Solved: Disk Read Error


After pressing the power button to turn on your laptop - instead of seeing Windows loading screen, a pitch black screen is displaying :


ďA disk read error occurred Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restartĒ


The case below may him you get your laptop to boot and get your data back.


The problem was with the boot sector of the system and MBR (Master Boot record) of the system. However, itís not the case for everyone. Below is explained the troubleshooting techniques, which will fix the probable causes of this issue.


Unplug any USB or DVD drive


Remove all storage devices connected to your system including DVD drive, USB stick, or an external hard disk. Itís possible that your system is trying to boot from one of the connected devices due to modification in boot priority. Alternatively, you can enter BIOS and change boot priority order and set it to internal hard drive.


Reset/Update Your BIOS


Resetting BIOS can help fix the disk read error by restoring your systemís default settings. This also fixes any other issue related to hardware.


To reset BIOS, follow these steps:


1.   Restart the system and keep tapping the setup key (try F2 or Delete key; refer user manual to know the exact key) to enter BIOS.

2.   Choose Load Setup Defaults or similar option that says apply defaults or load default settings, factory settings, etc.

3.   Hit Enter to reset BIOS. Choose YES when prompted to confirm BIOS reset.

Alternatively, you can also try to update your BIOS to fix disk read error. You should always keep an eye on your BIOS updates and keep your BIOS updated to the latest version.


Fix MBR and Fix Boot


This solution did work for our subscriber and so you can also try to see if it works for you too. This works when your systemís boot sector or MBR (Master Boot Record) gets corrupt or damaged. For this, you need a Windows installation or repair disc. You can also create one using Windows ISO and a tool like Win32DiskImager.


Use it to boot the system and then,


Select the language

Click ĎRepair your computerí link at the bottom-right corner of the window

Choose the OS (Windows OS version) you want to repair, and then click ĎNextí

From the System Recovery Options window, choose ĎCommand Promptí

Run CHKDSK utility by typing chkdsk X: /r where X is the drive letter (This will check the disk for errors and will fix them)

After Chkdsk finishes, type Bootrec /fixboot to repair the Boot Sector

Then type Bootrec /fixmbr to fix the Master Boot record file

Type Exit and then click Restart



Check your hard drivesí cables


Donít forget to check your hard driveís SATA and power cables (IDE) in case of a disk read error. Check if they are loose or defective by testing the cableís using a Multimeter device. This Multimeter device is available at any electronic repair shop. Replace the cables with new ones if they fail the continuity test.


Test RAM memory


Itís rare but sometimes RAM (Random Access Memory) issues bring various problems such as application crashes, blue screen of death (BSOD), data corruption, and disk read error. Thatís why you should run a memory test quarterly or monthly to detect any issue with the RAM. The test is easy; doesnít harm your RAM and helps you fix the disk read error.


Step 1: Download Memtest86, a free standalone memory testing utility that allows you to check your system memory for issues at hardware-level. You can run various tests after booting your system using a Memtest86 bootable USB drive.


Step 2: If you have recently added a new RAM, remove it and restart your system to check if the error still exists. You can also swap (change) RAM slot and check if the issue is fixed by rebooting the system.


Try the Drive on another Machine


If you have tried all the solutions and none of them worked, take out your hard drive and connect it to a different PC or laptop. You can also try connecting it to the same PC via USB port and use BIOS to select the drive as a bootable drive in the boot priority order.


This will help you find out if your hard disk is corrupt and damaged or if there is a major hardware problem with your PC like many people reported who traced the issue to a faulty video card, motherboard, and even power supply.


If the disk is detected on another or same PC via USB connection, run CHKDSK utility to scan and repair bad sectors and other issues with the hard disk.


In case this solution also doesnít help, itís confirmed that your hard disk is corrupted due to internal errors caused by bad sectors or the drive has failed. If the hard drive is still under warranty, you can reach your hard drive manufacturer and ask for a replacement or RA (Return Authorization).


Please note that you will lose all your important data stored on the hard drive as manufacturer wonít offer any guarantee of data safety and recovery of data from the corrupted hard disk. Therefore, you need a professional data recovery tool like the Stellar Windows Data Recovery Ė Home that can help you recover your data from an inaccessible, severely corrupt, and formatted hard drive with ease. Any logically damaged hard driveís data can be recovered using this toolís ĎDeep Scaní feature.




You may have probably fixed your systemís Disk Read error by following the above given solutions. In some rare cases, when a hard drive fails or gets severely corrupt, you need to replace the hard drive. Thatís where you can take the help of Stellarís Data Recovery tool that we mentioned. With its powerful data recovery algorithms, this tool helps you recover almost any type of file like pictures, videos, audios, important Office documents, compressed files, or RAW data.