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A disk read error occurred

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  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    I have a Sony VAIO PCG-FR700 laptop (Detailed here). I was downloading a file and had it scheduled to shutdown ( shutdown.exe -s -f ) a couple of hours after the download was finished. I expected it to be shut down but found it to be on since the gree light was on (obviously indicating the laptop is on) so I opened the screen and found it to be completely black. I moved the mouse via the touchpad which should've changed the screen from black to the desktop, but it didn't respond. I pressed the power button, and it automatically came up with the Sony logo then when I expected the Windows logo, the computer gave me about five seconds of a blank screen with only a cursor. Then this message comes up:

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

    That's as verbose as it gets. Restarting just gives me the exact same routine. I can access the BIOS but AFAIK there is nothing there that can help me.

    Is there anything I can do? At least getting some files off the harddrive is ok with me but I would prefer to use it like normal again.

    PS: I had my laptop using the Power Scheme 'Always On' (with the Windows default settings) and it was plugged in. What Windows does is turn off the monitor after 20 minutes if the laptop is plugged in. I have had previous problems with getting the monitor back to normal after using the power schemes so this might have something to do with it.


    Could I possibly remove the harddrive and put it in any other laptop? The problem might be an overheated component and not the harddrives fault...
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    If you still have your windows install disk, you could try to repair it...

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    ScanIAm wrote:
    If you still have your windows install disk, you could try to repair it...


    I guess I could do that, but I have two choices:
    1) Use the Sony VAIO Recovery CDs that came with the laptop (although they will install WinXP Home).
    2) Use the WinXP Pro SP2 Installation CD that didn't come with the VAIO.

    Unless someone thinks it's better for me to use the Recovery CDs I think I'll go with the XP Pro CD, basically because using the Recovery CDs will install XP Home without any Service Pack, and I'm not willing to hook on to the internet to download SP2 because I'm on dialup.

    I think I'll keep Linux away on this one Beer, I'm too much of a novice to understand how to go about installing it, not to mention the slow download time (and I'm not going to pay money for a Linux Distro on CD either).



    I'll report back asap Smiley
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    No Windows Menu comes up. I already tried to see if the harddrive was connected correctly in the BIOS and it is.

    The error message "disk read error..." comes up in a DOS like screen so it might be a hardware problem. Not to mention that I have deleted the only partition on the harddrive and am now formatting it in NTFS, but nothing is happening... The formatting progress is at 0% and the only indication that something is happening is that the loading light is on. It has been at 0% for the past five minutes now, I'm going to let it try and format and if nothing happens within the hour I'm going to pull the plug.


    Why does my VAIO have to stuff up after 5 or so years of good service?
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    I tried to format the harddrive but it just stays at 0% and doesn't do anything, I'll try the recovery disks but I'm not very confident because I think it is a hardware problem and not a software problem, which means I might not be able to recover my files, nor ever use my computer again unless I get a new harddrive for it (which might be hard considering it is a laptop and not a big PC).

    Thanks for the help so far guys, I wonder why my VAIO just went off the brink like that... Aren't computers built to be able to withstand a usage of over 24 hours straight?


    Maybe it's a capacitor problem... Isn't that only a big computer problem?
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    Hmmm... I seem to have dug myself deeper and deeper into this huge pile of **** that I have on my desk. At first, I had a harddrive with a disk read error, so I went into that DOS recovery thingy and had a bit of a snoop around but everytime I tried to list the contents of the directory I downloaded that file to (so as to see if I could transfer it or something) it gave an error saying it couldn't list the contents, heck, it wouldn't even acknowledge that there were any directories besides 'C:\' even then trying to list what's in 'C:\' gives an error.

    So I think: "Stuff it. I'll just format the harddrive and recover the files afterwards." So I remove the current partition, make a new one and set it to format NTFS (not so quick Smiley) but on doing that it just hangs at 0%. So I did a cold shutdown and tried again with the same results. Then I thought that I'd use the recovery CDs that came with the VAIO instead, I choose to reformat with the default settings for my computer and it starts, lasts about 30 seconds and tells me that it can't access the harddrive and then it restarts, so I try and use the recovery CDs again but this time, use the Factory default settings rather than just normal default settings, and on top of that I choose to fill all the sectors of the harddrive with zeros, it said that it doesn't permenately delete data so I checked that box and moved on.

