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

Mar 4, 2007
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#1
I got a WD sata drive to swapp out with my Seagate sata. Eventually my Seagate became un-bootable after trying to use different drive image programs so that I could copy startup, boot info, programs, registry, etc. So that I wouldnt have to go through a 1 week process of getting everything back to normal.

Anywaym now I get A disk read error occurred; Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart whenever I try to boot off the seagate. I have tried switching off auto in bios, I have run fixboot, fixmbr, and chkdsk with no avail. I've made sure the cables are tightly plugged in. I can't think of anything else to resolve this issue. I really need to be able to boot off my seagate.

I'm guessing it might have something to do with a messed up boot file like boot.ini or something? Hoping once it's bootable again that I can try copying the drive image once more to the WD drive. HELP ME :(
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#2
Oh, almost forgot. Here's my setup if it matters. Also, I know the Seagate sata is healthy. I booted into vista off my seagate IDE drive and tested the sata one.

E6600 3.4 w/ Noctua NH-U12F | 2x 1GB + 2x 512 Patriot extreme DDR2 800 | Asus P5N-E | Antec 900 | CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX PSU | Radeon X1650XT | Samsung SH-S183L | 1 Seagate SATA & 1 Seagate ATA | XP Pro & Vista Home (dual boot)

If there is no way to get this drive up and booting again what do I need to do to get all my programs (with registry, licenses, and everything) running without having to reinstall individually. I have massive software for music production that i DO not want to hassle installing again (literally days with all the licenses and everything).
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
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#3
"A disk read error occured" is displayed when the active partitions boot sector cannot read ntldr.

It can also be displayed if extended int13 calls are disabled in bios, ntldr is on a bad sector, FRS segment can't be loaded or any NTFS metadata is corrupt.

It's unlikely extended int13s are disabled. resetting bios to default would eliminate this.


The chain of events that leads you here follows. The last step is the one that fails, I'll let you troubleshoot from here.
1. Bios picks what disk to read based on the settings you give.
2. Bios reads and executes code in MBR at sector 0.
3. MBR checks partition table for which partition is active.
4. MBR loads the boot code at the active partition.
5. The boot code reads ntldr.

Step 5 is where the error is.
If ntldr were actually missing in step 5 you would get a missing ntldr message.
Step 2 & 4 must be working properly or we couldn't reach this point.

Check the settings for step 1 & 3 and you'll find your answer.

If they are both correct then you are back to the corruption I mentioned earlier. Chkdsk /R ftw.

Good Luck!
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#4
Wow thanks for the reply, it gives me hope seeing that someone has a clue as to what's up with my situation. Unfortunately my tech still is not high enough to understand those directions precisely. Could you break it down step by step exactly what I need to do and how I need to do it?
 

DrGreen2007

Senior member
Jan 30, 2007
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#5
What drive image programs did you use/try ?

how did you go about copying :> startup, boot info, programs, registry? (all that should be copied by the drive imaging app in the same shot)

After 'copying' to the WD, you removed the Seagate and put the Seagate into its place?

If its not booting now, you might as well just reinstall onto the WD drive, then use the drive image program to make an image of the fresh install so you could redo your machine in under 15 min sometime in the future
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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#6
Originally posted by: Steven T
Wow thanks for the reply, it gives me hope seeing that someone has a clue as to what's up with my situation. Unfortunately my tech still is not high enough to understand those directions precisely. Could you break it down step by step exactly what I need to do and how I need to do it?
So to check step 1, be sure BIOS is set to boot to the right drive. If you only have one drive in the system this would be the right one :)

To check step 3 you need to make sure the partition you want is set to the active one and not some other partition that might have a bunk ntldr on it. Fdisk from a Dos floppy would do the trick. Use the "display partition information" command in fdisk to look. Use "set active partition" to fix if necessary. If you only have a single partition this is likly fine but it's not a certainty.

If the above two are good then you are left with corruption in the clusters that ntldr is sitting in as the only plausible option. Given what you've been running into up to this point this is pretty likely.

For corruption, boot to recovery console and run "chkdsk /r". You can get to recovery console by booting your XP cd, selecting repair at the first available screen. It will prompt you for your admin password (not any admin, but the actual 'administrator' account) then dump you at a command prompt.

