XP won't boot BSOD Stop 0X00000078

October 11, 2011 at 18:23:34
Specs: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, quad-core/ 3 GB
My Win XP computer just showed a quickly-flashing blue screen, then would not start; neither would it start in safe mode, nor in last known good.

I got an error code for this. It is:
Stop: 0X00000078 (0XF78A6524, 0XC00000034, 0X00000000, 0x00000000)

Just before it crashed, a large number of error boxes appeared on the screen, and I saw something about "hard drive," but it all happened too quickly to read.

Using the WinXP installation disk, I can get into the recovery console, but it only gives me a dos prompt, and I don't know what to do there. I tried copying some files, but when I attempted to change directories, it said, "access denied."

I have disabled automatic restart on system failure.

Any ideas?

Robert


See More: XP wont boot BSOD Stop 0X00000078

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#1
October 11, 2011 at 18:55:49
If you search the web with: STOP: 0X00000078
you'll find it can be caused by many different things.

e.g.

Advanced troubleshooting for "Stop 0x0000007B" errors in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324103

Although - Boot-Sector Viruses
- extremely unlikely in your case - you would probably get the error every time you attempted to load Windows in that case, no matter which loading choice you chose, or even before that. .


The stuff in the brackets to the right of that is usually specific to your own computer and useless regarding searching with it.

What did you do just before you first got this error ?

Did you change drive conmnections or change drive controller settings ?

Did you install ram, or were you fiddling with the ram ?

"Just before it crashed, a large number of error boxes appeared on the screen, and I saw something about "hard drive"......"

It would be more helpful if you could recall more about that .

The error text that goes along with STOP: 0X00000078
is INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

Usually the fact that it's inaccessible is caused by some device driver problem or some software problem, but it can be caused by data being corrupted on the hard drive , because the hard drive is failing. .

Found on the web

Did you just install or make a change to a hard drive controller? If so, there's a good chance that the change you made caused the STOP 0x0000007B error.

Undo the change and test for the 0x7B blue screen error.
....

If it's an IDE hard drive...

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.

If it's a SATA hard drive...

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
....

(There must be nothing wrong with your data cable connection and you must be experiencing no ram errors at all when you test the hard drive.)

Test your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics.

E.g.
Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

Do the long test.

The Dos bootable versions of SeaTools can test the hard drive when Windows will not load properly, or even when the drive has no data on it.

It the drive itself passes the test, any data problems on the drive can be fixed one way or another.
..........

"Using the WinXP installation disk, I can get into the recovery console, but it only gives me a dos prompt, and I don't know what to do there."

Try
CHKDSK /R C: (press Enter)
That checks for more errors thn CHKDSK /F does which you can't run in the Recovery Console, and also checks the entire partition Windows was installed on including where there is no data, but it tales longer to run than CHKDSK /F does.

CHKDSK will display a summary when it's finished, and sometimes while it's running. It will tell you if problems were found.

When it's finished....

Type: exit (press Enter) to close the Recovery Console and Restart the computer.
DO NOT boot the computer from the Windows CD - see if Windows will then load when you boot normally.
.
However, it's a very good idea to check your hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics as a first step.
If your hard drive is failing it can take a very, very, very long time for CHKDSK /R to finish

"I tried copying some files, but when I attempted to change directories, it said, "access denied.""

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console for advanced users
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

The Recovery Console has a lot of restrictions.
You can access any part of the Windows (%SystemRoot%) folder or it's subfolders, but you cannot access most of the other folders on the hard drive (access denied).

You CAN copy files from a CD or DVD, and you can access the CD or DVD's contents.

However, the drive letter for the optical (CD or DVD) drive(s) is(are) often different than they are in Windows.
Type the drive letter you think it is followed by a colon, then type dir to see what's on the root folder.
E.g.
type E: (press Enter), then type dir (press Enter)
If the CD is the XP CD, you'll see only a few files listed and the \i386 folder and possibly other folders listed depending on which version of XP CD you're using.
(It's actually \I386.- I changed capital I to lower case i to show it's a capital I rather than a lower case L)

Other commands work differently in the Recovery Console than they do in Windows itself.

E.g.

As well as CHKDSK having no /F switch in the Recovery Console...

When you search for files using the dir command and the name of a file, or part of the name of a file, it DOES NOT search subfolders of the folder as well.

If a file is on a Windows CD and has an underline for the last character in the file extension, it's compressed, and you must extract it. Copying a compressed Windows file doesn't automatically expand it and rename the file extension to what it should be like it does in XP itself.

