A Disk Read Error Occurred Windows 7 – Troubleshooting

Another computer problem to report on. An individual kept receiving a disk read error occurred asking them to restart their computer. This particular problem may not have been the fault of a Microsoft Windows operating system per se.

Here is the original question verbatim.

A disk read error occurred and tells me to restart. When I do the same thing happens.

This individual was using a Hewlett Packard Pavilion G6 with Microsoft Windows 7 professional operating system installed. Power off your computer.

Power it back on and immediately start tapping your F8 key until an advanced boot options menu opens. Make certain to start pressing your F8 key before windows tries to boot. Choose “Last known good configuration”.

If that does not work then try “Safe mode”, “Safe mode with networking” or “Safe mode with command prompt” from that same advanced boot options menu. This individual was not able to boot their computer into any of the safe mode options. I gave them another tip to try.

Also, the claimed that they did NOT have any important data on their computer. Reinstall the operating system with your Windows 7 install CD-ROM or recovery CD-ROM that may have come with your computer. This individual claimed that they did NOT have any operating system discs.

I provided them with another tip. Turn on or restart the computer, and then press esc while the “Press the ESC key for Startup Menu” message is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Then, press f11 while the “F11 (System Recovery)” message is displayed on the screen.

Once again this individual was not able to get their computer to boot the operating system. I then concluded that their hard drive was indeed suffering a failure. It is possible that both the operating system and recovery partitions became corrupt, however that is beyond the scope of this blog post.

If you are technically knowledgeable you could possibly run system scans on both partitions to repair any possible corruption. However, when in doubt I tell people to take their computer to a computer repair technician. Especially when they have not technical capabilities.

At the very least their important data might be recoverable. However, if the hard drive is indeed failing, then there are no guarantees. You should always back up your data.

Also, you do NOT want to further damage a failing hard drive. If you continue to try to read and or write to a failing hard drive, the results could be catastrophic. If you are not capable of data recovery, then take it to a data recovery professional.

Even an average computer repair technician should have some data recovery skills. At the very least, they can refer you to a legit data recovery professional. Also, data recovery businesses can charge outrageous prices.

If you must recover your data at all costs, pun intended, then be prepared for paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you are suspicious that your hard drive is indeed failing, stop trying to fix the problem and instead have your hard drive properly diagnosed. Some computer technicians will diagnose a failing hard drive for free.

I always charge a fee for my time and labor. A properly diagnosed problem can make a huge difference when trying to solve hard disk problems. It could be just corrupt partitions or indeed a failing hard drive.

Finally, I need to point out that this blog post was written for a SATA hard drive. I was not speaking of a solid state hard drive. Solid state drives are not mechanical like the older school PATA and more contemporary SATA.

A final tip I will give you is that whenever your hard drive starts making clicking noises, immediately stop trying to use this hard drive. I am not talking about the noises that a hard drive makes when being accessed. Although newer hard drives are not nearly as loud as older school ones.

I am speaking of a loud clicking noise that is repeated and sometimes in a pattern of clicks. A computer technician will know exactly what I am speaking of. These clicking noises are a symptom of a failing hard drive.

Lacie External Hard Drive – Setup Instructions For Macintosh

I had a recent customer request for their Lacie 5 Terabyte external hard drive. They needed assistance using this device on their Macintosh computer. Here is their initial request:

Just bought a Lacie 5 terabyte backup since my last Seagate is now full. I have an iMac and have 2 USB C and A. What next and how do I download this drive to my computer?

This individual was using a Macintosh with High Sierra 10.13.4 operating system. They had not yet plugged in this device. They also asked which USB connection to use.

By the time I responded to their request, they had already connected their Lacie 5 terabyte hard drive via USB type A connection. Generally, USB type C is faster and newer. However, it depends on what type connection your device supports.

Here is my response to their request. You can hook it up to the USB type C. Also, you will need to format that hard drive before you use it on you iMac.

Here are the instructions to format that hard drive. You want to use the “Finder”. Select “Go” and then “Utilities”.

Choose “Disk Utility”. In Disk Utility, select the hard drive you want to format. Make certain that you select the correct external hard drive.

You do NOT want to accidentally format your hard drive that has Macintosh operating system installed on. Click on the “Erase” tab from the top menu. Under the “Volume Format” drop down menu, you want to choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”.

Type in a name for your external hard drive. Finally, click on the “Erase…” button down below. Your Lacie 5 terabyte hard drive is now ready to use on your Macintosh computer.

These instructions were written for a Macintosh computer with High Sierra 10.13.4 operating system. However, they can be used as basis points for other Macintosh operating systems. Finally, I will give you a bonus tip.

