A Disk Read Error Occurred on Windows 10 [Solved]

By April Cai in Common Errors Tags: DiskWindows 10

A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart” error pops up while some users boot Windows 10. Even your try to restart your computer by the prompt, the error still exist. It’s a very annoying problem and there’s no set fix for it since different reasons can cause it. However, with the help of our technical support and some users’ report, here we got some tried-and-true ways for you to fix the error.

Thus make sure to try the following methods if you encounter A disk read error occurred on your Windows 10.

No.1–Unplug any USB or DVD drive

No.2–Shut down your computer and cool it down for several hours

No.3–Reset your BIOS

No.4–Check your hard drives’ cables

No.5–Test RAM memory

Way 1. Unplug any USB or DVD drive

If you have plugged in any movable flash drive like USB or DVD, make sure to unplug them and the try to reboot your Windows 10. Then check if the error still occur.

Way 2. Shut down your computer and cool it down for several hours

Once A disk read error occurred pops up on your Windows 10, shut down your computer. And cool down for a few hours like 5-8hrs to give it a rest. Then turn on your computer to see if you can access Windows 10 correctly.

Way 3. Reset your BIOS

Reset BIOS manages to fix A disk read error occurred error, so be sure to take it a try if Neither Way 1 nor Way 2 serves you.

Shut down your PC meanwhile pressing Shift key.
Press power button to restart your computer and at once start tapping F12 till BIOS screen pops up.
Note: The key to enter BIOS usually is F12, but also could be F1, F10, Del, etc. Just look carefully on the screen while computer starts.

Under Exit pane of BIOS screen, use arrow key to choose Load Setup Defaults to reset your BIOS. 
Press Enter.
Then click YES when asked to confirm the setup.
NOTE: For different computer, the option to reset BIOS could also be Load Fail-Safe Defaults, Apply Default, Load BIOS Defaults, Load Default Settings, Load Setup Default, Factory settings, etc.

Use arrow key ↑ & ↓ to choose Exit Saving Changes to exit BIOS.
Restart your computer to check if you can boot into your Windows 10 now.

Way 4. Check your hard drives’ cables

The cables connect your computer’s hard drives to your computer’s motherboard under its hood. If the cable is loose or defective, disk errors may occur. In this case, open your computer’s hood and check if each cable is fastened on both ends. Replace the faulty cables If there is something wrong to fix the error.

Way 5. Test RAM memory

RAM(Random Access Memory) problem brings about various issues. As the RAM memory test is easy and non-destructive, you may as well do a complete test for RAM memory to fix disk error.

Case 1. If you added new RAM memory to computer recently, try to remove it and leave only one RAM. Then restart computer to check if the error still occur.

Case 2. Leave one RAM module on one slot and restart computer. If disk read error still occurs, move the RAM to the other slot and start computer again.

If unluckily A disk read error occurred still exists after you tried all the ways above, you can try to do a clean install of Windows 10

  • Ken

    Way 2 indicates the hard drive is failing, and due to temperature is causing errors. Cooling it down MIGHT help, but you then need to cool it down and backup as much data as you can to an external drive, using backup software. The problem is it can take hours to do this so by the time you begin to backup the drive, it just fails again.
    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FREEZE THE DRIVE. That will just destroy it.

  • Ken

    This is a sign of hard drive about to fail or has developed a bad spot. In days of old MS-DOS you simply reinstalled DOS from floppy disk using Install or Setup from the A: drive. Today with Windows 10 you will have to run the troubleshooter. There are 2 ways depending on whetrher you have a Windows 10 DVD or if it came preoloaded.If it came preloaded If it came preloaded with no bootable media, then you will either need to borrow a friends Windows 10 DVD that has the same version of windows 10 you were using. I will assume that you did not likely create a rescue media using a blank rewriteable DVD ir USB flash drive. Windows 10 has the tools built in to do either type of recovery tools.
    So from another working computer create that, and bring it to your computer. The USB method is the better way.
    With the target computer turned off Insert the USB flash drive into your computer, and turn it on, and watch carefully. Most machines will offer to let you press a key, such as ESC or F2 or F10 to allow you to select a boot device.
    If everything goes right, it will boot the USB stick. If not call the manufacturer and ask how to boot it from a flash drive.
    You will get the familiar blue window and swirling cursor, but it will then go to a menu, where you can choose to repair your computer. Click into that, and have it perform a refresh. NOT a reset. Just a Refresh. Doing a Reset will erase everything and that is what you would like to avoid.
    This can take a long time to perform but once done, it will restore all the crucial files, and reinstall them hopefully to where you can at least boot into Windows 10 once again, after it completes the process.

    Possible reasons if this fails to work, are the SATA Data Cable has fallen loose and needs to be reseated.
    The hard drive has failed, and thus attempts to repair it by the recovery media will also fail.
    If that is the case, your only next option is to get the hard drive replaced, and then have to re-install Windows 10 from scratch. But do not just toss out the old hard drive, for it may be possible to retrieve data from it, and store data to a flash drive or even to copy it over to the new hard drive.

    • April Cai

      Hi, Ken. Thanks for sharing this!:)
      Have a nice day!

  • Jean

    après une mise à jour W10, mon PC boottait sur le CD ?
    Corriger avec le bios pour bootter sur C:/

  • scvblwxq

    I left home and it was working fine, when I came back about two hours later the disk read error was on the screen. I tried ctrl-alt-delete a couple of times and got the same error. I tried F2 after I tried to boot and everything looked ok, CPU was 132 F, and I think it said the SATA drive was my boot drive. I tried to boot again and I pressed f11 and set my boot drive to the sata disk and it booted up as usual. A message about a USB receiver came up after it booted up and I logged in. I don’t know what that meant since I had unplugged the only USB flash drive that was plugged in.

    • Ken

      The hard drive is failing, and you will need to replace it, and maybe hopefully get someone to copy information off of it to a flash drive, or purchase a USB enclosure and put the old hard drive into it, to copy data from it hopefully to your new hard drive.

  • Alexander OC

    Haven’t tried anything yet but what is in the infomation may work

  • Cody E. Grinnell

    Thanks!! I put a new cooler on my roommates computer, and kept getting boot errors..

    • Ken

      Right the problem is with the hard drive, not cooling. The CPU overheating would cause beeping and shutdown of the computer. Usually a can of dusting spray will fix that easily.