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Windows 7: "Disk read error" during boot when pc has been turned off for a while

06 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
"Disk read error" during boot when pc has been turned off for a while

Hi all,

I just bought a new HDD since my 500gb drive wasn't big enough. I bought a 1.5TB drive and I wanted to use both drives. First I tried to transfer my Windows install to the new drive, I started getting some errors while booting up after a few hours. First Windows froze during the boot screen (at the point where it says Starting Windows... and normally the moving logo should appear). So I changed some boot priorities in BIOS and then I got a different error. The one where it asks if you want to start Windows normally or want it to check for problems. Whenever I tried to check for errors it froze during loading. When I picked start Windows normally it worked. Even when I had to reboot for a program. Then overnight I got the error again. I fixed it again and decided to just do a clean Windows install on the new drive.

During install all went well. No problems after rebooting as a result of installing programs or updates whatsoever. Then again overnight It showed the "Disk read error". Tried to fix it the same way but it didn't work. After changing BIOS boot priorities to only boot from the Windows drive it froze up during the Windows screen again or I got the error to run Windows normally or check for problems. This time I couldn't choose an option there, like my keyboard was frozen. So it always picks to check for problems and that doesn't work.

The fix I found this time was to use my Windows 7 disk and choose to repair my Windows. Problem is that it has to restore it to a restore point. But at least I got into Windows again. Even after reboot. However the next morning I had the same thing all over again. Again fixed it with Windows cd. Turned it off, waited about an hour, turned it on again and again it freezes during the Windows startup screen.

Does anyone know what the problem could be here? My guess would be that there's something wrong with the HDD since I never had the problem before I placed the new one. I'm thinking of returning to the store with it but maybe someone here has a solution.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Btw if I leave my pc on long enough while it's frozen during the Windows screen it reboots automatically and I get the screen where I can choose between normal boot and Systemrecovery boot but this time I can select a normal boot and it will boot without problems.

Still I will probably get the error again once I turn my pc off for a while and turn it on later. Any ideas of how to get rid of this problem for good instead of an hour?

Thanks in advance!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Is the old hard drive still installed and connected in the PC?
Does it still have Windows 7 on it?
What happens if you disconnect the old hard drive and only have the new one connected?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

The old drive is still installed, but I already formated that drive so it doesn't have Windows 7 on it anymore.
The way I use the HDD's is Windows, Programs and Documents on the new one and Games on the old one. That way all the partitions have enough capacity.

Just booted it to see if it froze again and it did with both drives installed. So I manually turned the pc off and unplugged the old drive. Then I booted it up again, this time it just gives me a black screen after BIOS, not even the Starting Windows... screen. Also have had this "error" a few times before. And found out that I can fix that problem most of the times if I change boot priorities in BIOS. A DVD-drive is enabled as Boot option 2, because it has the Windows cd in it.
After changing boot priorities back to only boot from my new HDD I got to the recovery or start normally screen again. Ofcourse this time it froze up again during the Starting Windows... screen and after waiting long enough it rebooted itself and gave me the two options again. This time when I picked Start windows normally it did boot up without freezing. Weird thing was that it was installing the drivers again and needed to reboot to finish the install. I just let it do all these things.

I will turn it off now and leave it off for 15 mins or so and boot it up again to see if I also get the error when the pc has been off for some time and only the new HDD is plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You will want to go to the hard drive manufacturer's website and download their diagnostic tool for testing the hard drive. Burn that iso to a CD and boot with it to test.

You could also put your Windows 7 installation disk in and boot from it (CD drive first in the boot order) and then run Startup Repair. You may need to run it 3 times. Be sure the second hard drive is disconnected when you do this, just to be sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64

Just tried it but it didn't work. Still froze up during Starting Windows... screen. Old HDD is completely unplugged, even the power cord. It's so weird that it won't boot on first try, but it will boot on the second try if I wait untill it reboots itself and then choose Start Windows normally.

Btw is it normal that I get an error if I choose the recommended Startup repair? Not that I really care much about that, but it seems like that's also not normal.
Error says that it might be caused by another hardware device like an external HDD if I remember correctly.

