A disk read error occurred: fix for windows xp, vista, 7, 8

When you have a problem while using your computer and you receive an error message during a crash, you’re hoping the message will point toward the cause & then it can be appropriately rectified. This doesn’t always happen though và the message can be rather generic và the fix isn’t exactly a straightforward affair with a clear place khổng lồ start troubleshooting.Unfortunately, there seems lớn be many errors you could encounter on your system that sound straightforward but lead khổng lồ the same problem, the error message isn’t accurate enough for you lớn make a clear decision about what to bởi vì next.

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A while back I had a problem with my computer, & after some odd things happening such as a CD-R failing a burn and the computer starting khổng lồ respond very slow, I decided to lớn shut it down và leave it for a while. When I booted it up the next day, I got the error message:

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

However, the BIOS detected the hard drive just fine. After an exhaustive search around the Internet & forums, no one had the exact fix for this problem và there doesn’t seem to lớn be one fix lớn try in preference to lớn any others.


What makes this even worse is there are so many different ways to lớn attempt to fix this error, it could take days khổng lồ get through them all. & to make matters worse, a disk read error might not actually mean there’s a problem with the hard drive itself! Also there seems khổng lồ be just as many software causes as hardware causes.

Listed below are some of the possible solutions we came across khổng lồ fix the “A disk read error occurred. Press ctrl+alt+delete khổng lồ restart” problem.

1. Test the Memory

This isn’t actually mentioned that much around the web as a solution lớn the disk read error problem, but believe it or not, this was my problem. I used a tool called Memtest86+ và ran tests on my RAM, and indeed there were problems. After experimenting between different sticks and RAM slots I eventually deduced my RAM slot 2 was damaged because the sticks worked fine in the other slots.


As this is a simple và non destructive kiểm tra meaning you’re not touching the hard drive risking further damage, it is recommended you try this first. It may sound odd but in fact memory problems can be responsible for a vast array of different errors on a system where testing your RAM might be the last thing you think of.

2. Try the Drive on Another Machine

As we’ve said, although this problem sounds lượt thích a simple hard drive issue, people around the web have reported that they have traced the problem to faulty video clip cards, modems, motherboards & even power nguồn supplies. The easiest way lớn rule out any of these is to take the hard drive out & connect it up khổng lồ another machine or connect it lớn the same machine via external USB. If you can boot it up past the error or can access all your files without a problem, then the issue will likely be related khổng lồ other hardware in your machine.

Unfortunately in this case it could be down to lớn trial & error in finding the offending piece of hardware by removing or replacing what you can, although the next possible fix is quite easy.

While the drive is connected by another method, it’s recommended khổng lồ run a scan with something lượt thích HD Tune to kiểm tra for any bad sectors. Whether HD Tune finds any issues or not, you should also run a “chkdsk drivename: /r” from a command prompt while you’re able to or use a portable tool to vì it for you.

It’s also wise to lớn make a backup of your files or the whole drive while the drive is accessible.

3. Check / Replace Cables

Although I haven’t seen SATA cables fail (but obviously they can), faulty IDE cables can sometimes cause issues such as read or write errors on hard drives as well as optical burners. If you have spare cables, you can replace them, or unplug the current cables, inspect for damage, & then reconnect them if OK. Also try different SATA or IDE ports if you can as there is a possibility of a damaged port.

If you get the disk read error after installing a new drive, make sure the hard drive is on the master connector (end of the cable) and if you can, mix the hard drive jumper lớn master instead of cable select. Also try without a secondary (slave) device attached to lớn the same cable if there is one.

4. Resetting / Updating the BIOS

In rare circumstances setting the BIOS back to defaults can fix the issue. You can usually get to the BIOS by pressing Del or F2 etc during boot. There should be an option to lớn reset lớn defaults, look for an option similar khổng lồ the one in the picture below. Failing that, you can remove the BIOS battery for a few minutes to reset. If you’re unable to access CMOS because it is password protected, you can easily reset it from Windows by using CMOS De-Animator.


Updating lớn a newer BIOS has also been reported lớn work, especially on laptops.

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We have several more possible solutions to thedisk read error problem on page 2.