Disk Read Error – press Ctrl – Alt – Delete – Dell Dimension 4300

This error was coming up immediately after the Dell bios screen on a pretty old Dell Dimension 4300. On the surface of it – probably a hard disk failure but noted that the error was appearing almost instantaneously after the post screen – before trying to load windows xp.

I was curious and tried booting from CD and got the same message – rebooted and check the bios boot order settings by pressing F2. Changed the order to have the cd drive second after floppy – REMOVED AND REPLACED THE IDE CABLE – checked all the power leads – rebooted Windows XP CD and logged into recovery console.

The hard disk was detected there and reporting fine. I noted that the CD rom drive was actually moving backwards and forwards when pushed and simply reseated it using the green runners that Dell use to mount drives in the drive bays.

Rebooted and allowed machine to complete boot into XP and its working fine. My guess is that the IDE cable was damaged and preventing the disk from being detected correctly – once fom an old machine worked a treat.

Finally then upgraded to A06 firmware from A04 to ensure it has the latest settings.

Hope that helps you…