a 500Gb drive I would partition to keep SEPARATE the O/S from your personal data and programs.

I would also install the Recovery Console as a boot option. using the XP CD as per this link
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

I would keep a third partition for the complete drive image, as well as backing up to an external and install various recovery programs such as ERUNT - a registry backup - HERE

http://www.snapfiles.../get/erunt.html
considerably easier than using the recovery console to repair a corrupted registry.


Please do not forget that if you have just installed SP1 you will need the updates Service Packs and of course protection by way of anti-virus.

See here for advice re security
http://www.geekstogo...yware-software/

I would also use Nlite HERE

http://www.nliteos.com/guide/
to slipstream SP2 and SP3 to your existing XP SP1, so that you do not have these problems again if you have to use the CD to carry out a repair install of Windows.

An excellent guide to a repair install is provided by Geeks to Go HERE
http://www.geekstogo...air-windows-xp/

As you have formatted you will of course if you have formatted the whole HDD have lost any Dell recovery partition, so you need have no concern about the re-partitioning.

A comprehensive reply to try and provide the best advice - please DO reply at your convenience.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 23 December 2010 - 03:11 PM.

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#13
hdhock3y

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I do not know if I am missing the point.
If I am I aplogise.


What is the state of play NOW.
Is Windows installed and working.
albeit on only the 137Gb that the install saw.

What is shown in Disk Management - that is Control Panel, Administrative functions, Computer Management, Disk Management.
If that shows ALL the 500Gb drive with the unused space.

Use THIS
http://www.partition...om/personal.htm

It is excellent use the free edition it has all you need. ENSURE you look carefully at what exists as active on the drive and ONLY use the UNUSED SPACE to increase the partition size.

IF IT was me with a 500Gb drive I would partition to keep SEPARATE the O/S from your personal data and programs.

I would also install the Recovery Console as a boot option. using the XP CD as per this link
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

I would keep a third partition for the complete drive image, as well as backing up to an external and install various recovery programs such as ERUNT - a registry backup - HERE

http://www.snapfiles.../get/erunt.html
considerably easier than using the recovery console to repair a corrupted registry.


Please do not forget that if you have just installed SP1 you will need the updates Service Packs and of course protection by way of anti-virus.

See here for advice re security
http://www.geekstogo...yware-software/

I would also use Nlite HERE

http://www.nliteos.com/guide/
to slipstream SP2 and SP3 to your existing XP SP1, so that you do not have these problems again if you have to use the CD to carry out a repair install of Windows.

An excellent guide to a repair install is provided by Geeks to Go HERE
http://www.geekstogo...air-windows-xp/

As you have formatted you will of course if you have formatted the whole HDD have lost any Dell recovery partition, so you need have no concern about the re-partitioning.

A comprehensive reply to try and provide the best advice - please DO reply at your convenience.


Yeah I managed to get Windows to work, but only on a 137GB partition. I made sure to do all the Windows updates first and got right up to SP3 along with all of the security updates.

All of the drive showed up, but with the ~300GB in unused space, so I just created a seperate partition for that space for now. Looks like that is how I'm going to have to use it!

I appreciate all of your help and advice.
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#14
Macboatmaster

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OK I am pleased it worked.
If you follow my advice you will be far better placed to deal with issues should they arise. You can still do that, you do have to keep what you have

By the way, you do not have to quote the whole of each post.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 23 December 2010 - 06:28 PM.

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#15
rosiesdad

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Not sure, but MAYBE if you upgrade the bios on DELL's driver site, (if there is a newer bios version) it may allow you to use the whole hard drive without fussing with partitions as you had to do.
Just a thought.
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