This individual wanted me to also reconfigure their new Lacie 5 terabyte external hard drive with Time Machine. Time Machine is the default backups software that comes with Macintosh operating system. Their existing Seagate external hard drive was one terabyte in size.

However, when I checked on free space for this device, it appeared as being full. It is quite easy to change the device that Time Machine backs data up to. You want to go into Time Machine.

I would NOT change your destination disk while Time Machine is backing up data. It might not even allow you to make this change, but I would NOT even attempt it. Once time machine is no longer active backing up data, go ahead and change the destination location.

You can either open Time Machine from the menu bar above or go to “System Preferences” from the Apple menu. Look for the Apple icon in the top menu. Once in Time Machine look for “Select Backup Disk…” and click on it.

You will be given a list of hard drives available. In this real world example choose the external hard drive. Click on “Use Disk”. Since this will be the first time that you are backing up to a different external hard drive, then depending on how much data you have chosen, it can take quite a few hours for this data to get backed.

Time Machine will tell you when a backup completed successfully or not. You can use these instructions for any external device supported by Macintosh operating system.

Hard Drive Failure – Possible Fix by Cleaning Contacts

As a computer repair technician that has years of data recovery experience, with a hard drive failure, I thought I would share a possible fix. This fix may NOT be permanent. However, at the very least this tip may give you enough time to get that all important data off of your hard drive.

Many times mechanical hard drives start failing, even though you cannot hear any noises that may indicate a failing hard drive. You will most likely need a hexadecimal tool as most desktop mechanical drives have hexadecimal screws. These screws are also known as star screws.

What you want to do is remove the circuit board from your hard drive. I had a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80 gigabyte mechanical hard drive that started failing. I could NOT fix Windows 10 installation on it.

Windows 10 would NOT boot properly. Also, I tried wiping this hard drive with Darik’s Boot and Nuke program, but that program failed pretty quickly. I thought I would try to clean the contacts that the circuit board connects to the hard drive.

You are NOT working on heads, platters, etc. so you do NOT need a cleaning room for this tip. Once you get the circuit board removed then look for the connections on the board. Match them up with the hard drive.

You will want to either use a pencil eraser and or rubbing alcohol, which is also known as isopropyl alcohol. I would recommend 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. You can purchase this type of alcohol at grocery, hardware, and other retail stores.

I would NOT use any kind of liquid cleaning agents. Clean the gold contacts that connect the circuit board to the rest of the hard drive. You will notice that these contacts get dirty and look brownish.

Even just an eraser will clean off this grime. On some hard drives these contacts will be silver instead of gold. You want to rub enough to remove off this oxidated buildup.

Make the gold and or silver contacts shiny again. Now just connect the circuit board back properly and tighten all screws. Some contacts are more like a slot where by small pins snap into them.

These contacts can just be metal on metal contacts. Just try to line up the circuit board to the screw holes and press down making sure the board is flush with the hard drive. You can try this trick with mechanical laptop hard drives as well.

Now you can go ahead and try to boot off of this hard drive and or try to access date from it. This trick does NOT always work, but I have experienced enough successful tries, that it is worth trying. Again at the very least you might be able to access your data, have a still failing hard drive, or one that will last a little while longer.

The Seagate hard drive I mentioned earlier in this blog post, actually now works and I was able to install Windows 10 on it. This tip is in case you need to get data off your hard drive, not necessarily as a permanent fix.

Data Recovery Service For MAC – HFS File System Using Linux

A computer repair customer of mine brought in a Macintosh Pro A1278 that would not boot into Macintosh operating system. This MACbook Pro would boot loop after displaying MAC logo and a progress indicator, only to display a blank screen. I decided to try to recover this customers’ data just in case the hard drive is failing or the file system is corrupt.

I actually use Ubuntu Linux for data recovery service for MAC. Newer distributions of Linux do an excellent job of automatically mounting file systems including Macintosh Hierarchical File System. Hook up your hard drive to your recovery computer running linux and then boot like normal.

If the HFS file system and or hard drive is “healthy” enough then Linux should boot and automatically mount the file system for you. You can verify this at the command line by typing in fdisk -l. You will need root privileges in order to run this command.

root@b617:/home/user# fdisk -l

Another way to verify whether or not this file system was mounted is to open up file explorer and look for this hard drive. When I come across a failing hard drive or corrupt file system I get errors as soon as I log into the Linux Graphical User Interface. Once you have verified that this HFS file system was successfully mounted then you can browse these files.

You may need to login with the root account into a linux GUI if you get access denied permission problems on some or all files and folders. Now all you have to do is copy over files and folders to your local hard drive and or external media. Also, you can copy files and folders via command in a terminal window.

