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Disk Read Error Occurred

 
 
Peggy
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Posts: n/a
 
      25th May 2010
I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC with no
problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly couldn't
load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection, so I
closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred. Press
ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to this
screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the BIOS, and
that's all.

Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly free.
I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is stretched.
However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know? Should I
attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win 2K, so
the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Tom Willett
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      25th May 2010

"Peggy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
:
: Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
: diagnostics.

The symptoms you gave normally indicate a HDD failure.


 
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Paul
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      25th May 2010
Peggy wrote:
> I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC with no
> problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly couldn't
> load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection, so I
> closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred. Press
> ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to this
> screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the BIOS, and
> that's all.
>
> Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
> diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly free.
> I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is stretched.
> However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know? Should I
> attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win 2K, so
> the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
>
> Thanks for your help.


Find the brand name of the hard drive.

Some hard drive manufacturers, have a diagnostic program on their web site.
You download that and use it to test the disk.

For example, I have a Seagate "Seatools for MSDOS" test program loaded
on a floppy diskette. The download is a complete environment, and you
just insert a floppy and make a test floppy from it.

Then, reboot the computer, with the floppy inserted in the drive, and
make the computer boot from the floppy. The program should work
for Seagate drives at least.

Other disk manufacturers provide nothing. Which should make it
interesting, if you have a warranty claim to make, as they would
have no way of determining whether to give you an RMA number or not.

*******

When you go into the BIOS, can you see the identity string for the hard
drive ? The BIOS, when it lists the connected drives, includes a text string
it got from the drive. If the text string is visible, and isn't corrupted,
it could mean the disk is responding to queries from the BIOS, and the disk
is not completely dead. (You may be able to recover data from it yourself.)
If the drive isn't even visible in the BIOS, then you're in big trouble
(time to use a data recovery firm, for big $$$).

In terms of data recovery, if you don't have a recent backup, you may get
limited opportunities to recover the data. Each time the computer is
turned on, is stressful for the (damaged) drive. It could be, that the
next time you turn on the computer, could be the last time for the drive.
I had that happen to me, and had a drive die on me, before I could do anything.

To do your own data recovery, you need spare disk(s) to store intermediate
results. So if you don't even have that, doing a lot of turning on and
switching off of the computer, is not improving your odds of recovering
anything.

Since you can't currently boot, you need another operating system to use
to boot your system. That could include buying a new drive and reinstalling
Windows. (Do that, with the broken drive disconnected.) Or, there are a number
of various Linux or Windows based LiveCD approaches, that can give you an
environment to work in. Knoppix or Ubuntu, are examples of Linux CDs you can
boot with.

If I had your (broken) disk, my first step would be a sector by sector
backup with "dd", to one of my spare disks. By doing that, if the disk
is readable, it means I can work on recovering files from that data later,
if the original (broken) disk stops working completely.

Good luck,
Paul
 
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Peggy
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Posts: n/a
 
      25th May 2010

"Paul" wrote:

> Peggy wrote:
> > I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC with no
> > problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly couldn't
> > load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection, so I
> > closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred. Press
> > ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to this
> > screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the BIOS, and
> > that's all.
> >
> > Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
> > diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly free.
> > I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is stretched.
> > However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know? Should I
> > attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win 2K, so
> > the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
> >
> > Thanks for your help.

