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Disk Read Error on Windows XP

Posted on 2011-10-29
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a Dell Lattitdude 600m.  Tried to boot it today and got error - DISK READ ERROR - Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to restart. Have tried following:

1) Changing boot sequence in BIOS to boot first from CD, then trying to boot from WIndows XP install CD.  Get message, "Press any key to boot from CD...." then dies
2) Removed Main and CMOS battery for 1 hour, reset BIOS
3) Removed and reseated HDD
4) Romoved and reseated Memory
5) Attemped to do F12, then diagnostics, no options available.

Anyone have any other ideas????
Removed the "Sharepoint" Zone.

rindi,
EE ZA Storage

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Question by:edniezgoda
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 37050676
Test the HD using it's manufacturer's diag utility and the RAM using memtest86+. You'll find both on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 37050692
The disk read error message most likely means exactly what it says -- your hard drive has failed.    That would also explain why you can't run the diagnostics with F12, as these are simply loaded from a dedicated diagnostics partition on the same hard drive.

What's a bit perplexing is why you can't boot from the XP CD -- I'd expect it to boot and then "tell" you it can't find a hard disk (or that it has errors).    When you get the "Press any key to boot from CD...." message are you in fact hitting a key within a second or so (just tap the space bar).    If not, the system then tried to boot from the hard drive -- which is understandable.   If you're hitting a key and the CD is still not booting, then you may have a more complex issue with the disk controller on the motherboard.

Try booting from another CD just to be sure you don't have a faulty XP CD.
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Author Comment

by:edniezgoda
ID: 37050991
>garycase - tried booting from another XP disk.  Same thing.  Get message " Inspecting your systems current configuration....."  THEN NOTHING
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by:garycase
ID: 37051067
Is the "Inspecting ..." message AFTER the "Press any key to boot from CD" message => or is it going directly to that?

If directly to the "Inspect ..." message, then it is NOT recognizing a bootable partition on the hard drive;   if you get the "Press any key ..." message then it is.

In any event, it seems VERY likely you simply have a failed hard drive.    I'd replace that and then try again.

I would, however, boot from another CD that doesn't involve a hard drive => MemTest, Knoppix, etc.    ... anything that boots to its own "standalone" interface.     This would confirm that the CPU is okay and that both the optical drive and controller are working okay.
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by:rindi
ID: 37051089
Or like I mentioned, the UBCD as with it you can test the HD, and memtest is there too.
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by:garycase
ID: 37051095
UBCD would be fine -- ANY standalone CD that doesn't require a hard drive to give you its own standalone interface.   WHat you DO with it doesn't matter => you just need to confirm that it boots okay.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 37051803
During post tap f12 and run the diagnostics, but I suspect(like the other experts) that your hard drive has failed. I have seen many bad hdds lock a system up even when booting to a cd.
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Expert Comment

by:kirubalks
ID: 37051913
This might occur due to a miss IDE configuration in BIOS settings.
goto Bios settings -> Advanced Settings -> Device Settings (Might be different in you BIOS)

Find Something related to SATA configuration and disable AHCI mode.
If you find on board IDE controller set it to compatibility mode and select SATA1,2,...IDE

play around the settings till you succeed.
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by:garycase
ID: 37051929
"... Find Something related to SATA configuration and disable AHCI mode ..."  ==>  <Sigh>   You might want to check the specifications for the system being asked about (Latitude 600m) before making comments like this.      The 600m uses IDE drives -- no SATA involved.

As I've noted several times above, this issue is almost certainly a failed hard drive.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37052074
>>  Get message, "Press any key to boot from CD...." then dies  <<  this can also point to a bad cd drive, or bad cd media - or even a bad ide controller on the mobo
you can test with another bootable cd (like UBCD - mentioned above)
or try another drive
 
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37052249
Get to BIOS and see if the HDD is detected at all. Let's start from the early steps - we first need to know if your system sees the drive at all. And the only way to do so is going to BIOS and seeing drive properties. Does it show the drive? If yes is the right capacity of this drive detected?
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Author Comment

by:edniezgoda
ID: 37053986
Yes system sees drive in BIOS.  Tried to boot with another WIndows Installation CD does nothing after "Inspecting your systems current configuration..." assume drive is bad but would thing I would have gotten further in reinstall process.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 37054027
Unless you have a failed motherboard (perhaps with bad capacitors), this issue is almost certainly a failed drive.    I'd certainly try a new drive before disassembling the laptop to replace (or recap) the motherboard.
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nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 37054165
disconnect the disk drive - and try to boot from the install cd again - should work then
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 37054201
Do not blame the drive till you try it on IDE to USB converter. It could be loosy connection of the cable or malfunctioning motherboard.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 37054316
Have you run the manufacturer's diagnostic as I suggested? That should usually tell you what state the HD is in.
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