    Five minutes into the filling of all the sectors of the harddrive with zeros, and I'm a pretty happy man Cool it is at 3% completion and has about two hours left to go, but at least it is actually doing something right? Well 10 minutes in and 7% completed I get an error stating that it wasn't able to complete the process. I restart and find to my sheer joy that my computer is no longer recognizing that there is a harddrive within it at all. The BIOS says that there is no Primary And the WinXP Pro CD and the Recovery CDs agree with the BIOS, there is no harddrive in my machine Mad

    Now I've just turned on my VAIO again, now it seems to be recognizing that I have a hard drive in there. So I'm going to continue to fight battles with the problem I've got until after I've moved and then I'll hand it over to a computer technician to see if he can fix it for me if I already haven't at that time.


    Basically, thanks for your help.
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    i didnt read any of that...

    nice to see you posting again lg  Smiley

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    I had a laptop / coffee merge on Sunday. Not nice but at least the hard drive survived, so it's a new laptop and slow recovery.

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    jamie wrote:

    i didnt read any of that...

    nice to see you posting again lg 



    Thanks Jamie, I had to dedicate my dialup bandwidth to downloading apps, but now I can dedicate it to running around C9 (which is much more important anyway Smiley).

    Basically I am having problems with my laptop. Can't wait for more C9Park cartoons (Quality up, franchises down!) and I'd like to see more of your non-C9Park work too Smiley I probably missed heaps but seeing new stuff would be nice Smiley


    Haha "Free beta's for all", what about those who don't want betas? Wink
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    SlackmasterK

    Loadsgood wrote:

    So I think: "Stuff it. I'll just format the harddrive and recover the files afterwards."



    You figured you'd get your files off a newly formatted drive?  Not sure how you intended to do that.


    Loadsgood wrote:

    I choose to fill all the sectors of the harddrive with zeros, it said that it doesn't permenately delete data so I checked that box and moved on.
    Loadsgood wrote:

    my computer is no longer recognizing that there is a harddrive within it at all. The BIOS says that there is no Primary And the WinXP Pro CD and the Recovery CDs agree with the BIOS, there is no harddrive in my machine


    Just a few thoughts.  If your drive was to be full of zero's, where would the data fit?  It needs ones too.  Sounds like your data is toast. Also sounds like your drive has a physical problem. 

    Laptops aren't impossible to fix, they're just a pain in the arse.  The HDD will generally sit in a removeable bay of some kind, or in an access panel on bottom.  Someone will have to look to ensure it's securely connected, contacts aren't worn, has power, etc.  Beyond that, you may need to replace the drive.

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    SlackmasterK wrote:
    You figured you'd get your files off a newly formatted drive?  Not sure how you intended to do that.


    Many file recovery programs offer to restory files from before a format.

    SlackmasterK wrote:

    Just a few thoughts.  If your drive was to be full of zero's, where would the data fit?  It needs ones too.  Sounds like your data is toast. Also sounds like your drive has a physical problem.

    Laptops aren't impossible to fix, they're just a pain in the arse.  The HDD will generally sit in a removeable bay of some kind, or in an access panel on bottom.  Someone will have to look to ensure it's securely connected, contacts aren't worn, has power, etc.  Beyond that, you may need to replace the drive.


    Well supposedly filling it with zeros doesn't permeately wipe all the data of the hd (according to Sony) so I thought I'd do it. I'm now sure that it is a hardware problem because it just keeps getting to 3% completion and then saying that it couldn't go any further.

    After I check it for any connection problems I'll take it to the nearest Sony service centre and get it fixed there, thanks for your help in trying to fix it Smiley


    I probably should've tried that Linux CD thingy, oh well.
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Loadsgood wrote:
    Well supposedly filling it with zeros doesn't permeately wipe all the data of the hd (according to Sony) so I thought I'd do it.

    Overwriting the data on the disc only once will still leave some residual magnetic traces, so with advanced, expensive data recovery equipment it would still be possible to get the data from it. Not anything you're likely to own, though. Most disk wiping solution that aim to truly make data unrecoverable will overwrite it several times, not using zeroes but random patterns to make it as difficult as possible to get back the original data. Of course, the only way to truly destroy the data is setting the disc on fire. Or rolling over it with a steam roller. Or... well, you get my drift.