>
> Find the brand name of the hard drive.
>
> Some hard drive manufacturers, have a diagnostic program on their web site.
> You download that and use it to test the disk.
>
> For example, I have a Seagate "Seatools for MSDOS" test program loaded
> on a floppy diskette. The download is a complete environment, and you
> just insert a floppy and make a test floppy from it.
>
> Then, reboot the computer, with the floppy inserted in the drive, and
> make the computer boot from the floppy. The program should work
> for Seagate drives at least.
>
> Other disk manufacturers provide nothing. Which should make it
> interesting, if you have a warranty claim to make, as they would
> have no way of determining whether to give you an RMA number or not.
>
> *******
>
> When you go into the BIOS, can you see the identity string for the hard
> drive ? The BIOS, when it lists the connected drives, includes a text string
> it got from the drive. If the text string is visible, and isn't corrupted,
> it could mean the disk is responding to queries from the BIOS, and the disk
> is not completely dead. (You may be able to recover data from it yourself.)
> If the drive isn't even visible in the BIOS, then you're in big trouble
> (time to use a data recovery firm, for big $$$).
>
> In terms of data recovery, if you don't have a recent backup, you may get
> limited opportunities to recover the data. Each time the computer is
> turned on, is stressful for the (damaged) drive. It could be, that the
> next time you turn on the computer, could be the last time for the drive.
> I had that happen to me, and had a drive die on me, before I could do anything.
>
> To do your own data recovery, you need spare disk(s) to store intermediate
> results. So if you don't even have that, doing a lot of turning on and
> switching off of the computer, is not improving your odds of recovering
> anything.
>
> Since you can't currently boot, you need another operating system to use
> to boot your system. That could include buying a new drive and reinstalling
> Windows. (Do that, with the broken drive disconnected.) Or, there are a number
> of various Linux or Windows based LiveCD approaches, that can give you an
> environment to work in. Knoppix or Ubuntu, are examples of Linux CDs you can
> boot with.
>
> If I had your (broken) disk, my first step would be a sector by sector
> backup with "dd", to one of my spare disks. By doing that, if the disk
> is readable, it means I can work on recovering files from that data later,
> if the original (broken) disk stops working completely.
>
> Good luck,
> Paul


Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the problem is
not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to mount
it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the like. The
tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else could be
wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm out of
luck.

I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
future reference.
 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      26th May 2010
Peggy wrote:
> "Paul" wrote:
>
>> Peggy wrote:
>>> I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC with no
>>> problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly couldn't
>>> load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection, so I
>>> closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred. Press
>>> ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to this
>>> screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the BIOS, and
>>> that's all.
>>>
>>> Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
>>> diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly free.
>>> I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is stretched.
>>> However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know? Should I
>>> attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win 2K, so
>>> the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
>>>
>>> Thanks for your help.

>> Find the brand name of the hard drive.
>>
>> Some hard drive manufacturers, have a diagnostic program on their web site.
>> You download that and use it to test the disk.
>>
>> For example, I have a Seagate "Seatools for MSDOS" test program loaded
>> on a floppy diskette. The download is a complete environment, and you
>> just insert a floppy and make a test floppy from it.
>>
>> Then, reboot the computer, with the floppy inserted in the drive, and
>> make the computer boot from the floppy. The program should work
>> for Seagate drives at least.
>>
>> Other disk manufacturers provide nothing. Which should make it
>> interesting, if you have a warranty claim to make, as they would
>> have no way of determining whether to give you an RMA number or not.
>>
>> *******
>>
>> When you go into the BIOS, can you see the identity string for the hard
>> drive ? The BIOS, when it lists the connected drives, includes a text string
>> it got from the drive. If the text string is visible, and isn't corrupted,
>> it could mean the disk is responding to queries from the BIOS, and the disk
>> is not completely dead. (You may be able to recover data from it yourself.)
>> If the drive isn't even visible in the BIOS, then you're in big trouble
>> (time to use a data recovery firm, for big $$$).
>>
>> In terms of data recovery, if you don't have a recent backup, you may get
>> limited opportunities to recover the data. Each time the computer is
>> turned on, is stressful for the (damaged) drive. It could be, that the
>> next time you turn on the computer, could be the last time for the drive.
>> I had that happen to me, and had a drive die on me, before I could do anything.
>>
>> To do your own data recovery, you need spare disk(s) to store intermediate
>> results. So if you don't even have that, doing a lot of turning on and
>> switching off of the computer, is not improving your odds of recovering
>> anything.
>>
>> Since you can't currently boot, you need another operating system to use
>> to boot your system. That could include buying a new drive and reinstalling
>> Windows. (Do that, with the broken drive disconnected.) Or, there are a number
>> of various Linux or Windows based LiveCD approaches, that can give you an
>> environment to work in. Knoppix or Ubuntu, are examples of Linux CDs you can
>> boot with.
>>
>> If I had your (broken) disk, my first step would be a sector by sector
>> backup with "dd", to one of my spare disks. By doing that, if the disk
>> is readable, it means I can work on recovering files from that data later,
>> if the original (broken) disk stops working completely.
>>
>> Good luck,
>> Paul