You may be presented with prompts for files that could not be copied. You might want to move these files or rename them and try again. As long as the hard drive is not physically failing or files are not corrupt, you should be able to recover your data.

Finally, I have been able to successfully recover data on failing hard drives with both Microsoft Windows and Macintosh file systems, using Linux. As a matter of fact, I have more success recovering data using Linux, then I do with using a Microsoft Windows computer, when it comes to recovering failing hard drives with Windows operating systems installed on them.

My Western Digital – 20 Terabyte My Book RAID Device

Western Digital Corporation has released it’s largest desktop storage system to date. You can purchase a twenty terabyte My Book Duo Redundant Array of Independent Disks. This storage system can be used as a home storage device or for small business purposes.

These devices come with Western Digital red RAID hard drives. Western Digital claims these drives can sequentually read up to three hundred sixty megabytes per second. This system includes RAID optimized firmware as well.

This is a two disk storage array with automatic management. This storage system actually has Universial Serial Bus Type C connection and includes cables. You can hook up older USB devices like mice and keyboard(s) with two type A connections.

This RAID storage system comes in different sizes besides twenty terabyte.

* 20 Terabyte
* 16 Terabyte
* 12 Terabyte
* 8 Terabyte
* 6 Terabyte
* 4 Terabyte

You can password protect your data. These systems come with built in two hundred fifty six bit Advanced Encryption Standard. These RAID devices are secured with WD Security software.

You can purchase these storage systems via WD.com and retailers. They come with a limited three year warranty. Prices are:

* $799.99 20 Terabyte
* $599.99 16 Terabyte
* $419.99 12 Terabyte
* $329.99 8 Terabyte
* $289.99 6 Terabyte
* $259.99 4 Terabyte

These devices come with a thirty day money back guarantee and free standard shipping at time of this blog post creation. You can use these RAID systems in basically three modes. A default RAID 0 with just one functioning drive, RAID 1 with two drives and redundancy, or two seperate functioning drives.

These storage systems are New Technology File System formatted and support Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 out of the box. You would have to reformat these drive(s) for other operating systems. You can backup your data with included Western Digital Backup software.

You will need to make some configuration changes for true RAID data redundancy, as out of the box these devices are configured for just one drive.

Microsoft Discontinues OneDrive Unlimited Storage Plan

Microsoft Corporation announced on November second two thousand fifteen that they will be discontinuing their unlimited storage space OneDrive plan. This is to take effect in early two thousand sixteen. Microsoft claims that some users were storing up to seventy five terabytes of data.

This change affects all Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers. If this was in fact true, I have no idea why Microslop I mean Microsoft did not just cap data on those accounts that were egregious to their possible false advertising. Also, why advertise a service that is “unlimited” if you are then going to complain about a few users using more space than average.

Those previous “unlimited” plans now receive one terabyte of storage space. Also, Microsoft is going to discontinue their one hundred gigabyte and two hundred gigabyte data storage accounts. This company is going to replace both those services with a $1.99 per month fifty gigabyte storage plan.

Microsoft is going to limit their free OneDrive storage accounts from a current fifteen gigabyte of storage space to five gigabytes of storage space. Finally, this technology giant will discontinue their fifteen gigabyte camera storage plan as of early two thousand sixteen. Shockingly at least to me, Microsoft will offer prorated refunds if you decide that one terabyte of OneDrive space is not sufficient.

Also, if currently you are using more than one terabyte of cloud space, you will receive a notification message that stipulates you will have at least one year to move or remove that data. If you have more than five gigabytes of data with a free OneDrive account, you will be given at least a twelve month grace period to move or remove your data. If you need this storage space desperately enough, Microsoft is offering a free one year Office 365 personal subscription, redeemable via a credit card.

Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup – Restore Your Dell Pc

UPDATE: 06/04/2018

Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup has been replaced with Dell Backup and Recovery. You can download Dell Backup and Recovery. This software supports Microsoft Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems.

You can still use the instructions in this blog post, as a basis point with Dell’s newer backup software.

Today I will show you how to restore a Dell computer using their Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup tool. This procedure was used to successfully restore a Dell Inspiron 545 back to factory condition. Also, this tool was used to backup user data.

To begin with boot or reboot your computer and then press an F8 key after a Dell bios splash screen displays and windows attempts to boot. At an advanced boot menu, select “Repair Your Computer”. You should see a “Windows is loading files” message.

At a “System Recovery Options” screen select a keyboard input method. If you live in the United States of America you can select a default of “US”. Next, select choose administrator or an account with administrator rights in a username drop down list.

Type a password if applicable. At “Choose a recovery tool” you want to pick “Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup”. You can select “Restore computer and preserve my new or changed files (recommended)”.

Click Next to scan computer for changed files. In “Emergencey File & Folder Backup” check any file types you do not want backed up and restored. Click Next to proceed.

