a disk read error occurred

So you turned on your Windows 10, 8 or 7 PC just like you would do on any other regular day. But then you see is a black screen with the warning saying that “a disk read error occurred” with no particular help whatsoever.

Yes, we have all been there. But in this article, we will tell you how to fix the “a disk read error occurred” warning for good.

Before we dive into the methods, we will just have a little brief on why does the error occur so that you have more insight into it. Else you can skip to the method section.

What Causes “A Disk Read Error Occurred”?

This windows error doesn’t even accompany some code or help that you can look up in google. But we got you covered there! This error has mainly to do with, well, your hard drive or your storage disk. Sometimes it also has to do with the memory ( the RAM ).

  • Failing hard drives can cause this issue
  • Loose cabling of the SATA interface
  • Bad RAM and RAM related errors
  • Invalid or corrupt MBR ( master boot record )
  • Issues with the computer’s BIOS
  • Improper partitioning of the drive

So you see that there are more issues you might think, that can cause the disk read error in windows. Read on to check out the methods that we will be telling that you can use to fix this issue.

How To Fix “A Disk Read Error Occurred” in Windows 10

Following are the methods that could be used to recover from this error and use your computer once again.

1. Check For Loose SATA Cabling Inside The Motherboard

Traditional hard drives and even modern SSDs use the 6gb/s SATA-3 link to connect to the motherboard. You need to check if the SATA ( serial ATA ) cabling for your drive is not damaged, falling or loosened in any way. Loose cabling or damaged cables can cause hindrance in reading requests and can lead to disk read error like the one we are talking about. It is necessary to be sure all the cables are in place before we could go any further.

2. Check If Boot Order Is Correct In Your BIOS

BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System. It is a piece of code that executes as soon as you hit the power button on your computer. It loads the default OS into memory and then hands the control over to the OS. But sometimes here is where things get dicey. A wrong setting or some corrupt file might lead BIOS to lose the OS boot order. That is relatively easy to fix.

  • Completely shut down the computer.
  • Now turn it on and repeatedly tap on the f2, f4, f8 or the f10 key depending on your motherboard. Mostly it’s either F4 or F10
  • If you miss the chance, just restart and do it again
  • If you reach a techy looking blue screen, then you are in the BIOS

Once you are in the BIOS, just search for advanced BIOS features > boot order. Use the arrow keys to bring the hard drive on the top of the list. Save the settings and restart the PC. The “a disk read error occurred” issue should go now.

3. Updating BIOS

BIOS as we told, is the code that executes the earliest of all. And if anything happens to this piece of code, your motherboard is bricked and the recovery is very tricky. So don’t perform a BIOS update in lossy power sources and take it more cautiously.

  • To update the motherboard, head over to the manufacturer’s website and see if there is any BIOS update available.
  • Download the update yourself. Make sure it’s more than your current BIOS version.
  • You can check your BIOS version by typing this command into the CMD

wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion

Just download the BIOS software and let it install. It will restart the PC couple of times. By the end, “A Disk Read Error Occurred” should be fixed.

4. Fixing The Master Boot Record (MBR)

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the information in the first sector of any hard disk that tells how and where an operating system is located. Once the OS is found by the BIOS it is ready to be loaded into the RAM. The MBP is also called the “partition sector” as it has the partitioning information. Here is how to fix issues with the MBR

  •  Boot from the USB installation media ( or the disk )
  • Once the welcome screen is loaded, click on repair your computer
  • Choose troubleshoot > CMD
  • After the CMD opens, type in the following commands
  • firstly , “bootrec /FixMbr” then “bootrec /FixBoot” then “bootrec /ScanOs” finally “bootrec /RebuildBcd”
    Press enter after each of the commands and let them do its thing

  • Once the steps are completed, remove the disk or the USB and exit the setup
  • Your PC will now restart

If everything worked out well, the MBR should be now fixed and the “a disk read error occurred” should never occur again.

5. Try Hard Drive On Some Other PC

If nothing works for you, perhaps your hard disk is to be blamed for all this headache. It’s always a good idea to see if it has died.

  • For checking, just remove the hard drive from it’s SATA cables.
  • Plug it into some other PC and see if that PC can boot into the OS, or the HDD even shows up in the BIOS utility.
  • If the disk is fine, there might be some other components in your PC causing the issue. Do perform memory checks and update the drivers
  • If the hard drive doesn’t work, then you found the culprit! Get a new one then.

Final Words

You now have reached the end of the writing. Hope you were able to deal with the “a disk read error occurred” error using our guide.

If you faced any issues, please let us know in the comments below. Cheers and peace!

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