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"A Disk Read Error Occurred..."

1274 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ehbowen
I recently (earlier this year) had a PC built for capturing legacy video with a capture device (ATI All-In-Wonder 9000) which simply will not work under Vista or later. I use this PC only as a dedicated standalone unit and it is isolated from all networks.

When I received the PC it worked properly, and did so for a couple of months. Now, however, when I start it up I get the BIOS screen and then, "A Disk Read Error Occurred..."

I have attempted to reinstall or repair Windows XP (Professional, 32 bit) but have not been able to do so; it seems that the PC will not boot from CD-ROM. I can access the BIOS and I have a good real-time clock reading (indicating that the coin battery is OK), but I can't seem to get it to boot from any device.

Since I don't have the unit running under Windows I am unable to install SysInfo. I have attempted to run SeaTools bootable (the primary IDE HDD is a Maxtor, but any port in a storm) both from USB and from CD-ROM without success; all I get is a black screen. Yes, I am setting the boot priority correctly in BIOS.

Among the assets which I have in the junk box is an IDE DVD-ROM drive which was working when it was pulled some time back and a pair of IDE to SATA adapters. But I'd rather not just start changing parts until I find the root cause of my problem. And I'd prefer not to destroy data on the primary IDE hard drive unless I just have to; I'm not sure I can locate all of the drivers and other files that my system builder used at this point. I also have a pristine, never-installed, legal copy of Windows XP Professional SP2 which I'm holding in reserve until last; they're getting hard to find and I was holding this one out in the event of a major hardware change in future. But I'll use it if I have to.

So that's where my issue stands. Any help is, of course, greatly appreciated.
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"When I received the PC it worked properly, and did so for a couple of months. Now, however, when I start it up I get the BIOS screen and then, "A Disk Read Error Occurred..." "
Seems your hard drive has gone defective. Try installing a new one but since you don't have the installation disc or the drivers it's going to be a tough one for you.

Windows XP professional discs (some discs may not have the activation keys).
Here's what's happened in the past 35 hours: I removed the old C:\ drive and used my IDE/SATA adapter to connect a 500GB WD HDD which was good when it was pulled from a laptop a couple years ago. With the old HDD out of the system the computer booted from the XP install disc, and I attempted to reinstall XP several times; it always hung up somewhere while formatting the new HDD. I tried again with a brand new 1TB Seagate Barracuda straight out of the packaging; that one at one point progressed until it had completed formatting and started to load files for installation...but then started being unable to recognize the necessary installation files.

I tried again with a couple more XP installation discs, all original Microsoft. I had varying levels of progress, but no overall success. I just downloaded and burned a copy of Hiren's BootCD (15.2), and the computer booted up with that. The first diagnostic I ran was Memtest 86; it's about halfway through the first pass but it found four memory errors on test #5. So I'm checking eBay for some DDR-400 memory modules (Crucial doesn't stock them anymore, unfortunately).

Does anyone have recommendations for additional diagnostics to run before I continue swapping parts? I'd like to be able to be a little more certain of the motherboard (an FIC AN19C). In the meantime I have rounded up drivers for the motherboard, sound card, and AIW 9000 video card. Still looking for a proper driver for the generic 3rd party RAID (and eSATA) card.
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I would just recommend you to buy a refurbished laptop with either Windows 7 or Windows 10. There are no more programs available for Windows XP nor updates.
Sorry, but that's not an option. I already have three computers with W10 and one with W7. This machine is for capturing legacy video using an ATI All-In-Wonder video card, the best hardware ever built for this purpose. It demands an AGP slot and Windows XP; the drivers don't run under Vista and later. I don't need new software and I don't need updates; I just need to run the irreplaceable hardware.
I found this website which I don't know if it can help you with what you might be looking for.
Use Seagate Disc Wizard, it's free to download, albeit with some features disabled, to clone your original drive from the XP. You won't need the installation disc at all. You can even install it on a bootable Flashdrive so you don't need to remove the disks from the case. As long as you have bootable USB ports. Please, be careful when selecting the target etc. You don't want to overwrite the disk with the OS on it. So, you could create an image and save it to a different media. THen remove/unplug the original disk and restore onto the disk you want to use as a new boot drive. THat, of course, requires 3 disks. 1. The original XP disk. 2. The one for storing the image. 3. The target onto which you wish to clone disk # 1.

It's easy to do. I do it all the time. Especially when contracted to work on older workstations.
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It looks as if both memory sticks are bad. I found a seller on eBay which still had Crucial DDR-400 memory in stock. Once I get new RAM in place and checked out, I'll try the Seagate Disc Wizard.
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