Disk Read Error: Press Alt Ctrl Del to Restart

I’ve been trying to fix my brother’s computer for several months now. This problem comes and goes as it pleases. Right when we think it’s fixed, it comes right back. At first the computer was freezing and locking up and becoming completely unresponsive, then when restarted would pop up with an error message before the loading screen saying “A Disk Read Error Has Occured Press alt, ctrl, del to restart“. And when you restart it goes back to the same error message.

I have made sure everything is plugged in and connected well on the inside, I have replaced the hard drive, tested each stick of ram, and reformatted several times. This happens on XP and Vista. We cannot figure it out and it’s frustrating because right when we think it’s fixed it comes back after a couple of weeks. The only thing on the computer is a game or two, updates, and some misc programs. We’ve tried using Windows start up repair on the Vista disc and it says it can’t repair it automatically and asks to send an error report.


You replaced the HDD already, that leads me to believe the problem resides with the mobo connection, the cable itself or the controller on the mobo. Try replacing the cable(s) to that HDD to begin with, make sure both the data and the power cables are well secured in place both on the mobo and at HDD’s end. You could try to switch to a different power connector from the PSU, as well (if that particular “line” from the PSU is defective, switching it could solve the problem).