If you’ve encountered a disk read error occurred on your Windows 10 computer, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we will give you with step-by-step instructions and effective solutions to help you overcome this frustrating issue.

Whether you’re dealing with a boot disk error, a read disk error on an external drive, or any other disk-related problem, we’ve got you covered. 

Let’s dive in and get your Windows 10 system back up and running smoothly.

What is a Disk Read Error?

A disk read error happens when your computer can’t read the information stored on the hard drive or SSD. Basically, it means that the data on the disk cannot be accessed. 

When something goes wrong with the hard drive or a specific partition on it, your PC stops what it’s doing and shows you a message that saysa disk read error occurred.

It even tells you to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart the computer. You should follow that advice and see if it fixes the issue right away.

If you’re lucky, the problem will be gone and you won’t have to worry about it happening again.

However, if you’re not so lucky (and if you’re reading this guide, chances are you’re not), the disk read error message will keep coming back after you restart the PC.

It might show up right away or after a few minutes. In that case, you’ll need to troubleshoot the problem to get rid of it for good.

Why Does the “Disk Read Error” Message Appear in Windows 10?

There are a few common reasons why you might see a disk read error. Let’s take a look at some of these causes:

  • Loose or Faulty Cables: If the cables connecting important hardware like the hard drive are loose or damaged, it can make it difficult for your computer to read data from the drive.
  • Damaged Hardware: If your hardware is damaged, it can lead to disk read errors. Physical defects in the system memory can also cause similar problems.
  • Boot Sector Damage: The boot sector is responsible for starting up Windows when you turn on your computer. If the data related to the boot sector becomes damaged or corrupt, it can trigger a disk read error and prevent Windows from booting properly. 
  • Memory Issues: Insufficient memory in your computer can cause a range of problems, including disk read errors. 

How to Fix Disk Read Errors in Windows 10

Before getting into the more energy and time consuming fixes, try running a malware scan on your PC. Certain viruses can cause disk errors on Windows.

Run a full scan on your computer using a good antivirus program like Auslogics Anti-Malware: it will look for any viruses or malware that could be causing the error. 

Removing these threats might help solve the problem.

Also Read: How to Remove Virus and Other Malware from Windows

If no malware has been discovered on your PC, try these fixes:

Fix 1: Check cable connections

Inside your computer, there are different hardware components connected to each other with various power and data cables.

Sometimes, a loose or faulty cable can cause a disk read error, and it can be tricky to figure out which cable goes where.

  • If you’re not comfortable checking the cables yourself, take your computer to a technician who can do it for you. 
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try it on your own.

Desktop PCs and laptops have similar hardware and cable setups, but there may be slight differences depending on the manufacturer.

It’s a good idea to read a tutorial specific to your computer model on how to open it up and reseat the cables. This will guide you and help you avoid any mistakes.

Once you access the cables, check if any of them have come loose. Look for any signs of damage, and if needed, replace them with new cables of the same type. 

Remember: if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with this process, it’s best to seek professional help. Safety is important, and you don’t want to accidentally cause more problems.

Fix 2: Clean up your PC

Keeping your computer clean and tidy can help prevent disk read errors. Here are some simple steps to clean up your PC:

Uninstall unnecessary programs

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Go to Programs & Features.
  • Uninstall any apps or programs that you no longer need. 

Declutter your desktop

  • Delete any unnecessary files from your desktop. You can also arrange them in folders to make the desktop cleaner and free up RAM.

Also Read: How to Uninstall Programs and Delete Unnecessary Files in Windows 10

Remove Temporary Files

Get rid of temporary files, Windows installation files, and program caches from your system. You can use built-in tools like Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files. 

Also Read: Proven Ways to Clean Windows 10

Or, you can use professional software like Auslogics BoostSpeed to effectively clean up your PC without getting too “involved” in the process. 

By regularly cleaning up your computer and keeping your hard drive free of unnecessary clutter, you can improve your PC’s speed and reduce the risk of encountering disk read errors.

Also Read: Speed Up Slow Computer as a Pro – Introducing Auslogics BoostSpeed 13

Fix 3: Check the system memory

Random Access Memory (RAM) can contribute to disk read errors in Windows 10. 

Here’s how: due to an improperly placed module or a computer case that lacks good ventilation, the RAM modules can get quite warm.

The more heat a RAM module emits, the more likely it is to partially move from its slot on the motherboard. This can cause a memory error alongside other types of issues.

