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Windows 7: Samsung SSD - "A disk read error occured Press ctl alt del - SOLVED"

15 Mar 2015   #1

Windows Vista 64-bit
Samsung SSD - "A disk read error occured Press ctl alt del - SOLVED"


I encountered a problem and found a solution and just wanted to put it on the internet for posterity.

So I have a Samsung SSD 850 EVO. I'm actually running Vista 64 Ultimate but ran across a relevant thread about this seemingly hardware issue here, so....

I started with a fresh OS install on my new SSD, everything updated and working normally. I was formatting a seperate HDD using disk manager.

The computer was frozen (or maybe not and I was impatient and wanted to do something else) so I casually pressed the "reset" button

When the computer reboots, I get the "A disk read error occured Press ctl+alt+del to restart" message.

Pressing ctl+alt+del just reboots computer and the same screen comes up again.

I run the Vista repair utility on the install disk - no help. Importantly, however, the repair utility saw the Vista installation just fine (and after I ran it repeatedly it told me there were no errors). I tried doing a system restore, which it says ran successfully, but that did nothing to solve this problem.

I mess with bios settings, change disk settings from RAID (when I installed it was with an older raid drive in same SATA ports) to IDE, to ACHI - no help.

So before trying a fresh Vista install on the SSD out of desperation (before deciding SSD had gone bad), I decided to install vista on a different HD in a dual boot configuration with the intent to then attempt to view my SSD from within the second Vista installation and see if there were some settings to mess with in disk manager to get the SSD to boot up properly.

The solution was simpler - when I first installed the second copy of Vista on a different HD, it setup a dual boot configuation. From the dual boot menu, if I selected the second Vista install listed - BAM - it loads up my SSD Vista just fine, just as I left it.

I then used an elevated CMD prompt from within the Vista installation on my SSD to run /bcdedit to undo the dual boot configuation, since I didn't want a second version of Vista, I want my SSD to be the OS drive.

Now the SSD boots back up fine on its own.

For whatever reason beyond my ability to explain, the SSD's "boot up" files got corrupted, but installing a second version of the OS on another HD in a dual boot configuation fixed it. The dual boot setup process must have rewritten the boot up files on my SSD.

I will answer questions if anyone confronts this same problem, but having googled around and seeing no definitive answer, perhaps this is what is confounding others. Good luck all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


Did you run the RebuildBCD command including exporting the BCD to create a new one, from Step 5 of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start? That tutorial contains everything known to start the OS.

Rescue installs are interesting because of the access you get to the stranded OS and how in many cases they will configure a Dual Boot or allow you to do so with EasyBCD. Once you had your dual boot, what commands did you run exactly to remove the rescue install from it? It is likely the rescue install restored your SSD install's boot and if it was able configure a Dual Boot then I'd think RebuildBCD could have done the same.

The only reason we don't use it more as a troubleshooting method here is because it's a gambit that only sometimes works and since one has to reinstall the OS anyway, why not focus on doing a perfect Clean Reinstall Windows 7 that 95% of users don't have anyway?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #3

Windows Vista 64-bit

Actually I have Vista, not windows 7 - I know this is a Win 7 forum but as I saw a thread related to my problem here first, I opted to post here.

I used the method described here to undo the dual boot:

Help - Remove Unwanted Dual Boot in Vista Tips, Solutions & How Tos |

And I generally didn't want to just try a fresh, clean reinstall on my SSD because it took me hours and hours to get my Vista install completely updated and I didn't want to do that again if I didn't have to, and I had also transfered some important files from my old failing RAID drive to the SSD that I had foolishly not backed up on my backup drive. So since I saw that the install repair utility on the Vista DVD still recognized that I had the install on the drive, I figured the drive wasn't bad, just some boot files. So I stumbled on my solution by installing a second Vista on another drive I had, which made my original Vista install work again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Samsung SSD - "A disk read error occured Press ctl alt del - SOLVED"

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