Select a destination folder for your emergency backup and click Next. A summary of files backed up is listed. Click Next to proceed.

Your data is now being backed up. Your files should be successfully backed up. Click Next to continue.

At “Restore my Computer”, select “Yes, continue” and click Next. A new partition will be formatted automatically for you. Your system backup that you previously created, will be restored.

Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup

A “Recovery Completed” message should be displayed. Click on “Restart” to restart your computer. Microsoft Windows should now boot.

You may receive a chkdsk message. I recommend you allow a chkdsk scan to run. A “Setup is preparing your computer for first use” should be visible.

Look for a “Setup Windows” message. You can accept defaults and click Next. Type a username for your new installation of Microsoft Windows.

Also, you can change a computer name here instead of an automatically created one. You can set a password here which is highly recommended. You must retype your password a second time if you set a password.

A password hint is also required if you set a password. Click Next to proceed. You must accept both license terms.

Click Next to continue. At select windows updates you can use a default “Use recommended settings”. When it asks you to “Review date and time settings” select your computer’s current location timezone ie. Mountain if you live in Mountain time zone.

Windows will now finalize your settings. You can accept defaults at a Dell Support Software Screen and personalized settings screen. Finally, click finish to completely back up your important files and restore your Dell computer to factory settings.

Data Recovery Professional – Is Your Dell Hard Drive Failing?

You have Windows XP Home with service pack 3 running on a Dell tower since 2007. Operating system will not boot up due to “Unmountable_boot_volume” error. When attempting to boot up in safe mode using original Windows XP service pack 1 CD a same error appears including a following message ***STOP: 0x000000ED (0x8B047C30, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000).

Where can you get help in recovering from this error? You cannot boot system in safe mode even with original Microsoft CD. If you haven’t already, can you check and even reseat the IDE cable that is connecting your hard drive to your motherboard.

Are you able to boot into Recovery Console off that Windows XP CD? You can try booting into “Enable VGA mode” via that F8 advanced boot options menu. If successfully boots into a Windows desktop, then you can remove video drivers in “Add/Remove” programs.

Reboot your computer and if it boots normally you can then reinstall video drivers. You can try to boot into Recovery Console off your Windows XP CD. From there I can walk you through some steps to resolve your issue.

If you press F12 as soon you power on that computer a boot menu should open, where you can choose your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive to boot from. There could be a hardware problem with that hard drive. If it was just corrupt Windows files Recovery Console would normally work.

You can boot back into that F12 menu and look for a “Diagnostics” option. There should be some tests you can run to test your hard drive. You have a failing hard drive with most likely a hardware problem.

I recommend taking it to a data recovery place or computer repair shop to see if they can get any data off of it. I think your computer is probably fine, you just have a failing hard drive. I would recommend taking it to a place that offers free shipping or no charge unless they can get data recovered.

I would take it to a place that specializes in data recovery if your serious about getting any data recovered. You can contact Dell at 1-800-WWW-DELL or visit this Dell hard drive data recovery web page.

Backup and Recovery Solution – How to Fix Skipped Files Error

When you back up your computer, you’re having trouble with a skipped file that is not even there, so you have been getting an error message. A message that you get is this C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011. “Error: the system cannot find the file specified. (0x80070002)”.

How do you get rid of this problem so your back up of files can go smoother. Because of that error message you have not had a real good backup on your computer. At times you’ve had to go to a Gateway backup and did not have any trouble.

Please download and install free CCleaner after running malwarebytes. Use CCleaner for cleaning your PC and registry cleaning. You may need to run both clean and registry scans more then once.

You can try to perform a backup after using CCleaner. Items in a Microsoft windows registry and or files as well as folders that were not removed properly, may have contributed to this problem.

Freeze Hard Drive – What to do if Your Hard Drive is Failing

Your computer won’t reboot and you have tried several times. Windows won’t boot properly? What exactly happens when it tries to boot up?

I would try using that computer’s factory restore option if it has one. It might have a repair option. Also, you can try reseating that hard drive if it’s a laptop.

You can try taking a hard drive out of that laptop and then reinserting to see if it will boot. It’s most likely a faling hard drive then. You might be able to fix bad sectors on it long enough to get data off of it.

You would need a Windows XP CD or a hirens boot type CD to run a program that would fix bad sectors. Hard drives do fail. Usually there are warning signs and symptoms, but this is not always a case.

Have you tried putting that drive in a ziplock bag and freezing it for at least an hour? I’ve done it before and it works sometimes. It might allow Windows to run for around twenty minutes or so so that you can get data off of it.

It’s not recommended to freeze your hard drive if you plan on taking it to a data recovery company as it can further damage that drive.