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Unable To Read Disk On Startup


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#1 geoffo

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:11 AM

I've just moved all my PC equipment from one room to another. When I did my first (and second) startup, at the very beginning the message "Unable to read disk - press Ctrl Alt Del to continue" appeared. I thought my hard disk was corrupted. On the third attempt, it booted successfully. I immediately ran chkdsk /f and it appeared there were no errors. When I rebooted after chkdsk, it performed a very slow bootup, but since then (only 2 hours and several bootups) it appears normal.

Even though all appears ok, I am obviously nervous of being on the edge of a disaster. I've had that message before and have ended up losing my hard disk. Are there any other tests I should be performing - especially any that could test the health of my hard disk?

Geoff

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#2 usasma

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:17 AM

If you're concerned about losing your data - you should back it up immediately. If the hard drive is dying, you may not even have time to run the tests before it dies - so backing up is the first priortity.

After that, I'd suggest running a bootable hard drive diagnostic available for free from the manufacturer of your hard drive. If the test passes, then I'd suggest using the XP Recovery Console to repair your MBR and boot sector using the fixmbr and fixboot commands. Our tutorial is located here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-install-the-windows-xp-recovery-console/

As an aside, if this behavior started when you moved the computer, I'd carefully check all of the connections inside the case (unplug the computer and ground yourself on the metal chassis before going into the case).
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#3 geoffo

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:26 AM

If you're concerned about losing your data - you should back it up immediately. If the hard drive is dying, you may not even have time to run the tests before it dies - so backing up is the first priortity.

After that, I'd suggest running a bootable hard drive diagnostic available for free from the manufacturer of your hard drive. If the test passes, then I'd suggest using the XP Recovery Console to repair your MBR and boot sector using the fixmbr and fixboot commands. Our tutorial is located here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-install-the-windows-xp-recovery-console/

As an aside, if this behavior started when you moved the computer, I'd carefully check all of the connections inside the case (unplug the computer and ground yourself on the metal chassis before going into the case).


Thanks for your reply. I already have my data backed up. When you say " running a bootable hard drive diagnostic available for free from the manufacturer of your hard drive", would that be Dell, or do I have to find out somehow what sort of hard drive I have? Are these free diagnostics available for download from their websites?

I shall follow that link to the tutorial thanks. I'm not comfortable with going inside the computer, so might wait and see if it happens again.

Geoff

#4 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:53 AM

You should be able to go to Dells Support website....Select Drivers and Downloads from the list...Plug in the make and model...If there is a Hard Drive Diagnostic Tool available it should be listed there...If you see a link for specifications, click on it and it should tell you the manufacturer and model number of the hard drive (it won't be Dell) and you can go to their website and download the utility there. Be advised that most of these utilities use a floppy disk format but you can burn them to a CD.
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#5 usasma

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 12:13 PM

Dell often has built in diagnostics. You can see if this is the case with your system by pressing F12 as it boots up. This will take you to a boot selection menu where there may be a choice for Tools or Diagnostics.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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