XP Not booting with "Disk Read Error"

Seems like when I have a problem I don't trust myself... lol

Anyway, my son's PC shut down normally last night and is now presenting with a "Disk Read Error." The system is a Dell Optiplex GX280, XP Pro, SP3, SATA 250 Gig, 3 Gig Ram. I have booted to the Recovery Console and run a FIXMBR and FIXBOOT with no luck. Am now running a CHKDSK C: /r (13% completed). I have the Dell Recovery CD that came with the system. It includes SP3. I am trying to avoid at all costs doing a fresh install due to the amount of programs on it. The system is fairly new (refurbished). The hard drive and Ram is new. The drive is a Maxtor. I have no diagnostic disks for it. I need help folks..... I heard that you cannot do a repair install with the type of CD that I have... is this true? I do have an XP Pro CD (Holographic), but no key. The original key sticker is on the case, and there is a sticker on the Recovery CD. They do not match. Not sure what to do after the chkdsk.... In Recovery console, I can see the disk fine.

HELP!!!!!
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flubbsterAsked:
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flubbsterConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Contacted the vendor the PC was purchased from. They are sending a new hard drive pre-imaged for my system (same as I have now). Hoping that will take care of things. Will keep everyone posted.
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KCTSConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It sounds very much like you have HHD problem. try downloading the Utimate bootCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html which inludes some disk diagnostics
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jazzIIIloveConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Question 2 you:

There are 2 beeps when the tower is turned on, the DOS/Bios window loads, but windows operating system does not, then it gives a error message saying (A disk read error occured)

?
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
Still running chkdsk (50%).  I was also unable to get to safeboot F8. I don't understand why...

I downloaded and burned UBCD. I have never used it. Any suggestions as to what I should attempt to run from it?
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
If I were you:

First: Check for BIOS that your SATA is properly configured...
Second:
Download the latest driver for your disk:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=PLX_PNT_P4_GX260&os=WW1&osl=en&catid=&impid
Third:
well, resizing the partition may solve your problem...250 G may be the problem...You can use Bootable GParted CD to resize partitions...

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/download.php

Best regards...
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
UBCD:

My second recommend becomes the last now...

UBCD is the second...
Steps:
1) Make sure you configure your bios to boot with Optical Device/CDRom...
If the system passes your optical:
a) be sure you put it on the right optical drive.
b) be sure your CD is not CDRW
c) be sure you have set a delay in your BIOS (Power on delay/Boot delay)

The GParted has no Fdisk option, if we want to resize the partition...GParted is good again...or freedos's fdisk...You can add Partition Manager as sw to your CD but no need...GParted blabla...

If you want to see the contents of UBCD in another machine, UBCD is considered having a virus in it by Norton...Never mind Norton if you have Norton of course...

SATA thing important:
You may need to configure your BIOS so that the SATA HDD is detected on either the primary or secondary IDE channel. This can be done by switching the SATA drive from enhanced mode to compatibility mode in BIOS (compatibility mode is sometimes called native mode or IDE mode). Unfortunately, not all BIOSes support this feature.

Best regards...
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
my charge of laptop is about to finish...I will be looking your post 4 hours later...
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
Finished chkdsk. System now comes up with the following err:

The following file is missing or corrupt:

C:\windows\systems32\config\system

now what ???
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
I've been trying to copy the repair folder system file to the proper place, first renaming the original. The problem is that when I try to rename the system file in c:\windows\system32\config, I get a file not found error. I am in recovery console and can see the file. None of the attributes are set on the file... curious about that. When I try to copy the repair system file, it asks if it should overwrite, I say yes, then it says file not found.

anyone????
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
Please check this,
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545

if doesn't help, follow the prev. post steps..

Best regards...
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
Those are the steps I am trying. The problem is that whenever I attempt to copy the system file over, it says file not found. I am even unable to delete the c:\windows\systems32\config\system file... same thing, it tells me that the file is not found...
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
btw... I can see the file in the config folder.... just won't let me do anything with it.
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
ok... now I amgetting an NTFS.SYS file is missing or corrupt. I renamed the file in windows\system32\drivers to ntfs.old and copied a new one from the CD...

still get the same error  :(
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
follow the prev. post steps..
UBCD:

My second recommend becomes the last now...

UBCD is the second...
.....

posts...
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
Done everything I could with UBCD and no luck. Keeps reporting that NTFS.sys is missing or corrupted. Have replaced it with the file on the cd with no luck. My system is running SP3, so not sure if I need a certain version of ntfs.sys. Have even tried removing and replacing the memory... no go.

anyone???
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
I think you tried http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822800
Have you?

edit:
<<follow the prev. post steps..
<<UBCD:
KCTS idea...:)
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eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLLCommented:
what Hard disk diagnostics have you ran with UBCD????
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flubbsterAuthor Commented:
Don't remember the names... too tired. I ran 2-3 anyway. I just downloaded and made an ERD Commander CD and booted into that. I can see all the files on the drive. I used it to copy the system file from windows\repair\system to windows\system32\config\system. Seems like the only problem now is the NTFS.sys file. I used ERD to copy it from itself to the system32\drivers folder. Still reports as being corrupted. I even pulled out all the memory and tried them one-by-one. I have 3-1Gig sticks. No luck... getting really frustrated here.
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jazzIIIloveCommented:
so, what is your progress?
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