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A two-way guide to fix "A disk read error occurred" and recover data

Updated on Nov 30, 2018 by Abby Haines to Partition Manager

A 2-way tutorial is created here to teach you how to fix ‘A disk read error occurred. Press the Ctrl+Alt +Del to restart’error in Windows 10/8/7/XP. Try it to recover your data and make your PC start up properly.

As a computer user, you may get a different error that prevents you from accessing your hard drive or data now and then. Among them, "A disk read error occurred" is the most frustrating one. When it appears, you will be asked to press the Ctrl+Alt +Del to restart. But, at most times it won't help and you won't be able to boot your computer properly. The issue has infected a large number of users in Windows 10/8/7/XP. 

'A disk read error occurred. Press the Ctrl+Alt +Del to restart' error

In this page, we have collected 5 ways that said to be the most effective solutions to fix the issue. If you are one of the victims, try them one by one to easily get rid of "A disk read error occurred" error and regain access to all your data. 

Two ways to fix "A disk read error occurred" issue in Windows 10/8/7/XP

1. Backup or recover your data 

It would be an easy job to fix "A disk read error occurred" issue. But the problem is that most users have important personal stuff on the hard drive. So, they are puzzled about how to protect their files. You know, some troubleshooting steps might do bad damage to their data and finally result-in irreversible data loss disaster. In view of this, we recommend you to backup or recover your data first. 

To backup or recover your data from "A disk read error occurred" error:

You can just take the drive out and temporarily attach it to a working PC to retrieve the data. 

2. Try the following guides to fix "A disk read error occurred" issue

To effectively fix "A disk read error occurred" issue, you'd better figure out all the possible reasons that might cause the error. It will help you take the right measure. Here, we list 5 common ones:

  • BIOS issues
  • Corrupted MBR
  • Disk errors or file system corruption
  • IDE cables failing
  • Bad RAM memory

Each reason will have a corresponding solution. Next, you can try the following methods one by one to check where the problem exists.

Method 1. Check RAM memory

If "A disk read error occurred" error appears after you add a new RAM memory to your computer. Try the steps below to fix the issue:

1. Remove the new RAM modules you've recently added
2. Leave only 1 single RAM module
3. Restart the computer

Method 2. Reset BIOS to its default or upgrade it to the latest version

"A disk read error occurred" issue can stem from BIOS issues. If it the problem, to reset your BIOS to its default or upgrade to the latest version which must be available for your computer will help to fix the disk read issue.

1. Press a specific key to enter into BIOS. Depends on your laptop model, it can be F2, F8, F12, Esc or Del key.
2. Then find an option to reset to default.

Method 3. Repair MBR and Boot Sector

If you also meet the "A disk read error occurred" error message, it suggests that BIOS is not the problem. Then try to rebuild MBR and repair Boot Sector to check if it is the cause. You can free do it without software. But it is not recommended because it is a little bit complicated for users who have no experience. So, here we recommend you to try EaseUS partition software. It is helpful to save your steps. 

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Create a WinPE bootable disk.

1. Download and launch EaseUS Partition Master on a new PC which runs the same system as yours.

2. Click "WinPE Creator" on the toolbar. And select to create the bootable disk on a USB drive. If your computer has a CD/DVD drive, you can also create the bootable disk to CD/DVD.

3. Click "Proceed" to finish the process.

create a bootable disk

Step 2: Rebuild MBR.

1. Connect the bootable USB or CD/DVD to your PC.

2. Press "Del" when you are restarting the computer. Boot your computer from "Removable Devices" or "CD-ROM Drive". And then EaseUS Partition Master will run automatically.

3. Right-click the disk whose MBR is damaged. Choose "Rebuild MBR" to continue.

rebuild MBR

4. Select the type of MBR with the current operating system. Then, click "OK".

rebuild MBR

5. Click the "Execute 1 Operation" button at the top-left corner and click "Apply" to build the MBR. After that, your computer can boot normally again.

rebuild MBR
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 Windows 10 is supported

Method 5. Check Hard Disk Cables

"A disk read error occurred" error can be also caused by damaged hard disk cables. So, try the following tips to fix the error if the above methods don't work.

1. Try a different port for the SATA/IDE cables
2. If you have more than 1 HDD, leave only the HDD with Windows installed and test multiple SATA/IDE ports and cables