The cd (change directory) command works differently.



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#2
October 12, 2011 at 13:20:59
Thanks for answering. However, my apologies: I misquoted the error number. The 78 should have been 7B, i.e., STOP: 0X0000007B.

Before the error, I did not do anything new, no settings changes, no new hardware, no new software installed. I had Vipre antivirus running in the background, as usual.

When the error happened, one error box after another came up very quickly. There must have been 10 or more. All I noticed were the words, "hard drive," and then it crashed.


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#3
October 12, 2011 at 14:53:22
"Thanks for answering. However, my apologies: I misquoted the error number. The 78 should have been 7B, i.e., STOP: 0X0000007B."

I made a mistake too -
I un-intentionally searched for:STOP: 0X0000007B, so my info about the stop error is correct in response 1, except for the initial STOP: 0X00000078

"Before the error, I did not do anything new, no settings changes, no new hardware, no new software installed. I had Vipre antivirus running in the background, as usual."

Okay, good to know.
Vipre ? I've never heard of that one.

"When the error happened, one error box after another came up very quickly. There must have been 10 or more. All I noticed were the words, "hard drive," and then it crashed."

That's still not enough info.

Did you do all the things I suggested in response 1 ?

Did you try running CHKDSK /R C: in the Recovery Console yet ?

(If you hadn't noticed, response 1 is longer than the space it takes up visually - it has scroll bars.)
.....

Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.

The specific model of a brand name system is often shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.

If it's a Dell computer...
Go here for how to find the Service tag "number":
http://support.dell.com/support/top...

Tell us what it is.

If it's a HP or Compaq computer.....
Go here:
http://partsurfer.hp.com/search.aspx
Scroll down a bit.
Look for the similar label on the outside of your computer.
Quote the specific model number - that's at the end of the first line.
Quote the Product number - that's on the third line.

The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.



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#4
October 13, 2011 at 19:46:25
Hello,

Ok. My motherboard is: Asus P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi-AP @n Edition, running Windows XP SP3, 3 GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 .

Windows is on my 160 GB C: hard drive. There is also a 320 GB D: hard drive that I use for backup. This custom computer was made by CoolTech PC. It runs very quiet and cool, and hasn't had any problem at all since it was built in 2008.

I ran CHKDSK /R C:, and CHKDSK said that it found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.

It then said that I have 1.56 GB total disk space, which is correct, and that I have 1.34 GB available. I hope that this latter value is supposed to mean, "total space, not counting Windows," and not "total space available right now." If the latter, then my drive is mostly empty, and all of my data and programs are gone.

I then said, "exit," and XP tried to boot, but it was the same as before --- stuck in a loop: it would get as far as the XP logo, a blue screen would briefly flash, and then it would reboot again.

Before the crash, I didn't do anything new at all --- no programs installed, no hardware changes, no externals added or removed for at least a month or two; just browsing, with Opera browser, at the time. Vipre antivirus was running at the time, as usual. The PC never got moved or jostled, just sitting in a room, well protected.

My hard drives are Western Digital quiet drives. Western Digital has a diagnostic utility on their site, but it requires a floppy disk, and I do not have a floppy drive on my second computer for making the disk.

I looked at the SeaGate tools, but I cannot use the DOS utility right now, because I have no floppy on my second computer, although there is one on my inaccessible computer. I will have to go out and buy some CD-ROMS in the next few days, and then I can burn the tools into one of those.

Meanwhile, is there a way to do the following?

1. Get my backed-up data off of drive D? Then I could simply try to reinstall XP, or Win8, on the C drive.

2. Simply read what's on the D drive?

3. If it is likely the C drive, I could replace the drive with a new one and install Windows.

What do you advise?

Thanks.

Robert


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#5
October 14, 2011 at 13:42:40
"Windows is on my 160 GB C: hard drive. There is also a 320 GB D: hard drive that I use for backup."

All drive letter assignments in Windows, or in any operating system, are for logical drives, but usually the term logical is omitted.
Going by the other things you mentioned you probably have two physical hard drives,and both of them have only one hard drive partition on them. If a physical hard drive has more than one partition, then you can't treat the drive letters the same way as when there is only one partition - you can have more than one drive letter assigned to partitions on the same physical hard drive.

The drive letter assignments aren't "written in stone".

XP usually sees the partition Windows itself was installed on as C, but NOT always.

Which drive letters are assigned by default depends on which drive letters are available when you attach or plug in the device data can be stored on.

