Problems With HD, DVD, CD-R

HELP! A disk read error occurred. Press CTRL+ALT+Delete to restart

Argh, a couple of days gone my computer was having issues. First, if I recollect right I entered a CD-R which I ‘burnt’ but could not read, this shouldn’t happen! After that, my PC started replying awfully really slow.

I shut it down and stopped using it for a day. I tried booting it up a day later, and my system was throwing an error message “A disk read mistake took place. Press ctrl+alt+delete to restart”. What was funny was, though I was encountering a disk read error, CMOS was detecting the drive!

I searched round the net and forums, and no-one had the precise fix for this problem. Hardware research has the most important consultation on this problem with 171 responses. Some fixed it by the following techniques and some not able to mend it.

1. Changing IDE wires
2. Change the jumper settings and not using Wire Select
3. Use recovery console and type fixboot
4. Use recovery console and type fixmbr

I first tried fixing it by playing around with the hardware but was not able to mend it. Then Idid not have any choice but to use software that may risk loosing my data. I tried running chkdsk but not able to. I also attempted fixboot and no result. Still the system was throwing the same error message. Ultimately I tried fixmbr and it asserts successfully fixed my master boot record. I finally could start the Boot process but still was unable to boot up to Windows.

I could boot up to recovery console, and this time I was able to see the C: drive. When I listed the directory, all the unknown / unreadable characters were listed out. That’s when it struck that my hard drive is corrupted! I had no choice buy but to latch up my system with another PC, run a disk recovery/ back-up program to recover and back-up all my data and reinstall Windows.

The problem did not end there, after reinstalling Windows, I had new issues.

I ran chkdsk and found BAD SECTORS! The nightmare of hard disk. I formatted my hard disk with low level format with PowerMax from Maxtor FOR Maxtor. After doing that, I scanned my hard disk and voila, everything was okay. The problem appears to be due to sharing your Hard disk with CD ROM on the same IDE wire. Reason by Davy Dane. When connecting HD and CDROM / CDRW / DVD for example. To your PC you need to follow these standards.

Lessons I learnt here was – Don’t connect a HD and CDROM / CDRW / DVD to the same IDE port. Connect the HD to IDE one and Connect the CDROM / CDRW / DVD to IDE two unless you’ve got an SATA HD then you can connect the CDROM / CDRW / DVD to IDE one but still never connect a HD and CDROM / CDRW / DVD on the same IDE port. I believe there are now new DVD drives that run at one hundred speed ( DMA five ).

If you have an one hundred / 133 Speed HD and an one hundred speed DVD drive then it’s ok to attach to the same IDE port. When setting jumpers on HD and CDROM / CDRW / DVD drive always set the master to beat ONLY and the slave to SLAVE. NEVER Select MASTER W / SLAVE ( even if you’ve got a slave ) or Wire SELECT or 32 GB LIMIT. Ensure you have the proper speed wire on your HD. You want a 133 speed wire on your HD. It is the thinner wire with the coloured end. The thicker wire for your CDROM / CDRW / DVD only runs at 66 ( DMA four ).

One way of checking the rate of your HD is by going to the device chief / IDE Controllers right clicking on the channel and select sophisticated settings. Your HD should be set to DMA 5 or DMA six ( first IDE ). If it’s DMA four then you’ve got the inaccurate speed wire connected to your HD. Plug the Black end connector of your wire in your MASTER and the gray middle connector in your SLAVE. Never plug the middle gray in the MASTER. That makes sense does not it? That is not the end of my PC issues.

I attempted reinstalling Windows again after low level format, and it kept on giving blue screen during installation. I took off the unneeded hardware such as Network Card, Sound Card, etc one at a time and attempted installing the Windows. Ultimately , i had three RAMs, 512 on slot one, 256 on slot two and another 256 on slot three. I took off slot 2 and three and attempted installing Windows and this time around I had no problem. I used a tool Memtest86+ and ran test on my RAM, and yes indeed there are issues with my second and third ram.

And, for desktop Computer , I might use FAT32 instead of NTFS on drives that contains Windows Operating System. I do not wish to go through all that again. Davy Dane did recounted that most of us think this must be a HD problem but that is not true. I had this problem when I had a bad VIDEO CARD, RAM, and MODEM before. I suspect he is most likely right too. The bad memory might have given incorrect info on bad sectors. DUH!

Simple Solutions To Common Problems That Might Be Troubling Your PC

I’ve pointed out some of the most common computer related problems new-bies face when they buy a new computer.

Sometimes your computer is working fine, and all of a sudden it starts behaving erratic. Is such situations, one of the first things to consider is what were you doing on the PC immediately prior to the fault manifesting itself. If you can identify something specific, that you were doing just before your PC/lap started acting funny, then most often simply ‘undoing’ it will eliminate the problem.

Let us, in this article look at most of the ‘common’ actions that may be the reason for your PC / laptop to behave the way it should not :

> Downloading from the Internet:

There are hundreds of thousands of known viruses, the vast majority of which are spread via the internet and their effects can mimic literally any computer fault. So if your PC starts giving trouble after downloading from the Internet there is a very good possibility that it has picked up a virus. If you suspect this to be the case then you must obtain an up-to-date virus program and check your system with it.

