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Dell Inspiron Disk Read Error


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#1 klunsford11

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:14 PM

Let me preface this by saying I am trying to fix this computer for my (elderly) mother.  She has had the computer a few years and uses it only on rare occasion to access the internet for checking email and facebook.  Occasionally she will use Microsoft Word, but that is the extent of the usage of the computer. 

 

The computer was working fine the last time she checked her email (a month or so ago).  She recently pushed the power button to turn the computer on and now it will not boot up.

 

She bought the computer new and for whatever reason it did not come with a recovery CD of any kind.  She also has no book or documentation.  The only information I have is what is written on the outside of the computer:

 

Dell Inspiron 530S

Windows XP Home Edition

Intel Pentium Dual-Core

 

Here's what happens when I turn the computer on:

 

A screen with the DELL logo flashes on the screen briefly with an option to choose F2 or F12.  Then a black screen appears with the following error message:

 

Loading PBR for descriptor 2...done.

 

A disk read error occurred

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

 

Pressing control alt delete simply restarts the error message with "Loading PBR for descriptor 2...done."  Followed by the control alt delete prompt again.

 

At this point I haven't tried anything to fix the problem because I have no idea what to do.  I can't get into Windows, at all, so I can't download anything or run anything.

 

Any suggestions/help/thoughts would be most appreciated.

 

Thank you,

 

Kimberly

 

 

 



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#2 Netghost56

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

Loading PBR for descriptor 2
 

Is a Dell feature. Basically it means that the partition is missing, or the computer can't access it.

 

Are you unable to boot by CD or USB? Can you access BIOS? Did you recently use a USB device, such as a flash drive or USB mouse?

 

It sounds to me like the drive is going out, but you would need to diag it further.

 

Download and burn a copy of Hiren's Boot CD to disc. It contains a "miniXP" that will boot off the disc, then you can check the status of the drive.



#3 Roodo

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:25 PM

I would try 2 things to start

Get  a new cr2032 battery for the bios and replace it

Goto the bios and check the boot order



#4 zingo156

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:58 PM

I agree with going into the bios, if the drive is having problems it may not even be seen by the bios. That is the first place to start. If the drive is listed in bios then you can run further diagnostics. On most dell computers the f2 key is used, turn off the computer and turn it back on, start tapping f2 and you should see the bios screen.


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#5 klunsford11

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:32 PM

Do you have a link to a legit site for the Hiren's? 

 

Yes, the mouse is a USB mouse and is plugged into the computer, as is the keyboard (USB).

 

Yes, F2 opens up BIOS, but I don't know what to do once I get into that.

 

I will pick up a battery on my way out tonight and replace that, then update.

 

Thanks,

 

Kimberly



#6 Netghost56

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:53 PM

This is where I got mine: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/



#7 klunsford11

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for the link.  I'm waiting on the download to complete.  I ended up getting the wrong battery, so I'll have to update about that tomorrow. 

 

I did use F2 to get into the CMOS Setup Utility.  I looked under Boot Device Configuration.  (Assuming this is where the boot order is?  I don't actually see anything that says "boot order".)  Here's what it says:

 

Hard Disk Boot Priority  [press enter]  (gives option for 1. SATA-0 : WDC WD3200AAKS-75VYA0 or 2. Bootable Add-in Cards)

First Boot Device [Hard Disk]

Second Boot Device [Removable]

Third Boot Device [CDROM]

Boot Other Device [Enabled]

 

Obviously, I'm pretty much computer illiterate and don't know what any of that means.  Any red flags for you guys?

 

Thanks,

 

Kimberly



#8 AlexSmithFanning

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:27 PM

That means that your computer recognizes the disk. I had that same problem with my dell. It was a disk failure. Sorry bout' the news but there probably wont be no recovering it.   


I prefer Linux. Windows 10 is just to invasive for me.


#9 Netghost56

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:12 AM

Ok, when you boot Hirens off VD, and you want to choose the mini XP option. Should be the 2nd-3rd
choice.

#10 klunsford11

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

I booted Hiren's off CD and chose mini XP option.  I now have an open windows screen with a bunch of options.  What do I do next? 

 

Thank you,

Kimberly 



#11 zingo156

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:04 AM

Your computer sees the hard drive: Hard Disk Boot Priority  [press enter]  (gives option for 1. SATA-0 : WDC WD3200AAKS-75VYA0

 

At this point it could be either the hard drive failing (bad sectors etc...) or it could be software (something happened to windows). You could run a hard drive test if you have knowlege on how to burn bootable cds. Otherwise it may be wise to bring it to a local repair shop. MHDD is somewhat hard to learn at first... MHDD is free and you can read about it and download here: http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

 

If you have errors on the hard drive and run a scan you will find out with mhdd. If there are no errors on the hard drive then it is likely something happened to the software. You can always try a repair install (back up data first always!) or you may end up re-formatting. You stated you did not have recovery media? Sometimes there is a recovery partition (an image on the hard drive for restores).


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#12 klunsford11

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:49 PM

I tried the repair install first because I'm not sure if I can wrap my head around the MHDD thing.

 

I used a repair disk that I had for an old emachines computer and it went through the entire process and installed with no hiccups.  But now when I boot the computer off the hard drive I get the following message:

 

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
 
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

 

I'm not sure how to fix that missing file?



#13 Netghost56

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:42 PM

I would have run a chkdsk scan first.

I've had this error before, it's a headache. Try this solution :
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/restorehaldll.htm

Then you will probably benefit from rebuilding the boot manager:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/rebuild-bcd-store-windows.htm

These are not hard to do, just take your time. If you need to install the recovery console :
https://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

But mini XP should work just fine instead of using Recovery Console.

Edited by Netghost56, 13 January 2014 - 06:43 PM.


#14 klunsford11

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

I'm working on the first step.  How do I navigate to the command prompt from mini xp? 

 

I tried the step by step directions (following your first link) but never could get into the Recovery Console to do it that way.  Thanks.

 

Kimberly



#15 zingo156

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:36 AM

If there is a start menu and a search or run bar type in cmd and hit enter to start command prompt. I have not personally used mini xp but I assume since it is mini "xp" it should be similar to xp standard.


You could also do a search for cmd.exe and if you locate it double click on it.


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