Disk Read Error - Windows XP will not start

Suddenly my Windows XP went to blue screen with error message:  disk read error.  Hit Ctrl+alt+delete to restart.  but when i do the key combo it just shows the same message.  How can I fix this?

Question Info

Last updated November 21, 2018 Views 23,351 Applies to:


1.       Did you make any changes to the computer before the issue occurred?

2.       What is the exact error message are you getting?


I would suggest you to try the steps mentioned below and check if it helps.


Method 1: How to start your computer by using the Last Known Good Configuration feature in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307852


Method 2: Try booting your computer in safe mode and check if the same issue occurs:



Method 3If the issue does not exist in Safe Mode then try to set your computer in Clean Boot state.


By setting your system in clean boot state helps in identifying if any third party applications or startup items are causing the issue.

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows XP:



Note: After clean boot troubleshooting step, follow the “Steps to configure Windows to use a Normal startup state” in the provided link to return your computer to Normal startup mode.


Method 4You may try to run chkdsk from Recovery Console & check if you are able to boot to the desktop correctly.

a) To boot into the Recovery Console, you may follow this link.

To start the computer and use the Recovery Console

b) At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following command & then press Enter:

    chkdsk [/p] : [/r]


Note: At first, try to run chkdsk /p & check if it helps. Later, you may run chkdsk /r.


Important: While performing chkdsk on the hard drive if any bad sectors are found on the hard drive when chkdsk tries to repair that sector if any data available on that might be lost. 


Refer: How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP



Hope this information is helpful.

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