|Disk read error messages don't normally appear for a laptop unless the hard drive is in the process of failing. |
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
"my laptop has all my uni work on "
We hear similar frequently on this web site.
If you have personal data you do not want to lose, you should have at least two places that are not the same physical location you have stored the data on.
If the hard drive IS failing, you need to get another hard drive.
If the original hard drive still works well enough that at least some of it's data can be accessed, you can boot the computer from a disk that has an operating system installed on it that can read all the data on the drive, then copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere. E.g. a Linux disk, or the Ultimate Boot CD, made on another computer. You don't need to be concerned about the data for any program itself that you installed yourself that you can easily install again.
If you didn't get any Recovery disks with the laptop when it was new that you can use to re-install the original Sony software installation, you can probably buy those from the Sony web site for your specific model.