>
> Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the problem is
> not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to mount
> it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the like. The
> tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
> supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else could be
> wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm out of
> luck.
>
> I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
> future reference.


So you're saying, the motherboard works well enough, to get into the BIOS,
but not well enough to read the drive ?

Does the computer have two IDE cables ? What if the drive you just had
tested, is connected to the other IDE cable ? Does the computer boot then ?

Another thing to try out, is look at what devices were connected to the cable.
If there were say, an optical and a hard drive on the same cable, you
should retest with just the hard drive connected. On IDE, it is important to
put the master/slave/cable_select jumper in the right position. The
positions are usually shown on the drive label. If testing a single drive,
it goes on the end connector (end of the cable).

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/conf_Cable.htm

I guess I consider it unlikely, that just one IDE interface would blow. Usually,
failures on computers are more catastrophic (either "I work" or "I don't work").
They don't go in for finer failures, where just one signal fails. A lot of
times, the failure is due to a power issue. (The motherboard has its own
power regulation devices on board, and whole sections of circuitry fail at
the same time, if one of those isn't working right.) If individual signals
had a habit of failing (which they don't), you'd never be able to keep
a motherboard running :-)

Paul
 
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Anna
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      26th May 2010

"Peggy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Peggy wrote:
>> > I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC
>> > with no
>> > problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly
>> > couldn't
>> > load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection,
>> > so I
>> > closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred.
>> > Press
>> > ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to
>> > this
>> > screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the
>> > BIOS, and
>> > that's all.
>> >
>> > Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help
>> > with
>> > diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly
>> > free.
>> > I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is
>> > stretched.
>> > However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know?
>> > Should I
>> > attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win
>> > 2K, so
>> > the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
>> >
>> > Thanks for your help.



(Peggy responding to Paul's suggestions)...
> Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the problem
> is
> not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to
> mount
> it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the like.
> The
> tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
> supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else could
> be
> wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm out
> of
> luck.
>
> I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
> future reference.



Peggy:
As Paul has suggested it is highly questionable whether motherboard failure
is at the root of the problem you're experiencing. The fact that you've been
able to access the BIOS and presumably maneuver among the BIOS settings
tends to indicate motherboard failure is not the problem (although I have to
be quick to add that it's entirely possible a defective motherboard may
indeed be the problem.)

The "disk read error" message you've rec'd is, unfortunately, the type of
message than can signify a wide range of both software & hardware-related
problems that can prevent a system from properly functioning. Based on your
experience so far I think it would be wise at this point-in-time to consider
that the problem may be nothing more than a corrupted OS. Should that be the
case it's entirely likely that a Repair installation of the XP operating
system (OS) may correct the problem.

I'm going to assume that you have available an XP installation CD that will
allow you to undertake a Repair installation of the OS.

Undertaking a Repair install of the OS is a relatively straightforward
process. It would be roughly akin to making a fresh install of the OS, but
in nearly every case your existing programs & user-created data would be
retained. Notice I said "nearly". While it would be a rather rare situation
where data would be lost or corrupted as a result of the Repair install, and
as unlikely as it may be, it *could* happen.