Any available drive letter can be assigned in Disk Management to
- a hard drive partition Windows was NOT loaded from
- a flash drive or memory card
- an optical (CD or DVD) drive.
.....

"I ran CHKDSK /R C:, and CHKDSK said that it found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.

It then said that I have 1.56 GB total disk space, which is correct, and that I have 1.34 GB available. I hope that this latter value is supposed to mean, "total space, not counting Windows," and not "total space available right now." If the latter, then my drive is mostly empty, and all of my data and programs are gone."

OK - CHKDSK /R C: fixed something.

Did you make a couple of typos or did it actually say 1.56 and 1.34 ?
It work make more sense if it actually stated 156 gb and 134 gb.
If it DID say 1.56 and 1.34, then it's probably a "cosmetic" display error - it's incorrect but there's actually 156 gb and 134 gb and nothing's wrong. .
(windows 98SE's Format has a similar "cosmetic" display error. )

You may be under the mistaken impression that you had a lot more data on that partition.
I have XP MCE 2005 installed, which takes up more space than XP Pro 32 bit, and with all available Security and Critical Windows updates, Windows SP3 updates installed, the huge Office 2007 suite and all available updates for that, and many other programs installed, and the size of the partition Windows was installed on is 18.5 gb

You have ~ 24 gb of data on that partition - more than I have - your program installations are probably fine.

"I then said, "exit," and XP tried to boot, but it was the same as before --- stuck in a loop: it would get as far as the XP logo, a blue screen would briefly flash, and then it would reboot again."

Windows is set by default to automatically Restart when it encounters a fatal error - an error it can't recover from. You may see a quick flash of a blue screen but it doesn't stay on the screen for long enough for you to read it.

Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears, choose
Disable automatic.....

That attempts to load Windows normally - when Windows encounters the fatal error situation that causes a blue screen error screen to appear, the blue screen will stay on the screen.

NOTE - You said earlier
"I have disabled automatic restart on system failure.'

It's a one time thing - you have to choose it after pressing F8, every time you boot. .
There is also a setting in Windows you can change to disable it all the time, but Windows has to be working properly in at least one mode you load.

When you see the blue screen message...
Quote the STOP: 0Xx00000xx error code (we usually don't need the stuff in bracket to the right of that)
If there is a problem file named in the text, it's usually near the end of the text - quote that if you see that.
If you see a message indicating that it made a mini dump file (dumping ...) that mini dump file can be analyzed.
........

You could also try choosing other things from the boot choices menu when you press F8 while booting
- Safe mode
or Safe mode with networking
or Enable VGA mode
MAY work without the computer Restarting
- Last known good - usually doesn't work


If you see a blue screen that DOES NOT have a STOP error code, then you need to do something different.
....

"Before the crash, I didn't do anything new at all --- no programs installed, no hardware changes, no externals added or removed for at least a month or two; just browsing, with Opera browser, at the time. Vipre antivirus was running at the time, as usual. The PC never got moved or jostled, just sitting in a room, well protected."

OK - good to be informed about.
Sometimes programs that automatically update themselves have bugs in something they installed, or Automatic Update loads an update that has a bug, that cause a blue screen error, or it could be something else caused it, possibly only after the computer was Restarted.

"My hard drives are Western Digital quiet drives. Western Digital has a diagnostic utility on their site, but it requires a floppy disk, and I do not have a floppy drive on my second computer for making the disk.

I looked at the SeaGate tools, but I cannot use the DOS utility right now, because I have no floppy on my second computer, although there is one on my inaccessible computer. I will have to go out and buy some CD-ROMS in the next few days, and then I can burn the tools into one of those."

Hard drive manufacturers already KNOW many people do not have a floppy drive.
In most if not all cases, they also have at least one file you can download to make yourself a bootable CD with the diagnostics on it.
If you had READ the SeaTtools info at the link I pointed you to....

Seagate's SeaTools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

.....you would have seen that. Western Digital probably has similar on their web site.
.....

"Meanwhile, is there a way to do the following?

1. Get my backed-up data off of drive D? Then I could simply try to reinstall XP, or Win8, on the C drive."

Do you mean .....XP, or Win 7..... ?

"....My motherboard is: Asus P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi-AP @n Edition..."

That sounds like you have a generic desktop system, not a pre-installed software installation of a brand name system. Is that correct ?

"...D: hard drive that I use for backup."

You did not explain that - did you use a program to back up everything that's on the C partition, or is it just data you have copied there to have a second copy ?
If you used a program, which program did you use ?

