A Disk Read Error Occurred Windows 7 – Troubleshooting

Another computer problem to report on. An individual kept receiving a disk read error occurred asking them to restart their computer. This particular problem may not have been the fault of a Microsoft Windows operating system per se.

Here is the original question verbatim.

A disk read error occurred and tells me to restart. When I do the same thing happens.

This individual was using a Hewlett Packard Pavilion G6 with Microsoft Windows 7 professional operating system installed. Power off your computer.

Power it back on and immediately start tapping your F8 key until an advanced boot options menu opens. Make certain to start pressing your F8 key before windows tries to boot. Choose “Last known good configuration”.

If that does not work then try “Safe mode”, “Safe mode with networking” or “Safe mode with command prompt” from that same advanced boot options menu. This individual was not able to boot their computer into any of the safe mode options. I gave them another tip to try.

Also, the claimed that they did NOT have any important data on their computer. Reinstall the operating system with your Windows 7 install CD-ROM or recovery CD-ROM that may have come with your computer. This individual claimed that they did NOT have any operating system discs.

I provided them with another tip. Turn on or restart the computer, and then press esc while the “Press the ESC key for Startup Menu” message is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Then, press f11 while the “F11 (System Recovery)” message is displayed on the screen.

Once again this individual was not able to get their computer to boot the operating system. I then concluded that their hard drive was indeed suffering a failure. It is possible that both the operating system and recovery partitions became corrupt, however that is beyond the scope of this blog post.

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If you are technically knowledgeable you could possibly run system scans on both partitions to repair any possible corruption. However, when in doubt I tell people to take their computer to a computer repair technician. Especially when they have not technical capabilities.

At the very least their important data might be recoverable. However, if the hard drive is indeed failing, then there are no guarantees. You should always back up your data.

Also, you do NOT want to further damage a failing hard drive. If you continue to try to read and or write to a failing hard drive, the results could be catastrophic. If you are not capable of data recovery, then take it to a data recovery professional.

Even an average computer repair technician should have some data recovery skills. At the very least, they can refer you to a legit data recovery professional. Also, data recovery businesses can charge outrageous prices.

If you must recover your data at all costs, pun intended, then be prepared for paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you are suspicious that your hard drive is indeed failing, stop trying to fix the problem and instead have your hard drive properly diagnosed. Some computer technicians will diagnose a failing hard drive for free.

I always charge a fee for my time and labor. A properly diagnosed problem can make a huge difference when trying to solve hard disk problems. It could be just corrupt partitions or indeed a failing hard drive.

Finally, I need to point out that this blog post was written for a SATA hard drive. I was not speaking of a solid state hard drive. Solid state drives are not mechanical like the older school PATA and more contemporary SATA.

A final tip I will give you is that whenever your hard drive starts making clicking noises, immediately stop trying to use this hard drive. I am not talking about the noises that a hard drive makes when being accessed. Although newer hard drives are not nearly as loud as older school ones.

I am speaking of a loud clicking noise that is repeated and sometimes in a pattern of clicks. A computer technician will know exactly what I am speaking of. These clicking noises are a symptom of a failing hard drive.

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