Because you are using an SATA controller, setup may not be able to read the disk. If this is the case you'll need to download the driver for the SATA controller, put it on a floppy and hit the F6 key when setup is starting from the CD. You'll then be prompted just a bit later to provide the driver floppy.
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#7
I installed the WD drive. Then I used the WD lifeguard utility to copy from the seagate drive and make it (wd) the MAIN boot drive. It didnt work. I do remember at the very end of the process there was an error copying a couple files (i tried twice and same thing both times). Also, I was unable to boot off my seagate after that.

I then reformatted the New western digital and installed windows. So NOW I am able to boot off of the WD but still cant boot off my seagate. I need my WD to boot essentially as if it were the seagate. But how can I use a program like norton ghost or acronis or something to do this if it has this boot error. I'd think it has to be fixed b4 it's even worth trying to copy the files :(
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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#8
Dr Green is right though. If you plan to install the WD drive, go ahead and do that and get an OS loaded. You could then mount the seagate as a secondary.

Once in this config you will:
1. Be running :)
2. Be able to check the active partition via disk manager (much easier)
3. Run chkdsk /r without having to reach recovery console (somewhat easier)
4. Be able to retrieve your data in case the above don't work.
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#9
?? My WD drive is already installed.

I have always been able to access the files on the seagate. And i said I ran chkdsk /r in my first post. I just cant boot from the seagate. i want to be able to boot from the seagate. AND if I can't do that, which it looks like i cant. I want to be able to transfer all my applications and settings. Nobody knows how?
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#10
Originally posted by: Smilin
Originally posted by: Steven T
Wow thanks for the reply, it gives me hope seeing that someone has a clue as to what's up with my situation. Unfortunately my tech still is not high enough to understand those directions precisely. Could you break it down step by step exactly what I need to do and how I need to do it?
So to check step 1, be sure BIOS is set to boot to the right drive. If you only have one drive in the system this would be the right one :)
They're sata drives. How do you define what sata drive has boot priority?

I can boot off any drive I want and it has nothing to do with bios. It asks me what OS I want to load (dual os). I choose the OS and it boots whatever drive that OS is on. I think I must be misunderstanding you?

I'm just not sure what you mean by "be sure BIOS is set to boot to the right drive" how do I do that?

 
Mar 4, 2007
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#11
Turns out it was an issue with the boot.ini file. Everything is fine now
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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#12
Originally posted by: Steven T
Turns out it was an issue with the boot.ini file. Everything is fine now
Heh, it wasn't. That or the info you provided wasn't accurate. "disk read error occured" is embedded right there in your boot code (typically sector 63 if you want to have a peek). Boot.ini is loaded by ntldr which wouldn't load if that error was generated.

I'm thinking one of the shotgun pellets got lucky and hit the problem. Glad you're up and running though. That's good news!
 
Mar 4, 2007
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#13
Iunnnno man. I did something with the boot.ini file and I was able to get into XP. NOW the issue is that I have the other drive connected my option to select XP from settings has disappeared. I added it back with the bootpro program and I can select XP on boot but nothing happens. just a black screen gurrrrrr..
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
7,357
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#14
Leave the drive connected, boot to recovery console and run "map arc" it will spew the arc patsh of every OS it finds. Compare that with the boot.ini you are using. To be sure you aren't hitting a boot.ini on a different partition or drive, just edit the boot.ini and in one of the OS descriptions fields put a small note in.
 

test2687

Junior Member
Jun 12, 2009
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#15
I ran into this error a while after I upgraded an 80GB disk to a 160GB disk. Initially, everything was fine. But then suddenly one day when I rebooted, I got this message. It turns out that the BIOS can't read past 137GB and when critical boot-related files end up being relocated to that part of the disk, errors like this can occur. One fix is to resize the boot partition to be under the limit. See these posts for more info:

http://www.hardwareanalysis.co...ent/topic/19004/?o=400
http://www.randem.com/discus/m...2/9406.html?1236319938
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
35,054
0
86
#16
Originally posted by: Steven T

Topic Title: A disk read error occurred; Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
Searching on windows.microsoft.com for A disk read error occurred; Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart brings up this list of bullitins. One or more of them may help you. Link to the first article.

Hope that helps. :)
 


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