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Repair 0x0000007b Stop Error.

0x0000007b error when repairing an XP computer.
How to move a hard drive or change a motherboard without reloading Windows XP "Part Three".

   Okay, so you had to move your hard drive to a new system or you changed your motherboard due to system failure or an upgrade. Here is the reason your getting the 0x0000007b error message. Unlike previous versions of  Windows, when the Windows XP operating system boots up it looks for new devices AFTER it loads the drivers for the hard drive controller. The 0x0000007b error message you are getting is from Windows not being able to find a controller that is similar enough to the previous controller to start up from. It sees it as not having a controller or not seeing a hard drive and it goes into a 0x0000007b stop error to protect itself from corruption.
   In previous articles I have mentioned different ways to try to get around these problems and avoid getting the 0x0000007b error but I wanted to figure out a way that was fairly reliable to repair your system from the 0x0000007b error if you got it and cant work around it. It seems that once you have seen this error on your monitor that there was little you can do to correct it short of saving your important information and reloading Windows from scratch.
   I found that you may be able to change some settings in the registry with a basic Bart's PE disk with a registry editor and adding the correct keys in the right places to let windows know that it can start to a generic controller (MS article 314082) but unless you do it just right it will still come up with the error. Basically the process is very difficult and "way" to complicated. There is an alternative that I have used with good success.

   The easiest way to recover from the 0x0000007b error is a little time consuming but way more reliable than the manual way I found. Its a feature that is built into the newer versions of the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (Located Here). You will need to have an original Windows XP disk like from a Dell, OEM or Retail Disk and a valid XP Certificate of authenticity to make the boot disk. This disk has a lot of other features and utilities on it that I will probably cover later. After you have made the disk successfully here are the steps you will need to follow.

   Make sure your computer boots to the CD rom first. If you don't know how I covered this in the first part of an article "HERE".

      Put your new boot disk in your computer and start the computer.

      When the computer gets to the prompt for a password type in "secret" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

I couldn't find this and had to ask at the Ultimate Boot CD forum and they made me look like I was an idiot for not knowing the password.

      You should get a boot menu.

      Choose to start the Bart's PE.

      After you get to the Bart's desktop click the start menu button.

      Move your cursor to Registry Tools

Find a program called Fix IDE and click on it.

      Follow the prompts.

      When it finishes click on the Start menu button again and click Shut Down.

      Use the drop down menu and pick Restart and eject disk.

      If all goes well the disk should eject and the computer will restart allowing Windows to come up like its supposed to.

      If it still comes up with the 0x0000007b error, you can try the other program called Fix HDC.

   It would appear that both of these programs are designed to do the same thing that the MS article explains, but you can do it with a few mouse clicks instead of trying to do it the hard way editing the registry yourself.

   If these fail you can always try the MS article but if the above doesn't work, your probably doomed to reinstall Windows from scratch. Two options to this are:

      1. Install Windows on another drive and then slave the old drive and copy your important files over.

      2. As a last resort you can also try reinstalling Windows to the same drive making sure that you designate Windows be installed to another folder than Windows. I have done this before and if I remember, Windows wanted to install itself to windows.001 and once it was reinstalled I was able to go to the files that I needed and move them over to the new My Documents folder. Keep in mind this is not the cleanest way of making Windows work again and getting your files back but it does work. Please also remember that if your files were encrypted you will have a hard time getting them without special software.

Hope this helps...




Here are a few comments from people who were helped.
   It worked! I've spent almost two days trying to get into my pc! I posted my issue on forums and tried MS KB to no avail. Thank you so much!      "Brad"
   Man I hate having to fix my windows PC's and your synopsis of how to replace config directories through recovery console really did the trick.  Thanks for making the internet a useful place.        "John"
   Your restore instructions got me out of a sticky wicket. Thank you!         "J"

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