Reinstalling XP or any Windows or any operating system version from scratch is a last resort.
That ONLY makes sense if the hard drive the operating system is installed on is failing.
Otherwise, people don't realize how much work it is to get Windows back to the way it was, especially if you want to install a lot of programs yourself, and/or have all the personal data, that you had before. It can take many days to do that !

There are lots of things you can try before having to do that. E.g. you can do a Repair Installation procedure to repair Windows without you losing your personal data that's already on the partition, if trying lesser things doesn't help.

"2. Simply read what's on the D drive?"

You can....

- boot the computer from the Windows CD, load the Recovery Console, type D: (press Enter), type: Dir (press enter) to see contents. However dir in the Recovery Console works differently than it does in Windows itself - it does not list the stuff in sub-directories (sub-folders) - you have to use the CD command to change to the directories listed, then type dir, so it's rather clumsy to use.

- make yourself a bootable CD that has an operating system on it that can read the contents of the hard drives - e.g. a Linux CD - boot the computer from it, then you can see what's on the second hard drive fine.

- remove the second hard drive (that you have seen as having the D drive letter for it's single partition) and connect it internally to another desktop computer that has another hard drive with a working operating system on it - the drive letter of your hard drive won't necessarily be D, but you can examine the contents of the drive.

- remove the second hard drive and install it in an inexpensive external drive enclosure, or use an inexpensive SATA to USB adapter device, and connect the external drive or adapter to a USB port that can supply the full 500ma on any computer, and examine the contents of your drive - the drive letter of your hard drive won't necessarily be D.

"3. If it is likely the C drive, I could replace the drive with a new one and install Windows."

Test the hard drive with hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics ! - SeaTools or whatever - make yourself a bootable diagnostics CD - if the drive passes, e.g. the long seatools test, there's nothing wrong with it.

If if doesn't pass, e.g. the long seatools test, then yes, you need another hard drive.
However, there are steps you can take to probably copy most if not all of your personal data from the defective hard drive to elsewhere.

If a small amount of errors are found by the diagnostics, you can try to repair the drive by zerofilling it, but in that case the diagnostics should be from the same brand as the drive, and zerofilling the drive wipes all data off of it - you would need to copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere, BEFORE you do that.

If a large amount of errors are found, similarly, if you want to make a warranty claim for the drive, the diagnostics MUST be from the same brand as the drive, and you may need a code the tests generate in order to be able to qualify for the manufacturer's RMA requirements - go to the web site of the hard drive brand and look up the RMA (Return of Merchandise Authorization) procedure and the shipping package requirements.


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#6
October 14, 2011 at 14:06:48
NOTE that if you're getting the STOP:..... 7B error code again, another possdiblity is you have the bios Setop set to have the SATA drive controllers in SATA or AHCI mode, but the SATA controller drivers have not been installed in the operating system (or they have been installed but they're corrupted).

See this - especially the link in response 3:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

Just change the setting in the bios so the SATA controllers are in an IDE compatible mode, if that's what the problem is Windows should load fine, load the SATA controller drivers for your mboard model, then you can change the setting in the bios back to SATA or AHCI mode.

( If they have been installed but they're corrupted (look in Device Manager for a yellow ! indicating that ??), un-install them in Add or Remove Progams, install them again, while the bios has the SATA controllers in IDE mode.).

Update ....

"Asus P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi-AP @n Edition"

P5Q3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP @n (home support page)

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/In...

They DO have the SATA controller drivers listed in the downloads.

The much smalller floppy download one is for proividing SATA controller drivers at the beginning of Setup after pressing F6 - for the 2000 and XP CDs, you cannot load them from anything except a floppy disk, and the floppy disk usually MUST be in a conventional floppy drive , unless the USB floppy drive is an OLD model that was available when XP was first released, circa 2001 (the initial files loaded from the CD recognize only USB floppy drive models that have an ID string in a short list of Plug-n-Play ID strings).
If you have no floppy drive , if your mboard has a floppy drive data header, you CAN load them then - when you don't have a floppy drive, borrow one and a data cable, or buy them ( they're cheap) and connect them.

Another benefit of having a floppy drive available, even if your case has no external bay for one, is there are many programs that have a version that runs from a floppy disk - it's less fuss making the floppy version than having to make a bootable CD.


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#7
October 14, 2011 at 23:06:35
I ran the Seagate diagnostics CD, and my C: drive passed. So the C: drive is ok.

