Reasons and Possible Solutions for Disk Read Error

The disk read error is faced by many Microsoft Windows OS users, especially those who use XP and Vista. Considered as one of the most frustrating problems, this error message continues to appear on your computer screen during the startup, once it gets going on, the exact error message is “A disk read error has occurred”.  What are the exact causes and solutions of this problem and how can you know that you are going to face such a problem are few of the questions that are answered in next few lines.


Like many other computer problems this problem does not have a single or a specific reason. So the only indication that you have got is the error message itself. Once you receive this message, there is no way that the solution given by the OS, i.e. pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart your system will help at all, and the same error message keeps appearing on your screen after every start-up.

Reasons for the error message

As per the experts, the sole reason behind the occurrence of the disk read error message is that you have selected the boot legacy operating system and have launched the setup when you run Win32.exe program. Another reason for this problem can be the installation of Vista OS together with XP. In simple terms, the problem occurs due to the lack of communication between your motherboard and hard drive. There are some simple home fixing methods you can try for this problem, but if these solutions don’t work out for you then you can go for more complicated solutions.


As this error message doesn’t have any connection with the data loss, formatting or going for the partitioning of drives is not recommended at all. There are much better and easier ways than that. By trying some simple steps you can get your hard drive back in its working condition. So, try all of the below mentioned steps and after following all the steps check if the problem is resolved.

  1. In the recovery console run ChkDsk /R/P. Don’t be surprised to see that it can’t find any such error in your system. Try the next one.
  2. In the recovery console you can try running “FIXBOOT” and “FIXNBR”.
  3. At times replacement of the data cable can sort out the problem, but it is not a working solution in all cases.
  4. You can change the BIOS settings to default, and the BIOS drive settings from auto to user specific will surely sort out the error message problem. To have it completely rectified, make sure that the LBA is selected.
  5. There is one short-cut to reach the solution, and that is to pull out the CMOS battery, so that the BIOS loses its settings and is fixed at default again.
  6. If all the above process fails, transfer all your data to another hard disk, and connect the original one as a slave drive, this will surely fix all the problems.

John S Lam is a content writer and Marketing Executive who is recently pass s90-03a  and in future he wants to get certified with s90-02a.