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When I try to run my laptop, it says: A disk read error has occurred; press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart. Then I restarted it a couple of times. After trying for some time, I finally was able to run my Windows 8 in my laptop. But still, it keeps on hanging (and not responding) all the time. Can anyone suggest what I should do?

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2 Answers 2

It sounds like the hard drive is faulty, might have a bad sector. If you can get into windows run the command prompt and type in the following (make sure you do that in an elevated mode if you are not the administrator):

chkdsk /f /r

It will ask you whether you would like to schedule to perform this the next time the computer starts, say yes (Y) and restart your machine.

This should fix the errors (if possible) on your hard drive, might take a while though.

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... but when bad sectors appers it usually means that your HDD is dying and you should consider replacing it, or at least start making regular backups. –  gronostaj Dec 12 '13 at 10:41
    
@A32167 I did what you said, but it got stuck at 33% and then after 1 hour it restarted and I was able to login to my windows. But it appears, nothing has changed, i.e. I get to see the Not Responding message over and over again. I think I should start making backups. –  Shanks Dec 12 '13 at 11:16

You need to go 'lower' than chkdsk for this; actually the chkdsk 'recommendation' may result in recovering less than what is possible with proper care and tools.

The best procedure in these cases is:

1) Do not shut down/reboot any more than necessary. If the bad spots are in critical sectors at the beginning of the disk the system may not boot up again.

2) Avoid writing to the disk. Pulling it out of your computer and putting it in another computer as a non-primary disk is a good way to prevent software (the OS) from automatically writing to it.

3) Optionally, try to make an image of the entire disk or in one way or another pull all the important data from the disk. There's lots of variations on how you can do this, but whatever method you choose, read only!.

4) Run software that will check for and fix bad sectors.

In ascending order of thoroughness (which generally also indicates the time they will take to run) I recommend:

Run Seatools for DOS (not the Windows version; download the ISO), and choose the 'LONG Test'. This program is free.

Run HDD Regenerator. This program is not free ($99 US).

Run SpinRite (running the executable under Windows will extract an ISO that you can burn). Choose level 4 for thorough testing. This program is not free ($89 US) and is the only one that I know that can often recover data from damaged sectors; this may take a long time though. It comes with a money-back guarantee.

All three programs scan the hard disk at the physical level, and should be run from a bootable CD. They don't care what the OS file system is used.
After their operation, run chkdsk to fix any logical filesystem errors that may have remained.

5) Finally run software that does logical checks on the disk structure, like chkdsk. This could very well not find any errors after step 3.

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