So if there are any programs and/or other data on your present drive that
are absolutely crucial to you and you could not tolerate their loss, then I
would strongly suggest that before undertaking this Repair install operation
that you first either make a "clone" of your existing HDD (using a disk
imaging program) or, if that's not practical, install the HDD in another
machine as a secondary HDD so that you can pull off whatever data you want
onto some removable media, e.g., flash drive, CD, etc.

Again, it's a relatively rare event that a loss or corruption of data will
occur even when the Repair install is unsuccessful, but it *can* happen. So
I want you to be aware of this.

Here are the step-by-step instructions that can be found at Microsoft's site
at...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...nostart.mspx#2

(NOTE: Ensure that the boot priority setting in your BIOS indicates a first
boot to your CD-ROM (optical drive)).

<quote>
Before performing a repair installation of Windows XP, you should have both
your Windows XP CD and your product key available.

To perform a repair installation of Windows XP

1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your computer.

2. Restart your computer. If prompted, press a key to start from the CD-ROM.

3. When the Welcome to Setup page appears, press ENTER on your keyboard. (DO
NOT PRESS THE "R" KEY)

4. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement page, read the licensing agreement.
Press the PAGE DOWN key to scroll to the bottom of the agreement. Then,
press F8.

5. When prompted, press R to have Windows XP attempt to repair Windows by
reinstalling important Windows components.

The repair and reinstallation process might take more than an hour.
Eventually, Setup prompts you to answer questions just as if you were
installing Windows XP for the first time. For detailed instructions, read
"Install Windows XP" at...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/winxp/install.mspx"
</quote>

Also, here are a number of websites that contain detailed step-by-step
instructions for undertaking a Repair install. Let me assure you that it's
not a difficult process and not terribly time-consuming. As I've indicated,
it's roughly similar to making a fresh install of the XP OS.
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XP...install.htm#RI
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=138
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winx...exfullpage.htm
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;315341

Assuming the Repair install is successful, you should use your A-V program
to immediately check out your PC for any virus infestation. Also, you will
need to download/install *all* the MS critical updates since SP3. (I'm
assuming that if you undertake this Repair install of the XP OS, you will be
doing so with a XP installation CD that contains SP3).

Obviously, even assuming you're able to undertake the Repair install of the
OS with your XP installation CD, this undertaking may not be successful for
a variety of reasons, but I think it's a worthwhile step given your
description of the problem.
Anna

 
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Peggy
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Posts: n/a
 
      10th Jun 2010
Paul,

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm pretty good with software but not hardware,
so I tend to have to reply on technicians - of course, the motherboard is
only what the tech *suggested.* Given the computer's age (almost 10 years
old), it didn't seem like a surprise if something went wrong there. I will
have a look inside the box again. The suddenness of the crash is still
puzzling to me, as I was ftping large files one minute and then it stopped
working.

I apologize for the late reply.

Peggy

"Paul" wrote:

