I have a computer that I built, it has two hard drives in it, one with Windows 7 and one with Vista. I plugged my girlfriend's hard drive into my computer to back up her data and reformat it since her's was having some issues(XP Home). However, once the reformat finished I get the error "A disk read error occurred Press ctrl....etc to restart." I took her hard drive out and tried booting into one of my hard drives, but the same error shows up. I've pulled the CMOS battery, checked different bios settings, reset them to default and checked my SATA cables. Any idea what I managed to screw up? I've done plenty of work on PCs before but I'm drawing a blank here.


Looks like the hard drive has had it!

That seems odd though since I my two hard drives are less than 6 months old and the one with XP is less than a year old. I can't imagine that all 3 hard drives just died, especially when they were working fine earlier that day.

So, you are getting the same error on all 3? You didn't state that in your first post!

Have you tried running scandisk on any of the drives?

Apologies for not making that clear! I haven't run any scans on them yet, mostly fiddled around in BIOS. but unfortunately I had to go out of town unexpectedly so I won't be able to try anything until friday night :(

If your girlfriends computer was infected it's possible that yours now is too. What antivirus software and antimalware software have you got?

I work for the government so I use the Symantec they give me, it seems pretty hefty. Apparently I'm not going out of town now I'll be able to test stuff when I get home tonight. I was an idiot and tried to be a hero and plugged her hard drive in without booting into safe mode and scanning it first, so it's possible my computer got infected. But if that's the case I wonder why her hard drive gives the error too and I haven't even got into windows on any of my hard drives since the reformat, so hers shouldn't be infected anymore.

Hers could easily have infected yours then hers could easily be re-infected by yours after the format.

Symantec?!? Ewwwwwwwwwwwww, that is one really crap bit of software. Just yesterday I removed Norton360 from a PC (Norton is made by Symantec) only to find it had over 200 malware infected files, 12 virus infected files, and 2 trojans on it. Norton said it was clean!!!

Also, Norton would have left well over 400 registry entries and over 50 files on that PC if I hadn't used Revo Uninstaller to remove it properly.

Ah I see haha. What would you recommend as an Anti-virus/malware? It seems that what's "good" changes each year!

I'll unplug that hard drives, reformat one of them and see if the same thing happens still when I get home.

Are you sure the virus could have jumped from my hard drives, back onto hers even though Windows hasn't been booted up since I reformatted hers?

Windows must have been booted for you to have format it...
Some viruses can infect the boot sector of a hard drive, formatting a hdd doesn't remove the boot sector so...

I see. I thought boot sector viruses were almost non-existent since xp? If it is that then, how do I remove a boot sector virus if a format doesn't remove it?

Ok, I can't get into windows though on any of my hard drives to run that :( . Unless you mean reformat, then run that.

What about if you press F8 just after your bios screen and select safe mode?

I'm actually not sure if I tried going into safe mode. I'll try that when I get home.

Hopefully that will work. If not perhaps creating a Ubuntu Live CD might be an idea.
It will allow you to boot from the CD without installing anything on your hard drive. I am experimenting with Ubuntu right now on my laptop.

Nope, Won't boot into safe mode on either hard drive

Try the Ubuntu live CD then.

wait, I lied. Vista just booted in safe mode.

Cool, run scandisk on all of your drives. Get it to fix any errors it finds.

Ran Scandisk, it found and fixed some errors. I didn't have time to test if the problem was fixed this morning, so I'll check it out tonight.

Nortons is jus tlike the rest, AVG works the same and so does AVAST, It's why you need Malwarebytes (Link in last post) and Superantipyware http://www.superantispyware.com/downloadfile.html?productid=SUPERANTISPYWAREFREE
I have found many AV free software always sayign system is clean, when you have Spyware and Malware still on your system.

Also to make people aware, WD, Samsung and Seagate have disk utils to check your drives.

Antivirus programs only look for viruses. They do not look for spyware and malware.

Antivirus software is a "must have" if you want your computer to be safe!

Yes , but you quoted Nortons as useless , I am afraid to say, most are useless to pickup Spyware and Malware, so stating AVG or other's doesn't resolve the issue the OP may have. Normally it is Spyware and Malware which then cause Viruses, to happen, after redirections.

Did I tell the OP to only get antivirus software?!? NO!!!

I said he should replace that useless Norton crap with antivirus AND antimalware software!!!!!!!!

I suggest you re-read the 3 posts ( 2 of which are yours)
You clearly stated Nortons was Crap = Fact
You then stated in your Opinion , AVG and Avast = Fact

What user's do is click yes to allow all sort's of things into their machine's as they do not understand what they are doing. I have dealt with machines with over 800 Infections which included Antivirus/spyware and malware, just because you get pop's saying, do you wish to allow x.y and z.

If the Orig poster had checked their antivirus , so it scan's removable drives, it would have been easier to find which unit infected what. Was it the Drive or was the machine already infected.

You have correctly said about getting a Boot CD, but alternatives is to find another machine and make sure it is updated, then connect one drive at a time to it, and scan or reformat using it.

WTF, I didn't tell him to plug a possibly infected drive into his PC either!! What planet are you on????

commented: Never stated this anywhere -1