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I'm trying to install Windows 7 from a bootable USB stick. My other laptop read it properly. However when I try to boot from a defective laptop, it tells me:

A disk read error occured. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart.

I have Windows XP on the laptop: it reaches the Windows boot screen, tries to load Windows then restarts. What can I do? I can't boot Windows 7, so I can't run chkdsk or anything.

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Not sure if you are trying to install Windows 7 or repair the XP installation? Please clarify exactly what you are trying to accomplish, use the edit feature to modify your question. – Moab Apr 17 '11 at 23:20
I'm trying to install windows 7 from a USB boot stick.\ – Shawn Mclean Apr 18 '11 at 0:25
It was your second paragraph that had me wondering. Will it boot from any other bootable usb device? Did you try all the usb ports? – Moab Apr 18 '11 at 0:28
Do you get the same disk read error when you boot from the hard drive?, if you do, it may not be trying to boot from USB at all. – Moab Apr 18 '11 at 0:31
@Moab I tried all USB ports. I did not get any error for trying to boot from the hard drive. It loaded up the windows xp bot screen. – Shawn Mclean Apr 18 '11 at 0:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sometimes an USB stick error happens when having a lot of files in root folder. If there's more stuff than actually the files needed to make the Windows install, try to move them to some safe device/computer.

Some times is the file system of the USB and/or operative system. USB sticks are often FAT 32, or FAT 16. In some cases people install Windows XP in FAT 32. I guess your Windows 7 is in NTFS file system, as usual. Might happen some issue related to this.

Did you check that in the defective laptop BIOS menu, you have USB listed in boot sequence/options ? You might have it configured differently or laptop BIOS not supporting USB boot at all.

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So what I did was to move the USB drive to be booted at the top of the list. It gives this error when I try to select it in the boot device manager. – Shawn Mclean Apr 18 '11 at 22:59

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