> Peggy wrote:
> > "Paul" wrote:
> >
> >> Peggy wrote:
> >>> I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC with no
> >>> problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly couldn't
> >>> load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection, so I
> >>> closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred. Press
> >>> ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to this
> >>> screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the BIOS, and
> >>> that's all.
> >>>
> >>> Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help with
> >>> diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly free.
> >>> I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is stretched.
> >>> However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know? Should I
> >>> attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win 2K, so
> >>> the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks for your help.
> >> Find the brand name of the hard drive.
> >>
> >> Some hard drive manufacturers, have a diagnostic program on their web site.
> >> You download that and use it to test the disk.
> >>
> >> For example, I have a Seagate "Seatools for MSDOS" test program loaded
> >> on a floppy diskette. The download is a complete environment, and you
> >> just insert a floppy and make a test floppy from it.
> >>
> >> Then, reboot the computer, with the floppy inserted in the drive, and
> >> make the computer boot from the floppy. The program should work
> >> for Seagate drives at least.
> >>
> >> Other disk manufacturers provide nothing. Which should make it
> >> interesting, if you have a warranty claim to make, as they would
> >> have no way of determining whether to give you an RMA number or not.
> >>
> >> *******
> >>
> >> When you go into the BIOS, can you see the identity string for the hard
> >> drive ? The BIOS, when it lists the connected drives, includes a text string
> >> it got from the drive. If the text string is visible, and isn't corrupted,
> >> it could mean the disk is responding to queries from the BIOS, and the disk
> >> is not completely dead. (You may be able to recover data from it yourself.)
> >> If the drive isn't even visible in the BIOS, then you're in big trouble
> >> (time to use a data recovery firm, for big $$$).
> >>
> >> In terms of data recovery, if you don't have a recent backup, you may get
> >> limited opportunities to recover the data. Each time the computer is
> >> turned on, is stressful for the (damaged) drive. It could be, that the
> >> next time you turn on the computer, could be the last time for the drive.
> >> I had that happen to me, and had a drive die on me, before I could do anything.
> >>
> >> To do your own data recovery, you need spare disk(s) to store intermediate
> >> results. So if you don't even have that, doing a lot of turning on and
> >> switching off of the computer, is not improving your odds of recovering
> >> anything.
> >>
> >> Since you can't currently boot, you need another operating system to use
> >> to boot your system. That could include buying a new drive and reinstalling
> >> Windows. (Do that, with the broken drive disconnected.) Or, there are a number
> >> of various Linux or Windows based LiveCD approaches, that can give you an
> >> environment to work in. Knoppix or Ubuntu, are examples of Linux CDs you can
> >> boot with.
> >>
> >> If I had your (broken) disk, my first step would be a sector by sector
> >> backup with "dd", to one of my spare disks. By doing that, if the disk
> >> is readable, it means I can work on recovering files from that data later,
> >> if the original (broken) disk stops working completely.
> >>
> >> Good luck,
> >> Paul

> >
> > Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the problem is
> > not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to mount
> > it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the like. The
> > tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
> > supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else could be
> > wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm out of
> > luck.
> >
> > I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
> > future reference.

>
> So you're saying, the motherboard works well enough, to get into the BIOS,
> but not well enough to read the drive ?
>
> Does the computer have two IDE cables ? What if the drive you just had
> tested, is connected to the other IDE cable ? Does the computer boot then ?
>
> Another thing to try out, is look at what devices were connected to the cable.
> If there were say, an optical and a hard drive on the same cable, you
> should retest with just the hard drive connected. On IDE, it is important to
> put the master/slave/cable_select jumper in the right position. The
> positions are usually shown on the drive label. If testing a single drive,
> it goes on the end connector (end of the cable).
>
> http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/conf_Cable.htm
>
> I guess I consider it unlikely, that just one IDE interface would blow. Usually,
> failures on computers are more catastrophic (either "I work" or "I don't work").
> They don't go in for finer failures, where just one signal fails. A lot of
> times, the failure is due to a power issue. (The motherboard has its own
> power regulation devices on board, and whole sections of circuitry fail at
> the same time, if one of those isn't working right.) If individual signals
> had a habit of failing (which they don't), you'd never be able to keep
> a motherboard running :-)
>
> Paul
> .
>

 
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Peggy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10th Jun 2010
Anna,

I'm sorry for the delayed response - I didn't realize there had been any
additional replies to my post. I would like to attempt this repair
installation but am afraid I'm going to run into problems because the
original OS for this system is Win 2K, and the only Win XP CD I have is the
upgrade CD. Even if the upgrade CD would work for a repair, it's SP1, and I
was on SP3. At the time this happened, I was looking at a procedure to
slipstream a SP3 CD. Do you think this will work? It's a little daunting, but
I hate to give up if the PC is still good.

Thanks for your help,

"Anna" wrote:

>
> "Peggy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >> Peggy wrote:
> >> > I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my PC
> >> > with no
> >> > problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly
> >> > couldn't
> >> > load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet connection,
> >> > so I
> >> > closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error occurred.
> >> > Press
> >> > ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to
> >> > this
> >> > screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the
> >> > BIOS, and
> >> > that's all.
> >> >
> >> > Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help
> >> > with
> >> > diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is mostly
> >> > free.
> >> > I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is
> >> > stretched.
> >> > However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know?
> >> > Should I
> >> > attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win
> >> > 2K, so
> >> > the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
> >> >
> >> > Thanks for your help.

