Question about IBM ThinkPad X21 2662 Notebook

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Dropped laptop-IBM Thinkpad X21-display now reads "A disc read error occured" "Press ctrl-alt-del to restart" Bios is accessible but I am a novice in that area.

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I don't think going into the BIOS Setup utility is going to help.

If the laptop was on when dropped, one or more of the Read/Write heads probably crashed right into the Platter/s.

To expound:

Inside the Harddrive case are Platters. These resemble CD disks, but are made of metal, or glass.
On the top, and bottom of the Platters a magnetic media is applied. Usually a Ferrite compound. (Read Iron)
There may be 3 to 6 Platters.

EACH Platter has a Read/Write head Above it, and Below it.
The Read/Write head does just what the name applies. Reads from the Platter, and Writes to the Platter.

[The magnetic media is arranged around the Platter, very similar to how information is arranged around on a CD, or DVD disk.
It is arranged in Circles, (Tracks), and segments within the Circle (Sectors)

The magnetic media is arranged by the Read/Write head, (Write portion actually), into a series of 1's, and 0's.
1 being ON, 0 being OFF.
The 0's and 1's are converted into machine language for the computer ]

The Read/Write heads are moved back, and forth across the Platters by an Actuator Arm.
When the computer is in use, (Computer using a program for example), the Read/Write heads can move back, and forth across the Platters at Hundreds of times a Second.

The Read/Write heads are in a stationary position away from the Platters, when the computer is not on.
When the computer is on, the Read/Write heads are positioned above, and below the Platters.
They are positioned VERY close to the Platters.

(So close, that that the movement when using the computer, actually has the Read/Write heads floating on a cushion of air)

Computer on, and dropping it can cause one, or more Read/Write heads to actually crash into the Platters, and wipe some of the magnetic media OFF.

This would mean replacing the Harddrive, AND having the Restoration Disk, (CD. Also may be known as System Restore disk, or Restore Disk)

No Restoration Disk means buying a new, fresh, genuine copy of Windows, and installing it, on the new Harddrive.

On the Platters in one of the sectors, is the Boot Sector for your Windows operating system.
It could be that when the Read/Write head/s crashed on the Platter/s, that part of the Boot Sector was wiped.

It could be by a slight chance that the Harddrive has come loose. Pulled away from the interface in the laptop that it is plugged into. THAT would be a stroke of luck, but advise do not get your hopes up.


2) IBM ThinkPad X21 Service Manual (Free)

Click on X20. This manual covers the X20, X21, X22, X23, and X24 models.

This is a PDF file. Allow a few seconds for the first page to come up, and additional time for the file to fully download. Let the file download all the way before looking through it.
There is a way to save a copy to your computer you are using now, and burn it off to CD disk, if you wish.
If you do not know how, please post in a Comment, and I will tell you.

Page 65
1040 - Hard disk drive

Posted on Oct 24, 2010

Testimonial: "Thankyou-unit was on when dropped-its 10 years old-time to say goodbye and upgrade!!"

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Oct 25, 2010

    Appreciate the kind words, and the rating, rmrayiam! Wish I had better news.
    Wait! Laptops are getting more affordable now. Around $400 to $500 will get you a pretty decent one. Just one suggestion, (Not advertising)


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Yes press F2 to get into bios pages there are only 5,or 6 pages ,navigate with "tab" key and arrow keys.Save and exit or restore to factory defaults press "enter" to select an option .
get to know these pages and the correct boot sequence,you might have knocked out your harddrive etc so just check and make yourself familiar with these pages
From what i can remember ibms need a special disgnostics disks for further examination.---good luck!

Davey Snake!

Posted on Oct 24, 2010


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1 Answer

How do I get it to go into bios when pressing f2 doesn't work?

Per the internet site, it depends upon the model of laptop. Here are some examples:

Laptops - Access Bios Settings Key


The most common Access Bios key is the "DEL" button or "F2". This depends on the laptop model, however, and can be confusing if you do not know which key to press.