Sorry if I don't use the correct error descriptions, my system language is Dutch so I just manually translate the error codes.

Do you think this is a hardware problem of the new HDD itself? Because then I'll just return it and get a new one. Although I'm not looking forward to installing everything all over again. Already cost me my whole weekend to have everything installed the way it is now...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64

Just checked and since Samsung is now part of Seagate I downloaded their diagnostic tool. They have two, one for Windows and one for at boot. I already ran all tests except Long Generic (since that one took very long) on the Windows version and that one reported it was okay.
Will leave my pc off now again for about 10 mins and then run the boot one from cd to see if it finds problems then. If that doesn't show anything I'll try System repair from Windows cd again, but I already did that once and it then just put my pc back to a restore point and ofcourse booted up normally after that, but after it being off for a while showed the same problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64

Just tried the Seagate diagnostisc tool that runs on boot but that one couldn't find any HDD's. Guess that one isn't compatible with my HDD. Just created a Startup repair disc since my own Windows cd doesn't have all the options (upgrade cd) and gave me an error that it wasn't compatible with this Windows version.

The Startup repair didn't find any problems, I ran it a few times but nothing was found, so nothing was repaired. After that it booted up normally so I turned it off and left it off for 15 mins again and ofcourse it again froze during the Windows screen.

I just don't get the problem, Windows reports everything is fine when it's testing it, when the HDD is tested there seems to be nothing wrong with it. But still something isn't working correctly.

Thanks for the quick replies btw. Think I'm just going to ask the store I bought it from if they have any solutions and otherwise return it. I'm 99% sure that it's a problem with the HDD since I never had it before that and the Windows install is clean. Already tried different SATA cables and ports but it's all the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

No, the Seagate Seatools boot disk actually works with almost any brand of hard drive (I just think it's better to use the manufacturer's diagnostic), so the fact that it did not see your drive is problematic. It could very well mean the drive is defective.

It could be that the drive does not spin up when first started, or that there is a connectivity issue when first started that causes the problems, but once it is going everything is OK. Either way it would be a defective drive.

That does bring one other problem to mind: if you are having an issue with your power supply - in that it is not supplying good power to the drive when starting up cold - that might also explain the behavior. But for this to be true it would have to do it with both new and old drives.

If you have the capability to do a disk image of that new drive that would make the process of replacing it easier without having to reinstall Windows and all your stuff again.
You could also attempt to clone the 'new' drive to the 'old' drive (if it will behave itself long enough to do so). You could then just clone from the old drive to the replacement drive when you get it.
Either way you will need a Disk Imaging program (I use Acronis True Image) and an external hard drive if you want to do the image backup idea. Or just image to the old drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm now almost finished with the Long generic test since the store asked me to try that one too. They also said that even if the test didn't find anything I should still contact them again so they can see if they have a new drive for me to replace it. Since I already tried a clean Windows install they also think it has to be a hardware problem.
I think I'll just copy my partitions plus Windows install to my old drive again (after shrinken the partitions ofcourse) since it seems that the program I used for that worked fine (I used EaseUS Todo Backup / EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition).
Will take some time but still beats installing everything manually again as I did this weekend... Especially since I have an upgrade version, which means I first have to install Windows XP before it will even accept my license key for Windows 7 after install. Upside to it is that I don't have that system reserved partition. I'll let you know what the Long Generic test results are, although I don't think it will find anything since it's testing it while it's working properly.

Btw the PSU is only a few months old and as said before, I've never had this problem untill I installed this new drive. Both the old and the new drive are hooked up to the same cable so that can't be it.

One more off-topic question. My old drive is 7200 RPM and the new one is 5400 RPM (prizes of new drives have gone up a lot lately, so I had to settle). Would it be better to put Windows on the old one because of that or do games or programs benefit more from more RPM or is the speed difference barely noticeable? Both drives have SATA2 connection and 32MB cache.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Disk read error" during boot when pc has been turned off for a while

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