>
>
> (Peggy responding to Paul's suggestions)...
> > Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the problem
> > is
> > not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to
> > mount
> > it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the like.
> > The
> > tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
> > supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else could
> > be
> > wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm out
> > of
> > luck.
> >
> > I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
> > future reference.

>
>
> Peggy:
> As Paul has suggested it is highly questionable whether motherboard failure
> is at the root of the problem you're experiencing. The fact that you've been
> able to access the BIOS and presumably maneuver among the BIOS settings
> tends to indicate motherboard failure is not the problem (although I have to
> be quick to add that it's entirely possible a defective motherboard may
> indeed be the problem.)
>
> The "disk read error" message you've rec'd is, unfortunately, the type of
> message than can signify a wide range of both software & hardware-related
> problems that can prevent a system from properly functioning. Based on your
> experience so far I think it would be wise at this point-in-time to consider
> that the problem may be nothing more than a corrupted OS. Should that be the
> case it's entirely likely that a Repair installation of the XP operating
> system (OS) may correct the problem.
>
> I'm going to assume that you have available an XP installation CD that will
> allow you to undertake a Repair installation of the OS.
>
> Undertaking a Repair install of the OS is a relatively straightforward
> process. It would be roughly akin to making a fresh install of the OS, but
> in nearly every case your existing programs & user-created data would be
> retained. Notice I said "nearly". While it would be a rather rare situation
> where data would be lost or corrupted as a result of the Repair install, and
> as unlikely as it may be, it *could* happen.
>
> So if there are any programs and/or other data on your present drive that
> are absolutely crucial to you and you could not tolerate their loss, then I
> would strongly suggest that before undertaking this Repair install operation
> that you first either make a "clone" of your existing HDD (using a disk
> imaging program) or, if that's not practical, install the HDD in another
> machine as a secondary HDD so that you can pull off whatever data you want
> onto some removable media, e.g., flash drive, CD, etc.
>
> Again, it's a relatively rare event that a loss or corruption of data will
> occur even when the Repair install is unsuccessful, but it *can* happen. So
> I want you to be aware of this.
>
> Here are the step-by-step instructions that can be found at Microsoft's site
> at...
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...nostart.mspx#2
>
> (NOTE: Ensure that the boot priority setting in your BIOS indicates a first
> boot to your CD-ROM (optical drive)).
>
> <quote>
> Before performing a repair installation of Windows XP, you should have both
> your Windows XP CD and your product key available.
>
> To perform a repair installation of Windows XP
>
> 1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your computer.
>
> 2. Restart your computer. If prompted, press a key to start from the CD-ROM.
>
> 3. When the Welcome to Setup page appears, press ENTER on your keyboard. (DO
> NOT PRESS THE "R" KEY)
>
> 4. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement page, read the licensing agreement.
> Press the PAGE DOWN key to scroll to the bottom of the agreement. Then,
> press F8.
>
> 5. When prompted, press R to have Windows XP attempt to repair Windows by
> reinstalling important Windows components.
>
> The repair and reinstallation process might take more than an hour.
> Eventually, Setup prompts you to answer questions just as if you were
> installing Windows XP for the first time. For detailed instructions, read
> "Install Windows XP" at...
> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/winxp/install.mspx"
> </quote>
>
> Also, here are a number of websites that contain detailed step-by-step
> instructions for undertaking a Repair install. Let me assure you that it's
> not a difficult process and not terribly time-consuming. As I've indicated,
> it's roughly similar to making a fresh install of the XP OS.
> http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XP...install.htm#RI
> http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
> http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=138
> http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winx...exfullpage.htm
> http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;315341
>
> Assuming the Repair install is successful, you should use your A-V program
> to immediately check out your PC for any virus infestation. Also, you will
> need to download/install *all* the MS critical updates since SP3. (I'm
> assuming that if you undertake this Repair install of the XP OS, you will be
> doing so with a XP installation CD that contains SP3).
>
> Obviously, even assuming you're able to undertake the Repair install of the
> OS with your XP installation CD, this undertaking may not be successful for
> a variety of reasons, but I think it's a worthwhile step given your
> description of the problem.
> Anna
>
> .
>

