What does “disk read error has occurred” mean and what do I do?


I was using my computer on Friday and then I turned it off and left for the weekend. On my return i turned the computer on and it did not get to the desktop, but rather an error saying a disk read error has occurred, Contrl Alt, Delete. I did not change hard drives or anything like that, just shut down my computer on Friday. I am running windows xp, service pack 2, for numerous month without any problems. What is wrong and how can i fix it? Thank you


This question was answered on October 12, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This issue could be caused by any of the following possibilities.

1 Error with hard disk / floppy drive

2 Bad hard disk / floppy drive

The solution is to:

1 Attempt to run through scandisk on the hard disk drive or floppy disk drive.

2 If, after running a through scandisk on the floppy drive, the same issue continues, or if the floppy has errors, unfortunately the floppy disk is bad and it is recommended it be discarded.

3 If, after a through scandisk on the hard drive, the same continues, it is recommended that you replace the hard disk drive.

How to run Scandisk for Windows XP:

Keep in mind that if Windows XP is a networking operating system and it's possible that the privileges to run scandisk may have revoked by the system administrator To run Scandisk we recommend you follow the recommend steps

• Double click My Computer

• Highlight a local hard disk drive by clicking on it once

• Right click the highlighted local drive

• Click properties

• Click the tools tab and click check now to check the drive for errors

• The computer will need to restart in order to run scandisk in a safe mode

If you are unable to get to scandisk or this does not work you should either take your hard drive or the computer into Data Doctors.

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!


Posted by Kathy of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on October 12, 2005