Disk read error on XP

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ohblu, Jul 10, 2010.

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  1. ohblu

    ohblu Registered Member

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    My Windows XP desktop computer gives me the following error: A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart.

    I can't get into windows and I can't even get into Safe Mode.

    This started when my computer became slow and unresponsive during a cold boot. It was taking more than 5 minutes to load windows. I thought my computer might be overheating (one of the fans was making a loud noise) so I turned the computer off using the power button. When I turned it on again the next day, that's when I got the disk read error. I've had to turn it off like that a few times in the past and I've never had any problems.

    I'd like to try to fix the problem and recover my files because there are a few files that I did not have the opportunity to backup.

    My computer is a HP Pavilion 750n. It does not have the recovery console installed. I'm fairly certain that I have the recovery disks around here somewhere. I vaguely remember using one years ago when I had an unmountable boot volume error. HP sent me the recovery console CD and walked me through the steps to fix the problem. I don't know if I have the XP disk. This computer is one of the HP's that didn't come with any disks. But I received a bunch from a class action lawsuit, I just don't remember what they are. I'm pretty sure I have some emergency disk with the boot records on it from 2002 or 2003.

    I thought about doing chkdsk /r but I think the last time I did that it took between 2-4 hours to finish and that was when the hard drive was probably only 40% full. Now it's probably 85-95% full. If one of the fans aren't working, I'm not sure it's wise to do a scan that would take that long. I think it's the PSU fan that's making the noise. It doesn't appear to be spinning slower, it just makes a horrible noise. Both the PSU and case fan look fairly clean for being eight years old and never cleaned. There's some dust on them but not a whole lot. I've seen three year old fans that are covered in tons of dust.

    Any suggestions on what I should try first?

    I doubt the hard drive is dead. I think it's still spinning up and it isn't making any unusual noises.

    Here are my computer's specs:
    HP Pavilion 750n
    1.6 GHz Pentium 4
    512MB RAM
    80GB hard drive
     
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    It is very likely that there are errors on the drive and that some files will be lost/damaged. Find all XP related disks then purchase another drive so that you can attempt to transfer files from the old drive (following a repair). Alternatively if you look at post 10, use Linux disk
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=276595

    in any case you need those XP install disks
     
  3. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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  4. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    I've had luck with taking the drive out of the case but leaving it connected, system off, and then using a hair blower, at medium temp, direct the airflow to the center spindle area of the hard drive for 30-60 seconds, then trying to boot up. If it works, DO NOT turn the system off until you have your files copied, even if you think it's not the hard drive causing the problem.
     
  5. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  6. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    If you want to save data first, use a specialized software such as Active@FileRecovery and create an image on another HDD. Then you can explore the image and recover specific files.

    Then you can try to fix the surface.
     
  7. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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  8. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    You can always remove the drive and run a chkdsk x: /f (x=drive letter of drive) from a different computer. You need to do a chkdsk, that is the only thing that will fix corrupt system files.

    If you can't get a chkdsk done, use the free testdisk to recover the drive. It will repair a severly corrupted drive. I've had very good success with it. Testdisk is more powerful than chkdsk but almost work together, after testdisk does it's repair it will start a chkdsk automatically during bootup of computer.

    But a chkdsk will take time especially on a large drive. It took almost 3 hours to repair my 400gb (300gb data) drive but it was successful.
     
  9. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Thats why imaging is so important,it can recover anything,be it physical or software related.
     
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