If you use internet often, download from unverified or untrusted sources, download attachments from unknown senders, then you should be aware that you are inviting trouble. You should never discount the possibility that your system can be infected by viruses, malwares, spyware and such that can be installed on your system through such programs.

You should also be very careful when you install any freeware programs. It is a very sketchy area, as a normal PC / Laptop user, you’ll have not have any idea if the freeware you want to install is infected or not. When you are downloading it from untrusted sources, it’s a safer way to visit related forums, discuss with people and see if the software you are planning to use is the best without any problems, or ask for suggestions. These days, with the internet boom, there are forums and communities that pretty much discuss everything you can think and imagine about !

> Installing a peripheral, i.e. a new scanner / Upgrading your PC with a new card, i.e. a graphics card:

Installing new hardware is a common cause of problems and is usually due to the new hardware device taking the resources allocated to an existing hardware device. This problem can usually be sorted out via Control Panel, System, Device Manager.

> Deleting/installing a program:

Often we install a program to try out and then having decided we don’t want it delete it. With most programs there is no problem. However there are some which simply refuse to go quietly. The usual problem is that these programs use or ‘borrow’ files and then when they are deleted, take these files with them. Any other programs on the PC which need these files will then not run correctly, if at all. The cure for this is to re-install the affected program.

There are occasions when simply running a particular program will cause problems. It will either have become corrupted or is incompatible with something else on the system. The result will usually be lockups and crashes. Deleting and then re-installing it will usually cure that fault.

> Changing your PC’s settings:

Windows is a very customizable operating system and allows the user to make all manner of changes to its default settings. This also applies to much of the systems hardware. However there are parts of the system where changes can have adverse effects on the PC’s performance. Examples are the BIOS and the registry. The best policy when experimenting with settings, is to make a written note of any changes made. If there are any subsequent problems then you’ll be able to reverse them.

If you are one those with inquisitive nature, to test and experiment new things and enjoy doing it, you should be a little more careful when you deal with your PC / Laptop with such an attitude. I don’t say its wrong if you try out something on your own, but I’d recommend that you better read up about the part you want to fiddle around with. It saves an arm and time. Always pen down whatever changes you’ve made to your system, which will come handy in case you fail to set it right if things go wrong.

> Shutting down / Restarting your PC the wrong way:

There is most definitely a right and a wrong way to shut down or restart your computer. The right way is to select Start -> Restart or Start -> Shutdown. You can also do a soft reboot by hitting Ctrl + Alt + Delete. The wrong way is to hit the reset button or power off button. This can corrupt any program that might be running, or worse, the hard drive itself. Usually though, the effects are minor and can be repaired by exiting in the proper manner and then running a disk utility such as ScanDisk.

Though often looked down on, I’ve seen a lot of problems caused by not exiting windows correctly. You should try and avoid your reboot button as much as possible. It must be used only when you have no option, like when your PC / Laptop is frozen solid. It should not be used as a time saver, quick option to shut down your system !

> Maintenance:

If, for any reason you have been delving inside the system case, its quite possible that you have inadvertently loosened or even disconnected something, a cable or expansion card for example. Try and retrace your steps, checking everything in the area in which you were working, making sure all boards and cables are firmly seated in their sockets.

[ 4 Registry Tweaks That Will Imrove Windows XP Performance ]

Working with Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

There is something that we all must deal with at some point in time ‘Data recovery’. Data recovery is important for people or organizations of all levels. For an average user, recovering lost data can be almost impossible. This can be largely due to lack of knowledge or the overwhelming steps required. People have the idea that data recovery has limited options as to what they can do, but the reality is that there is much more than we think. Professionals have many options available to them, and most companies have easier means of data recovery

If you are not a company, and you don’t have the necessary means for data recovery, it isn’t a problem. There are entire companies whose only purpose is to help people recover their lost data. These services offer a plethora of features that are useful to the average consumer. These services include; recovering lost data due to human error, power outages, and many more. Most of these companies hire professionally trained computer engineers. These people will be knowledgeable in retrieving your lost information and in most cases they will be successful in recovering your lost data.

One of the most common phrases you will hear after losing that oh-so critical data is, “The computer has crashed!”. This problem can occur from a number of problems. The most common causes are; lightning, mechanical failure, fire or excessive static build-up– which is much less known. Any of those problems can reek havoc on your hard drive and cause a loss of data.

Many people who are new to the computer world, or are just average users, do not know that you can recover your lost data. Many of these people resort to the likes of manual record keeping or just plain refusing to use the tools at their disposal. This can be slow, tedious, and unreliable. The hard drive data recovery services offered can often save you a lot of time, and maybe even some money. Professional record keeping also relieves the pressure and excessive worry often related to data that isn’t backed up.

The best part of this all is, you can hire just about anyone to do your data recovery. It doesn’t have to be a big I.T. Professional or a large business. For a reasonable price you can find just about any reputable data recovery company.