Here is a list of laptop models and brands with the keyboard commands / key for accessing the BIOS Setup:

Acer: F1, F2, CTRL+ALT+ESC



Compaq 8700: F10


Cybermax: ESC

Dell Laptops:

Dell 400: F3, F1

Dell 4400: F12

Dell Dimension: F2 or DEL

Dell Inspiron: F2

Dell Latitude: Fn+F1 (while booted)

Dell Latitude: F2 (on boot)

Dell Optiplex: DEL

Dell Optiplex: F2

Dell Precision: F2

eMachine: F2

Gateway 2000 1440: F1

Gateway 2000 Solo: F2

HP (Hewlett-Packard): F1, F2 (Laptop, ESC)


E-pro Laptop: F2


IBM Thinkpad (newer) Windows: Programs-Thinkpad CFG.

Micron: F1, F2, or DEL

Packard Bell: F1, F2, Del

Seanix: DEL

Sony VAIO: F2

Sony VAIO: F3

Tiger: DEL

Toshiba 335 CDS: ESC

Toshiba Protege: ESC

Toshiba Satellite 205 CDS: F1

Toshiba Tecra: ESC then F1 or F2

Toshiba Notebook [Newer models]:

  • Turn on the computer by holding down the power button while pressing the ESC key

    • The machine will beep, then display:

    • Check System, then press [F1] key.

  • Release the ESC key

  • Press the F1 key

Laptops Access Bios Settings Key

Apr 03, 2015 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer

Doesnt startup,but rather displays "A disk read error occurred.Press Ctrl+Alt+Del",it does that again and again

maybe a usb device plugged? if not try in bios\boot sequence to set cdrom - hd - usbdev. then try to boot with the puppy sturdust linux cd. if it work is just the internal hd; format it and reinstall. hope it help bye

Nov 16, 2013 | Acer Aspire one D270-1375 Intel Atom N2600...

1 Answer

Disk read error occurred, press ctrl+alt+del to restart, but it just takes me . ... press ctrl alt del to restart" problem, HOW TO SOLVE

Have you checked your bios to see what the system is configured to boot from first? Make sure your hard drive is the first boot device in the list.

Oct 28, 2013 | eMachines D620 Laptop

2 Answers

Just bought a used dell alienware m15 laptop. I7 intel core I turned it on once... and it booted extremely slow!!!! Than it would not open any apps... or reall do anything besides move the cursor around...

I would do a complete operating system reinstall.
The M15x uses a program called Dell Datasafe Local Backup for factory restores. You can access this program from launching the application from within Windows (it is on the Start Menu), or by using the F8 Windows Boot Options menu. Press F8 after the iniital POST screen (Alien Face), but before you see the Windows logo on the screen. There should be an option to repair Windows, which will launch you into a recovery mode that allows you to restore the system. This option is available even if you have uninstalled the Dell DataSafe Local Backup app from Windows (I did, as its constant polling causes stutterin in Blu-Ray playback). Good luck!

Mar 19, 2011 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer

It turns on but then it says "A disk read error occurred press ctrl+alt+del to restart". how do i fix it?

Try to get in to the BIOS and ck the settings. Make sure the hard drive is all the way in it's bay. reboot and press Esc. or Del as it is booting, to try and access the bios. This is where all of the computer main settings are found, make sure your hard drive shows up here or it may be bad- Sorry.

Jul 11, 2009 | Averatec 3200 Notebook

1 Answer

Read error disk message at start up.

have you got any oter harddsik to try out ?_

Jun 09, 2009 | IBM ThinkPad T30 2366 Notebook

1 Answer

A disk read error occurred

when upower up thecomputer enter in bios setup press del or F2 or F1 to neter in bios setup when u power up.
thenr eset bios defaults settings.
then check your hardiskk is deteted or not.
if sata is enabled then disable then press F10 to save settings.

Jan 07, 2009 | Sony VAIO VGN-FS640W Notebook

1 Answer

Toshiba Satellite 1400

To Access the Bios Setup Utility Here Is A List Of Key Commands And The Make/Model They Are For..