 
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Shaun Paine
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      16th Jun 2010
I believe you have in fact suffered a virus attack, given that the internet
failed then required a reboot, the symptoms you described are signs of a
virus. If you have some one that can mount the drive externally and scan it
for you I would do that first ....
Shaun M Paine
Computech Repair
(E-Mail Removed)

"Peggy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Anna,
>
> I'm sorry for the delayed response - I didn't realize there had been any
> additional replies to my post. I would like to attempt this repair
> installation but am afraid I'm going to run into problems because the
> original OS for this system is Win 2K, and the only Win XP CD I have is
> the
> upgrade CD. Even if the upgrade CD would work for a repair, it's SP1, and
> I
> was on SP3. At the time this happened, I was looking at a procedure to
> slipstream a SP3 CD. Do you think this will work? It's a little daunting,
> but
> I hate to give up if the PC is still good.
>
> Thanks for your help,
>
> "Anna" wrote:
>
>>
>> "Peggy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> >> Peggy wrote:
>> >> > I have an older Gateway PC running XP Pro SP3. I was working on my
>> >> > PC
>> >> > with no
>> >> > problem, it slowed down (not infrequent occurrence), then I suddenly
>> >> > couldn't
>> >> > load a web page at all. Thought I had just lost my internet
>> >> > connection,
>> >> > so I
>> >> > closed everything and restarted. Now I get "A disk read error
>> >> > occurred.
>> >> > Press
>> >> > ctrl-alt-delete to restart." I tried this, but it just goes back to
>> >> > this
>> >> > screen every time. I can't boot into safe mode. I can get into the
>> >> > BIOS, and
>> >> > that's all.
>> >> >
>> >> > Is this a HDD failure? I don't have another computer at home to help
>> >> > with
>> >> > diagnostics. The hard drive is only a couple of years old and is
>> >> > mostly
>> >> > free.
>> >> > I'm loathe to buy a new drive if I don't have to, as the budget is
>> >> > stretched.
>> >> > However, I do need a working PC. Is there a surefire way to know?
>> >> > Should I
>> >> > attempt a repair install? Complicating matters, the PC came with Win
>> >> > 2K, so
>> >> > the only XP disk I have is an upgrade CD.
>> >> >
>> >> > Thanks for your help.

>>
>>
>> (Peggy responding to Paul's suggestions)...
>> > Thanks for all your suggestions. Unfortunately it looks like the
>> > problem
>> > is
>> > not with the drive. My husband took it to a shop and they were able to
>> > mount
>> > it in an enclosure and see the list of files, open photos, and the
>> > like.
>> > The
>> > tech said all signs point to a motherboard failure. It isn't the power
>> > supply, and if it also isn't the hard drive, I don't know what else
>> > could
>> > be
>> > wrong. Since a new computer is not on the cards right now, I guess I'm
>> > out
>> > of
>> > luck.
>> >
>> > I do appreciate all the time you took and will bookmark your reply for
>> > future reference.

