Windows 2000 Stop Messages

This Stop message, also known as Stop 0x7B, indicates that Windows 2000 lost access to the system partition during the startup process. This error always occurs while the system is starting and cannot be debugged because it generally occurs before the operating system has loaded the debugger.

Interpreting the Message

The four parameters listed in the message are defined in order of appearance as follows:

  1. Address of a Unicode string data structure representing the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) specification name of the device from which the startup was being attempted.

  2. Pointer to ARC name string in memory.

  3. 0 (zero).

  4. 0 (zero).

The first parameter typically contains two separate pieces of data. For example, if the parameter is 0x00800020, 0x0020 is the actual length of the Unicode string and 0x0080 is the maximum name string length. The next parameter contains the address of the buffer. This address is in system space, so the high-order bit is set.

If the file system that is supposed to read the boot device failed to initialize or simply did not recognize the data on the boot device as a file system structure, the following parameter definition applies:

  1. Address of the device object that could not be mounted.

  2. 0 (zero).

  3. 0 (zero).

  4. 0 (zero).

The value of the first argument determines whether the argument is a pointer to an ARC name string (ARC names are a generic method of identifying devices within the ARC environment) or a device object, because a Unicode string never has an odd number of bytes, and a device object always has a Type code of 0003.

Resolving the Problem

Failed boot device. During I/O system initialization, the boot device driver might have failed to initialize the boot device (typically a hard disk). File system initialization might have failed because it did not recognize the data on the boot device.

Also, repartitioning the system partition or installing a new SCSI adapter or disk controller might induce this error. If this happens, the Boot.ini file must be edited. For additional information about the Boot.ini file, see Additional Resources at the end of this chapter.

Incompatible disk hardware. If the error occurred at the initial setup of the system, the system might have been installed on an unsupported disk or SCSI controller. Some controllers are supported only by drivers that are in the Windows Driver Library (WDL), which requires the user to use a custom driver during installation. If upgrading the computer to Windows 2000, you might see a prompt to press F6 to use a custom driver. If doing a clean installation of Windows 2000, press F6 when the message Setup is inspecting your computers hardware configuration is displayed. You will be prompted later for the new driver. If Setup autodetected the controller, you might need to skip detection and use a specific manufacturers diskette to load the driver. Also, check the availability of updates for the system BIOS and SCSI controller firmware. Updates of this kind are typically available on the Web site or BBS of the hardware manufacturer.

Remove any recently added hardware, especially hard disks or controllers, to see if the error is resolved. If the offending piece of hardware was a hard disk, the disk firmware version might be incompatible with Windows 2000. Contact the manufacturer for updates. If the removal of another piece of hardware resolved the error, IRQ or I/O port conflicts likely exist. Reconfigure the new device according to the manufacturers instructions.

Confirm that all hard disks, hard disk controllers, and SCSI adapters are listed on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). For more information about the HCL, see Additional Resources at the end of this chapter.

If a driver was recently added, restart your computer, and press F8 at the character-mode screen that displays the prompt For troubleshooting and advanced startup options for Windows 2000, press F8. On the resulting Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu, choose the Last Known Good Configuration option. This option is most effective when only one driver or service is added at a time.

In addition, check your computer for viruses using any up-to-date, commercial virus scanning software that examines the Master Boot Record of the hard disk. All Windows 2000 file systems can be infected by viruses.

This error can also be a result of hard disk corruption. Run Chkdsk /f /r on the system partition. You must restart the system before the disk scan begins. If you cannot start the system due to the error, use the Recovery Console and run Chkdsk /r . For more information about the Recovery Console, see Troubleshooting Tools and Strategies in this book.



If your system partition is formatted with the FAT16 file system, the long file names used by Windows 2000 can be damaged if Scandisk or another MS-DOS-based hard disk tool is used to verify the integrity of your hard disk from an MS-DOS prompt. (An MS-DOS prompt is typically derived from an MS-DOS startup disk or from starting MS-DOS on a multiboot system.) Always use the Windows 2000 version of Chkdsk on Windows 2000 disks.

If your system has SCSI adapters, contact the adapter manufacturer to obtain updated Windows 2000 drivers. Try disabling sync negotiation in the SCSI BIOS, checking the cabling and the SCSI IDs of each device, and confirming proper termination. For EIDE devices, define the onboard EIDE port as Primary only. Also check each EIDE device for the proper master/slave/stand-alone setting. Try removing all EIDE devices except for hard disks.

For more troubleshooting information about the 0x7B Stop message, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base link, using the keywords winnt and 0x0000007B . For information about this resource, see Additional Resources at the end of this chapter.