Reseating the RAM modules can often solve disk read errors. 

You can also use the inbuilt Windows Diagnostics tool to check for problems with the installed memory:

  • Open the Start menu and type Windows memory diagnostics.
  • When the Windows Memory Diagnostics dialog shows up, select the option Restart now and check for problems.
  • The PC will reboot into the memory diagnostics test screen. The process can take several minutes, so you may leave the PC and do something else with your time.
  • A slowly increasing bar will show you the progress of the test. You will get an alert if any issues are detected.
  • When the test is complete, Windows will boot to the desktop and display the test results.

If the test results aren’t displayed, you can find them yourself:

  • Press the Windows logo + X keys at the same time and select Event Viewer from the menu.
  • In the Event Viewer window, go to Windows Logs > System and click the Find option in the right pane.
  • Type MemoryDiagnostic into the Find box and click Find Next
  • The results of the memory diagnostics test will be shown at the bottom of the window.

Also Read: How to Clear RAM and Reduce RAM Usage in Windows 10

Fix 4: Defragment your hard drive

Disk read errors are associated with hard drive problems. A hard drive can become so fragmented that reading data on it becomes a slow and cumbersome process.

In some cases, extreme fragmentation can lead to the inability to read the disk altogether, hence the error message.

The solution is to defragment the hard drive so the data can be accessed faster. 

Also Read: What Does Defragging Do: Easy Explanation of Disk Defragmentation

To defragment a hard drive in Windows, follow these steps:

  • Open the File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and E simultaneously.
  • Right-click on the hard drive you want to defragment and select Properties from the context menu.
  • In the Properties window, go to the Tools tab.
  • Under the Optimize and defragment drive section, click on the Optimize button.
  • The Optimize Drives window will open, displaying a list of drives on your computer.
  • Select the hard drive you want to defragment and click on the Optimize button.
  • Windows will now analyze the selected drive to determine if it needs defragmentation.
  • Once the analysis is complete, click on the “Optimize” button to start the defragmentation process.
  • Windows will now defragment the selected drive, rearranging the data to improve its access speed.

If this looks too complicated – or if you are running into any trouble when manually defragmenting a hard drive, consider using a powerful defragmentation tool like Auslogics Disk Defrag.

It analyzes your hard drive for fragmented files, puts them back next to each other and assists in preventing future fragmentation by merging unused space on your hard drive. 

It also has a scheduler that lets you decide how often your hard disk should be defragmented, among other defragmentation options.

Related: Defrag Your Hard Drive Like a Pro – Step-by-Step Guide

Fix 5: Reset or update your BIOS

Reset your BIOS:

To perform a BIOS or UEFI reset on Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Reboot your computer.
  • Press the designated hardware key (e.g., Delete or F2) immediately after the PC powers on.
  • Look for the BIOS reset option in the BIOS setup.
  • Select the option to restore the BIOS to its default settings (e.g., Setup Defaults, Load Defaults).
  • Save the changes and restart the system.
  • Check if the disk read errors are resolved.

The designated key may vary for different PC brands. You can search online for the correct key specific to your PC brand.

Update your BIOS:

To update your system’s BIOS, follow these steps:

  • Visit your PC manufacturer’s website and check for a BIOS update for your system model.
  • Compare the available update with your current BIOS version. Go to System Information on your PC by typing “msinfo” in the search bar and look for BIOS Version/Date.
  • If a newer version is available, download and extract the update file.
  • Read the included Readme document, if available, and follow the provided instructions to install the BIOS update.
  • Ensure your battery is full or your PC is connected to a power source during the process.
  • If there is a specific method involved for updating the BIOS on your device, consult a guide or manual.
  • Some BIOS files may require a bootable device (USB or disc) for successful installation.
  • Once the update is complete and the system reboots into Windows, sign in and verify if the disk read error is resolved.

Updating the BIOS can add extra functionality to your system and improve its ability to handle tasks.

Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and proceed with caution when updating the BIOS.

Also Read: What is BIOS on a Computer: Everything You Need to Know

Fix 6: Repair boot sector

 If the error is related to the boot sector, you can use the Windows installation media to fix it. 