>>
>>
>> Peggy:
>> As Paul has suggested it is highly questionable whether motherboard
>> failure
>> is at the root of the problem you're experiencing. The fact that you've
>> been
>> able to access the BIOS and presumably maneuver among the BIOS settings
>> tends to indicate motherboard failure is not the problem (although I have
>> to
>> be quick to add that it's entirely possible a defective motherboard may
>> indeed be the problem.)
>>
>> The "disk read error" message you've rec'd is, unfortunately, the type of
>> message than can signify a wide range of both software & hardware-related
>> problems that can prevent a system from properly functioning. Based on
>> your
>> experience so far I think it would be wise at this point-in-time to
>> consider
>> that the problem may be nothing more than a corrupted OS. Should that be
>> the
>> case it's entirely likely that a Repair installation of the XP operating
>> system (OS) may correct the problem.
>>
>> I'm going to assume that you have available an XP installation CD that
>> will
>> allow you to undertake a Repair installation of the OS.
>>
>> Undertaking a Repair install of the OS is a relatively straightforward
>> process. It would be roughly akin to making a fresh install of the OS,
>> but
>> in nearly every case your existing programs & user-created data would be
>> retained. Notice I said "nearly". While it would be a rather rare
>> situation
>> where data would be lost or corrupted as a result of the Repair install,
>> and
>> as unlikely as it may be, it *could* happen.
>>
>> So if there are any programs and/or other data on your present drive that
>> are absolutely crucial to you and you could not tolerate their loss, then
>> I
>> would strongly suggest that before undertaking this Repair install
>> operation
>> that you first either make a "clone" of your existing HDD (using a disk
>> imaging program) or, if that's not practical, install the HDD in another
>> machine as a secondary HDD so that you can pull off whatever data you
>> want
>> onto some removable media, e.g., flash drive, CD, etc.
>>
>> Again, it's a relatively rare event that a loss or corruption of data
>> will
>> occur even when the Repair install is unsuccessful, but it *can* happen.
>> So
>> I want you to be aware of this.
>>
>> Here are the step-by-step instructions that can be found at Microsoft's
>> site
>> at...
>> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...nostart.mspx#2
>>
>> (NOTE: Ensure that the boot priority setting in your BIOS indicates a
>> first
>> boot to your CD-ROM (optical drive)).
>>
>> <quote>
>> Before performing a repair installation of Windows XP, you should have
>> both
>> your Windows XP CD and your product key available.
>>
>> To perform a repair installation of Windows XP
>>
>> 1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your computer.
>>
>> 2. Restart your computer. If prompted, press a key to start from the
>> CD-ROM.
>>
>> 3. When the Welcome to Setup page appears, press ENTER on your keyboard.
>> (DO
>> NOT PRESS THE "R" KEY)
>>
>> 4. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement page, read the licensing
>> agreement.
>> Press the PAGE DOWN key to scroll to the bottom of the agreement. Then,
>> press F8.
>>
>> 5. When prompted, press R to have Windows XP attempt to repair Windows by
>> reinstalling important Windows components.
>>
>> The repair and reinstallation process might take more than an hour.
>> Eventually, Setup prompts you to answer questions just as if you were
>> installing Windows XP for the first time. For detailed instructions, read
>> "Install Windows XP" at...
>> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/winxp/install.mspx"
>> </quote>
>>
>> Also, here are a number of websites that contain detailed step-by-step
>> instructions for undertaking a Repair install. Let me assure you that
>> it's
>> not a difficult process and not terribly time-consuming. As I've
>> indicated,
>> it's roughly similar to making a fresh install of the XP OS.
>> http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XP...install.htm#RI
>> http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
>> http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=138
>> http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winx...exfullpage.htm
>> http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;315341
>>
>> Assuming the Repair install is successful, you should use your A-V
>> program
>> to immediately check out your PC for any virus infestation. Also, you
>> will
>> need to download/install *all* the MS critical updates since SP3. (I'm
>> assuming that if you undertake this Repair install of the XP OS, you will
>> be
>> doing so with a XP installation CD that contains SP3).
>>
>> Obviously, even assuming you're able to undertake the Repair install of
>> the
>> OS with your XP installation CD, this undertaking may not be successful
>> for
>> a variety of reasons, but I think it's a worthwhile step given your
>> description of the problem.
>> Anna
>>
>> .
>>

 
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