Acer - Aspire, Power, Veriton, Extensa, Ferrari, TravelMate, Altos
  • Press Del or F2 immediately after powering on.
  • The BIOS on the Acer Altos 600 server uses the Ctrl+Alt+Esc key and the F1 key for advanced options.
  • Older Acer computers may use also use the F1 or Ctrl+Alt+Esc keys to access BIOS.
Compaq - Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable
  • Press F10 while the cursor in the top right corner of the screen is blinking.
  • Older Compaq computers may use the F1, F2, F10, or Del key to give access to BIOS.
Dell - XPS, Dimension, Inspiron, Latitude. OptiPlex, Precision, Vostro
  • Press F2 when the Dell logo appears. Press every few seconds until the message Entering Setup appears.
  • Older Dell desktops and laptops may instead use Ctrl+Alt+Enter or Del to enter BIOS.
  • Older Dell laptops may use Fn+Esc or Fn+F1.
eMachines - eMonster, eTower, eOne, S-Series, T-Series
  • Press Tab or Del while the eMachine logo displays on screen.
  • Other eMachine computers may use F2 to enter BIOS.
Fujitsu - LifeBook, Esprimo, Amilo, Tablet, DeskPower
  • Press F2 once the Fujitsu logo appears.
Gateway - DX, FX, One, GM, GT, GX, Profile, Astro
  • Press the F1 key repeatedly after restarting the computer.
  • Some older Gateway computers use F2 to access the BIOS Setup utility.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) - Pavilion, TouchSmart, Vectra, OmniBook, Tablet
  • Press the F1 key after restarting the computer.
  • HP Tablet PCs may use F10 or F12.
  • Other HP computers may allow access to BIOS using the F2 or Esc keys.
  • Press F1 immediately after powering on the computer.
  • Older IBM computers (including some laptops) may utilize the F2 key for BIOS entry.
Lenovo (formerly IBM) - ThinkPad, IdeaPad, 3000 Series, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation
  • Press F1 or F2 after powering on the computer.
  • Older Lenovo products allow access to BIOS using Ctrl+Alt+F3, Ctrl+Alt+Ins, or Fn+F1.
Micron (MPC Computers) - ClientPro, TransPort
  • Press F1, F2 or Del immediately after powering on the PC.
NEC - PowerMate, Versa, W-Series
  • Press F2 to enter the BIOS Setup.
Packard Bell - 8900 Series, 9000 Series, Pulsar, Platinum, EasyNote, imedia, iextreme
  • Press F1, F2, or Del to enter BIOS.
Sharp - Notebook Laptops, Actius UltraLite
  • Press F2 after the computer starts.
  • Some very old Sharp PCs require a Setup Diagnostics Disk to access BIOS.
Shuttle - Glamor G-Series, D'vo, Prima P2-Series, Workstation, X Mini XPC, Surveillance
  • Press F2 or Del on startup.
Sony - VAIO, PCG-Series, VGN-Series
  • Press F1, F2 or F3 after turning on the computer.
Toshiba - Portégé, Satellite, Tecra
  • Press F1 or Esc after powering on to access BIOS.
The following companies are either closed for business or no longer manufacture or support mainstream computers systems so verifying the following BIOS access information is nearly impossible. I have included what I could dig up for anyone who might be interested:
ARI / ALR / AST (Advantage) - Press the Ctrl+Alt+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Del keys.
Cybermax - Press the Esc key.
Tandon - Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys.

Good Luck and Hope it helps...

Jun 12, 2008 | Toshiba Satellite A35-S159 Notebook

1 Answer

Problem with a disk read error

There are a couple of possibilities.

1. The hard drive is defective.

2. The operating system is corrupt.

The easiest way to test this is to run the restore cd that came with the computer to reload Windows.

If you get this error while running the restore cd then you will need to get a new hard drive.

Jan 03, 2008 | Computers & Internet

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