Windows 7 Disk Read Error


This has me completely stumped, can anyone help?

My wife has an Acer Aspire 5552 series lap top which has provided many hours of trouble free computing and net browsing until yesterday - at which point, while browsing Facebook, the screen went black and kicked her to a screen displaying the following:

A disk read error occurred

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

She pressed the suggested keys only for the screen to reappear. So she tried again. And again. And again. And, being the persistent type, she continued trying for a while, always with the same result.

When she showed me the problem I set about trying to find a way to fix it and via Google found your site. As is typical with shop bought computers these days, we didn't receive a copy of Windows 7 on disk, nor was a recovery set provided. So, I first of all tried a suggestion from another thread of accessing Acer's D2D recovery system (accessed by pressing Alt+F10 during boot). Initially it seemed this might have solved the problem as a message appeared indicating that Windows was loading files. After the progress bar filled the Starting Windows splash screen appeared. And that was that. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. No further progress aside from the Windows 'flag' glowing and fading.

My wife then spoke with a friend who insisted they had had a similar problem which was fixed by disconnecting the HDD, clearing dust from around the site and refitting the device. Reluctantly I removed the battery and power cable, unscrewed the cover and accessed the area where the HDD is sited. No dust and no loose connection. Rebooting the machine returned the disk read error message once more.

Then I downloaded your Windows 7 64-bit recovery disks and burnt the iso to a cd-rom. Inserting the disc and booting from it was, once again, promising for a few seconds. The first progress bar filled in a matter of seconds, followed by a second one that took a little longer but eventually filled. At this point the Starting Windows progress bar (similar to the one shown below)...

...flashed on the screen and then disappeared. And then nothing.

Is there anything that can be done to get the lap top up and running again? Luckily there's little in the way of important information (photots, documents etc) on there, but ideally I'd like to save the HDD and data if possible.

If, as I fear, the HDD is dead, am I looking at having to pay for a new disc and a copy of Windows 7?

Any help/suggestions will be gratefully received.
If you get to the animated "Starting Windows" screen (W7 - that screenshot is Vista, hope you're not getting that !), then the boot files aren't broken, but the OS has other problems.
First rescue your personal data like this before you try any further remedial action.
Contact Acer for a copy of the recover media if you didn't make your own portable copy and you still can't access factory reset. It'll be cheaper than buying another copy of Windows.
Thanks, Terry. I'll give that a try.

Anything's better than having to fork out for a new laptop. I'll let you know how I get on.