    Typical data recovery tools can only recover data if it has not been overwritten. A format doesn't wipe the disc, it only rewrites the file tables, which makes it possible for tools that do raw disc access to get at the old data. As soon as new data goes over the old, simple tools no longer do the job.

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    Right on, Loadsgood!

    You managed to mess up your system more than me. Smiley

    CD Drive 0 Has a Bad Block ---- Or 20.
    - Steve

  • User profile image
    Loadsgood

    Sven Groot wrote:
    Loadsgood wrote: Well supposedly filling it with zeros doesn't permeately wipe all the data of the hd (according to Sony) so I thought I'd do it.

    Overwriting the data on the disc only once will still leave some residual magnetic traces, so with advanced, expensive data recovery equipment it would still be possible to get the data from it. Not anything you're likely to own, though. Most disk wiping solution that aim to truly make data unrecoverable will overwrite it several times, not using zeroes but random patterns to make it as difficult as possible to get back the original data. Of course, the only way to truly destroy the data is setting the disc on fire. Or rolling over it with a steam roller. Or... well, you get my drift.

    Typical data recovery tools can only recover data if it has not been overwritten. A format doesn't wipe the disc, it only rewrites the file tables, which makes it possible for tools that do raw disc access to get at the old data. As soon as new data goes over the old, simple tools no longer do the job.


    Thanks to Sony for lying to me. Well, no matter, there is still some data that hasn't been overwriten, the highest I got was 42% and then it gave me an error. But then again, it wasn't really precious data I guess.

    Thanks for telling me that Sven, if I ever create a data wiping program I'll make sure it fills the hd with zeros, then ones then zeros again Wink

    How could something this drastic happen overnight? I'm thinking maybe a virus was downloaded while I left it online and could've been removed if only I put in the Norton Internet Security CD that I've got somewhere around here... What else could it have been?


    Burnt out component?
    Loadsgood.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Loadsgood wrote:



    How could something this drastic happen overnight? I'm thinking maybe a virus was downloaded while I left it online


    Not everything is a virus.

    In your case, and probably 99% of hard disk problems its most likely a mechanical failure. SMART monitoring might have picked it up, if you have it, but it won't always do.

    And Sony weren't lying, they tell you it doesn't permanently erase data is so you don't assume you've definitely wiped all confidential data before selling a system on.

  • User profile image
    UtOh


    Loadsgood wrote:


    How could something this drastic happen overnight? I'm thinking maybe a virus was downloaded while I left it online


    I have a Sony Vaio laptop with the same problem. 

    I left it on overnight---with programs open but not downloading anything or doing anything overly taxing---and this morning got the same error message you got. 

    It was the same situation.  I left it on for an extended period of time.

    I kept rebooting and kept getting the disk read error.  I tried the recovery disc, it started, then said it could not complete recovery.

    I had this problem once before.  Somehow it got fixed, but I don't remember how. 

    I think it was something simple like I just kept trying to reboot it, removed the battery and power supply, etc.  Something worked.  I immediately backed up my hard drive. 

    Also, let me note that occassionally the HDD seemed to make a weird light clicking sound (when it worked).  And, as it's trying to read the disk error now, I hear that sound again.  Is that a sign of a drive gone bad, you think?

    Does anyone know why Sony laptops do this?

    Hearing that the same thing happened to Loadsgood just by leaving it on "too long" as I apparently did, makes me think this must be an issue with Sony's laptops.

    How to resolve this without my losing my most recent data?  It has been a month since I backed it up and there's lots of work I'd like to recover.

    Is Knoppix a realistic option? (I don't fully understand that option).

    Thank you,
    Peter

  • User profile image
    Commando86

    Nah guys, it isn't just Sony laptops. I have a Toshiba and it has the same problem.

    Last night, I left it on for about 3 hours downloading msn 7.5 (dial-up internet) and straight after the download finished it just froze. I saw that the download had completed and gone to the desktop, but the computer just straight out froze.

    I just turned it off, assuming everything would be fine in the morning (it was too late to turn it on again) and got home this afternoon, hit the power button, and bang, "A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart".

    I'm not sure if I still have the reboot disk's...I don't know what i'm going to do Sad

  • User profile image
    UtOh

    Let me know what you come up with.  As for me, I'm opening mine up, taking out the hard drive and putting it into an external hard drive enclosure to see if I can get the data off it via my other computer here.

    Best of luck!

    Peter

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