Hard Disk Errors Caused by Data or Physical Damage.

You may receive one of the following error messages when you are starting or using your computer in Windows 95 or Windows 98:
  • "Serious Disk Error Writing Drive"
  • "Data Error Reading Drive"
  • "Error Reading Drive"
  • "I/O Error"
  • "Seek Error - Sector not found"
These error messages may indicate either damaged data or physical damage on the hard disk drive.

To test the hard disk, run ScanDisk. To run ScanDisk from within Windows, follow these steps:
  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click ScanDisk.
  • Click the drive you want to examine for errors.
  • Click Thorough, and then click Start.
Running ScanDisk with the Thorough option selected examines the hard disk for physical damage. If damaged data is detected, ScanDisk gives you the option to save the damaged data to a file or to discard the data. The ScanDisk surface scan may take a considerable amount of time on large hard disks.

To run ScanDisk from a command prompt outside of Windows, follow these steps:
  • Click the Start button, click Shut Down, click Restart The Computer In MS-DOS Mode, and then click Yes.
  • Type the following command at the command prompt, and then press ENTER (You can substitute the drive letter for another hard disk that you may want to check as well.)
    scandisk C:
  • When ScanDisk finishes its initial check, it prompts you to perform a surface scan on the drive. Click Yes or press ENTER.
  • If ScanDisk is unable to repair damaged data, or indicates that the hard disk has physical damage, you should either test the drive with our QDPS diagnostic or have the hard disk checked by a qualified service professional. (See Notes)
Use, for example, of Ontrack's Data Advisor program can also be used to check the drive for corrupt or damaged data. Other formatting utilities can be used to erase the entire drive and potentially remove any recoverable bad or corrupted sectors. These are data destructive and will require you to re-partition and format the drive after their use.

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