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Disk read error occurred after moving HD to a new system

Posted on 2004-10-18
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I moved my 40G Maxtor running XP Pro from an old P2 system to a new P4 system.  BIOS detected it, but wouldn't boot -- gave me the "disk read error".  

I put a Seagate into the same system, booted up fine.  Windows saw the Maxtor, no problems. Using Casper, I cloned the Maxtor onto a partition on the Seagate --all the files are there and fine. I did an "upgrade" install of XP onto that partition, and am able to boot using that partition.  So I attempted to do a clean install of XP onto the Maxtor, but I never made it past the setup process, because I'm still getting a "disk read error". Casper said the MBR on the Maxtor was good, but I rewrote it anyway, but that didn't help.

I'm about to pop in the Maxtor CD and repartition the HD and just start from scratch.  But if anyone has a better solution, I'd love to hear it!
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Question by:robin286
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kpaske earned 200 total points
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Well, you've already copied all of your files to the Seagate, so there's no reason not to reformat the Maxtor.  If that doesn't work, use the Maxtor diagnostic tools to see if there are any physical errors on the drive.

In my experience, and from what I've read in several reputable review sources, Maxtor drives do not have a good record for reliability.  If your drive has gone bad, hopefully it is still under warranty.  In the future, stick with Seagate and WD.  Most Seagate drives nowadays, even OEM models, carry a 5 year warranty.
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by:OliWarner
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The warranties on most HDs are just adequate. Pitty they dont cover all the data you lose when their crappy drives blows up  >=0(

Sounds like you're booting to the wrong disk, or your MBR has ended up on the wrong disk
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by:robin286
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Okay, I've upped the points.  I did a clean install of XP on the Maxtor via booting with the Seagate.  I can boot onto the Maxtor using Seagate as the primary boot device (dual OS boot screen) but still can't boot using the Maxtor as the primary boot device.  I used the Maxtor CD to repair the MBR to no avail.  Why can I read and boot the Maxtor through the Seagate, but not directly??????
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by:OliWarner
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I'd suggest taking out the HD that you dont want windows on, installing, setting your BIOS to boot from that drive, doing a windows "repair" installation on that install. That should see there's only one HD, and play ball.

Then bung in your other drive and sort out dual booting if you need it...


Something else that's just come to mind. Try putting the drives on separate cables (or controllers if you have a IDE RAID controller)
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by:robin286
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Actually, this isn't my computer -- it's a friend's computer that I volunteered to upgrade for her.  And this is taking wayyyy more time than I planned.

I did remove the Seagate (which is mine) and tried to do a clean install on the Maxtor (which is hers) but couldn't get past the "disk read error" (when Windows restarts after installing the setup files).  I was able to do a clean install on the Maxtor via the Seagate, but it still won't boot -- it still gives me a "disk read error".  (As I said before, XP on the Maxtor WILL boot if I have the BIOS set to the Seagate being the boot device, but WON'T if I have the Maxtor being the boot device. And WON'T when the Maxtor is the only HD present.)

Right now I am running Maxtor diagnostics to see if it comes up with anything.  When that finishes, I'll try the cable thing.
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by:kpaske
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I think OliWarner has the right idea.  Doing a windows repair with only the Maxtor installed should "trick" windows into rewriting the MBR.  Then when you add the other drive back in, whichever drive you want to boot from should be the master drive on the primary IDE channel.  If you choose the Maxtor, then it won't be setup for dual boot, because the MBR on the Seagate will be ignored in this case.

Hope that helps.
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by:robin286
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Okay, I think we're getting somewhere.  After running the Maxtor diagnostics, the HD was "certified error free" and I no longer get the "disk read error". However, it now hangs on "searching for boot on IDE-1  OK".  I'm going to do the repair of the XP installation and I'm expecting success.  So now I'm wondering, am I going to have my problems all over again when I redo the cloning to get her files back on her HD?
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by:OliWarner
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hang on... if these drives are on the same cable... are you sure its not a master/slave issue... eg they're both set to master or slave
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by:robin286
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Both set to cable select.  Doing a repair didn't work.  And so when I proceeded on with just doing an install, on the format screen it told me my HD was either not formatted correctly, corrupted, etc and needed to be reformatted.
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by:robin286
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And remember, it didn't work when I had the Seagate unplugged, either.  Currently reformatting.....
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by:OliWarner
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put one on master, one on slave.
doesnt really matter which goes where but i never trust CS especially when you're mixing ages of hardware.
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by:PAR1033
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You might want to check the BIOS setting for this drive on the machine it came out of.
If it was set to a "fixed" type of sector formating, instead of the more common "auto", where the bios looks at the drive to deceide how to look at the drive, you would need to punch in the same information into the bios for this drive in the new machine.
However, at this point, I recommend that if you have the data backed up, and the XP install disk, unlock code, and the program CDs, erase the old drive and reload everything.

You need to delete all partitions on the Maxtor to do this thoroughly.
If the Maxtor Diags disk has a diagnostic that wipes the drive data during testing, referred to as the "low level" format by Maxtor that writes all zeros to the drive.

You have done enough stuff that you may get strange results from your "hodge podge" of different fixes.  Also, moving the drive into another machine may confuse XP because it builds a table that lists the hardware from the old machine that  can confuse the install on the new machine.
I like deleting the partition in addition to formatting.  Sometimes the partition can be corrupt.  There is a chance, your symptoms can come from a corrupt partition, or bad sectors in the partition.  Note: The system has to read the partition first, when trying to boot.

You can delete the partition with FDISK or other utilites, but this is what I like to do.

The most thorough fix is:
1.    Use the PowerMax or MaxBlast to do the "Low Level" format.   This wipes the partition and EVERYTHING else off, AND rewrites the bad track table (in case some of your problems comes from some bad sectors).

2.    Re-Partition the drive and load XP.  This is done by just putting the drive in the new machine and Booting to the XP install disk, and then let it do the install.

3.   Reload you programs and your data.

P.S.   Make sure you first have the data backed up correctly.   There is no going back from the low level format because it writes zeros to whole surface of the drive.   Open some of the files on the SEAGATE to make sure they are accessable.  Just seeing the filenames on the drive is not enough.  Open some Word docs, or spreadsheets, etc. from you backup to check first.  Backup do not always work.
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by:robin286
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For the info of anyone who ever runs across this problem...

The Maxtor diagnostic program PowerMax (available on their website) took care of the disk read error, which is what was confounding me.  It "certified" the disk as clean, and I guess that's what it needed.  

Of course, after all my attempts to fix that problem I confused XP, so I needed to do a clean install of XP on the hard drive again.  Unfortunately, once I got everything running smoothly, I decided to copy the old XP back onto the Maxtor (which I had cloned onto my Seagate) and XP didn't like all the equipment changes it saw between the old system and the new and just kept rebooting the system. I did a Repair installation, which fixed that problem.  And I took OliWarner's advice and set the drive to Master instead of using cable select.

Everything is fine now.  Thanks to everyone for their help!

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