A "Read error" occurs when a program asks for information from the disk, and the hardware is unable to read the requested data. This is usually related to a physical drive problem, or for large drives, may indicate a controller compatibility problem.
Drive may be failing
For old drives, this might be a warning that the drive is having problems. You may be able to retry the operation, but normally several retries have already been made in the hopes of getting the data. At the first possible opportunity you should run ScanDisk, or a similar utility, to perform a complete surface scan. This will help correct some problems, and if many sectors are found bad, you may want to replace the drive before it completely fails.
Large Drive and Controller Compatibility Issue
For drives over 8 GB, in some situations, a conflict can occur between the controller card and how the disk was formatted. We have not seen this problem with IDE controllers mounted on the motherboard, but only those controllers which reside on a separate card with a separate BIOS.
While rare, this type of read error occurs If the drive was formatted in another system or using a different IDE controller card than is currently in-use. If this is the case, the actual physical hard drive is fine. If you did format the drive with the current controller (or the drive was pre-formatted and included in a new system), it may indicate a physical problem, and refer to the prior section on Drive may be failing.
There are two ways to correct this problem:
A Return to the controller that you used to format the drive. The problems should disappear immediately.
B You can reformat the partitions (all data will be lost). Be sure to backup your data, if possible, before you format the partition. Once the drive is formatted using the current controller, no further problems should occur.
We also recommend you check the controller card vendor's web site for possible BIOS updates and/or more details specific to that vendor.