  • Insert the Windows installation media (such as a DVD or USB drive) into your computer.
  • Restart your computer and boot from the installation media. You may need to change the boot order in the BIOS settings to prioritize the installation media.
  • When the Windows Setup screen appears, select your language preferences and click Next.
  • On the next screen, click on Repair your computer or a similar option depending on your Windows version.
  • Choose the troubleshooting or advanced options menu.
  • Select Command Prompt to open the Command Prompt window.
  • In the Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter: bootrec /fixboot
  • Wait for the command to execute and complete the boot sector repair process.
  • Once finished, close the Command Prompt window.
  • Restart your computer without the installation media.
  • Check if the disk read error is resolved and Windows boots up properly.

Fix 7: Update Firmware and Drivers

Make sure your device drivers are up to date. Updating these can sometimes fix disk read errors:

You can do it manually by visiting the manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest firmware update.

But If you’ve never updated your device drivers before, this can get a bit complicated. You may also want to save yourself some time and not update your drivers manually.

In this case, consider using Auslogics Driver Updater: the software will update your drivers in just a few clicks.

Also Read: [EASY GUIDE] How to Update Device Drivers on a Windows 10 PC?

Fix 8: Perform a system restore

If the error started happening after you installed new software or made changes to your system, try doing a System Restore.

This will take your computer back to a previous point where it was working fine:

  • Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click on the Start menu to open it.
  • Type System Restore in the search bar and select Create a restore point from the search results.
  • In the System Properties window, click on the System Restore button.
  • Click Next to proceed with the System Restore process.
  • You will see a list of available restore points. Choose a restore point that was created before you started experiencing the disk read error.
  • Click Next and then Finish to confirm your selection and begin the System Restore.
  • Your computer will restart and the restoration process will begin. Be patient as it may take some time.
  • Once the restoration is complete, your computer will reboot again.
  • Check if the disk read error is resolved after the System Restore.
System Restore will undo recent software installations and changes to system settings, but it will not affect your personal files.

It is recommended to back up any important files before performing a System Restore.

Fix 9: Prevent any disk error by using PC optimizer

To prevent disk errors and maintain optimal performance on your PC, you can utilize a PC optimizer tool like Auslogics BoostSpeed. Here are a few key features of BoostSpeed that can help you prevent disk errors:

  • Update Drivers: Run BoostSpeed’s Update Drivers Feature to update your drivers automatically and on a regular basis. It will help to prevent Outdated or incompatible device drivers which causes disk errors
  • Disk Defrag: Disk Defragmenting is not an easy process and it is better to give it to the professional software which will take care about your hard drives permanently helping to avoid disk errors
  • PC Cleaner: Accumulated junk files, temporary files, and unnecessary system clutter can take up valuable disk space and impact system performance.

BoostSpeed’s PC Cleaner feature scans your system for such files and safely removes them.

By regularly cleaning up your system, you can prevent disk errors caused by insufficient disk space and ensure that your PC operates at its best.

By simply taking care of your PC on a regular basis, you can proactively prevent disk errors and maintain a healthy and optimized system.

In Summary

Resolving disk read errors in Windows 10 is crucial to ensure smooth and efficient performance on a Windows PC.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can address common issues related to disk read errors and restore your system’s stability.

Remember to take the necessary precautions, such as backing up your data and following manufacturer instructions, when performing any troubleshooting steps.

With the right approach and troubleshooting techniques, you can overcome disk read errors and enjoy a reliable computing experience on your Windows 10 system.


To fix a disk read error in Windows 10, try the following. Troubleshoot common issues (such as faulty connections, broken hardware, boot sector damage, or memory problems), reset or update your BIOS to address any compatibility issues, update firmware and drivers for your hard drive or SSD – and if none of these fixes work, perform a system restore.

Yes, there are software solutions available to fix disk read errors in Windows 10. One recommended tool is Auslogics BoostSpeed.

BoostSpeed offers various optimization tools that help keep your system running smoothly, reducing the risk of disk errors caused by system slowdowns or resource conflicts.

Disk read errors in Windows 10 can be caused by various factors, including hard drive issues, physical damage, bad sectors, excessive fragmentation, corrupted system files, faulty hardware connections, boot sector issues, and incompatible software or drivers.

Yes, it is possible to recover data from a disk with read errors. Here are some options to try:

  • Use data recovery software: Specialized software can help retrieve data from the disk by scanning for accessible files.
  • Consult professional data recovery services: If you’re unable to recover the data yourself, professional services can use advanced techniques to recover data from damaged disks.
  • Replace disk controller or cables: Sometimes, the issue may be with the disk controller or cables. Replacing or reconnecting them may restore access to the data.
  • Try on a different computer: Connecting the disk to another computer may resolve compatibility issues and allow access to the data.