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Disk Read Error
Everything seemed alright. One minute, your Corporate level server was performing with extreme efficiency, executing commands originating everywhere from across the office to across the country. The next minute, its Disk Read Error, Press CTRL ALT DELETE to restart. This is pretty much the standard message for Microsoft operating systems that will not boot. So is this the end? Is your data lost for good? Or is there a way to determine where this issue is coming from?
Well, yes on the latter. In this article we will try to define the difference between a simple OS error and a full on hard drive issue, particularly when dealing with Hard Drive Recovery Groups specialty, that being RAID repair and data recovery.
One of the best tools available for determining drive issues at the BIOS, during boot, is the S.M.A.R.T. tools that are included with almost all systems today. The issue for many systems is that they do not come automatically enabled. The S.M.A.R.T. (short for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) tools typically analyze your hard drive on bootup, and help to provide early diagnosis of predictive hard disk failure.
It is well known, however, that 60% of mechanical hard drive failures (which typically result in Disk Read Error messages, of course), are NOT predictable. The mechanical components of every hard drive are almost destined to fail at some point, as they are subject to heat and wear with each use.
In many cases, S.M.A.R.T. will detect failing components before they occur, which will typically give you time to backup your drive and replace it. NEVER doubt the diagnosis of S.M.A.R.T. When it does provide you with a warning, consider it a huge blessing. It doesnt happen 60% of the time!
Knock, Knock… Is Your Hard Drive There?
A key way to determine if your Disk Read Error is a hard drive failure related issue, and not just a simple Operating System error is to use the BIOS. Usually, this involves pressing the DELETE key on first booting, which will bring you to the BIOS interface.
Systems that are manufactured after 2000 typically have Auto Hard Drive Detection, meaning that if a drive is properly connected (another point: check your cables! Many Disk Read Errors originate from an improperly plugged in cable!), it will be seen. See your drive? If so, youre probably dealing with an operating system issue.
RAID Specific Problems
RAID arrays are by nature very complex storage solutions. A disk read error may mean a corrupt array, a RAID controller issue, or any of a handful of other problems. If you are encountering a disk read error and you are using a RAID array, it is always best to seek professional help first.
Calling Hard Drive Recovery Group is always free, and we can help you determine how to address your issue. Attempting to repair a Disk Read Error in a RAID setup using utility packages or other (usually expensive) web available software is typically a ticket to disappointment. RAID issues, including controller errors, require kid gloves that regular hard drives do not need. Hard Drive Recovery Group recovery engineers are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to consult with you.
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