Disk Read Error Has Occured Windows 7 - Extremely Slow


Dec 10, 2014
My computer won't boot up. I'm on a Windows 7 desktop. The computer is 6 or 7 years old.

My computer was very slow last night, this happens sometimes. With a shut down or restart or closing Mozilla it's usually back to normal. Today when I started it back up it was INSANELY slow. I'm talking like it took 10-15 minutes for 1 program to only minimize itself. It took over 10 mins for ctl alt delete panel to pop up. The mouse was not laggy. After struggling to close things (took too long), I was going to Start > Restart. But the panel would never pop up. After the 2 hours of trying I just decided to force restart from the front button.

Then I got a "A disk read error occurred" and stuck on the black screen. Then I had to force restart again, and quickly saw "smart capable but disabled" line before it switched to the disk drive error screen again. I researched, tried to make sure my cords were plugged in well. Unplugged every item other than mouse, keyboard and monitor. And I read to do a repair from the windows disk. It actually did allow me to run the disk, I got through part of it, enough where I could click "Repair my computer" and then it went to a blank blue windows style screen and has been sitting on that for 20 minutes. Mouse and keyboard are responsive. I'm afraid to keep shutting my computer down. My files are very extremely important and I can't lose them. What do I do now?

Update: The repair scan finally popped up after 25+ mins of a blank blue windows screen. So the computer is still going EXTREMELY slow like it was earlier. It's currently "searching windows for installations" and I assume it will take a very long time so I'll keep an eye on it. Is this a motherboard or hard drive issue? At this point I don't even care if the computer is trashed as long as I can get to my files. How can I protect and access them before it's too late?

(Assume I'm not very computer savvy as far as instructions on how to fix it. I'm not really sure how to go into bios, and I have no idea how to take the hard drive out and access my files on a different computer.)

Following this guide (https://www.tomshardware.com/news/win7-windows-7-mbr,10036.html) I finally got to the System Recovery Options screen. At step 5 it says to open the command prompt. I was going to do that step, and apparently half the keys I need to type the command don't work on this keyboard. I had to use a different than my normal one because the USB keyboard doesn't "turn on" until it's basically at my desktop screen. As of right now I'm doing the Startup Repair scan. Waiting for results.