Any quick way to actually view the C: and D: hard drives and actually copy some of the information on them to a USB stick?

Or any next step for restoring Windows?


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#8
October 15, 2011 at 08:00:10
Please - answer ALL of my questions !

"I ran the Seagate diagnostics CD, and my C: drive passed. So the C: drive is ok."

Good - with that confirmed, your problem can probably be fixed.
Did you test the other hard drive too ?

"Any quick way to actually view the C: and D: hard drives and actually copy some of the information on them to a USB stick?"

See my answers near the end of response 5 to:
"2. Simply read what's on the D drive?"

There are other ways but they're more complicated.

E.g. you can follow a procedure to make a flash drive bootable and install an operating system on it, e.g. Linux, and boot the computer with that - you may need to change the bios Setup Boot Order or similar settings so it can boot the computer from a USB connected drive.
By the way, you can't boot the computer from a removable drive if it has a regular (standard) 2000 or up operating system installation on it.
......

"Or any next step for restoring Windows?

Answer these questions I asked in this in response 5:

""Meanwhile, is there a way to do the following?

1. Get my backed-up data off of drive D? Then I could simply try to reinstall XP, or Win8, on the C drive.""

"Do you mean .....XP, or Win 7..... ?

"....My motherboard is: Asus P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi-AP @n Edition..."

That sounds like you have a generic desktop system, not a pre-installed software installation of a brand name system. Is that correct ?

"...D: hard drive that I use for backup."

You did not explain that - did you use a program to back up everything that's on the C partition, or is it just data you have copied there to have a second copy ?
If you used a program, which program did you use ? "
.....

If you selected Disable automatic restart... after pressing F8 while booting, you should have gotten a blue screen.

Are you still getting the STOP:......7B code ?

If yes, have you tried setting the bios Setup so the SATA controllers are in an IDE compatible mode ?
(See response 6)

That may or may not result in Windows loading normally without Restarting / the STOP error.

If no, you get a blue screen but it's a different STOP error , what is it ?
Is there any problem file named ?

Also, Windows MAY now load fine if you choose Safe mode or Safe mode with networking or Enable VGA mode after pressing F8 while booting.

Have you tried any of those ?


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#9
October 15, 2011 at 19:23:05
So far, things are still the same. I went into the Bios, where SATA was configured to IDE. I changed the setting to SATA configured to RAID, but the problem was still there. Should I try AHCI?

With it set to RAID, I also tried Safe mode, VGA mode, etc., but these did the same.

The error code is still 0x0000007B.

By the way --- in an earlier post, I said that CHKDSK quoted 1.56 GB and 1.34 GB --- yes, I did make a mistake. That should have been 156 GB and 134 GB.

To backup from my C: drive to my D: drive: I use the Second Copy program. It always works fine.

Robert


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#10
October 16, 2011 at 08:31:54
"...SATA was configured to IDE....."
"I changed the setting to SATA configured to RAID"

In order to use that setting you must have a RAID array. In most if not all cases, a (SATA) RAID array must have at least two hard drives connected to the same SATA controller that supports RAID, and the RAID array MUST be set up BEFORE you install the operating system.

(Similarly, if an IDE drive controller supports RAID, in most if not all cases, an IDE RAID array must have at least two hard drives connected to the same IDE controller that supports RAID, and the RAID array MUST be set up BEFORE you install the operating system.)

NOTE that if you have a drive controller that supports RAID use, usually you MUST install the drivers for the RAID version of the controller's chip - usally Windows WILL NOT accept the drivers for the non-RAID version of the chip as valid.The drivers for the RAID version of the chip ALSO support non-RAID use. Using the RAID features and a RAID array is optionall, NOT mandatory. If you installed the wrong version of drivers for the drive controller, you will probably see an entry for the drive controller in Device Manager that is flagged with a yellow ! (exclamtion mark) or a red X, or there will be an Unknown device listed for it that has a yellow !.

If you are still getting the STOP:....7B error when the SATA controller mode is set to an IDE compatible mode, the error is probably NOT caused by the SATA controller drivers being missing or corrupted in the operating system.

Windows should always work fine when the SATA controller mode is set to an IDE compatible mode.

If the SATA controller drivers have been loaded in the operating system and if they are not corrupted, the Windows installation should work fine when the SATA controller mode is set to SATA or AHCI if you DO NOT have a RAID array set up.

"With it set to RAID, I also tried Safe mode, VGA mode, etc., but these did the same."

If you don't have a RAID array, then those things are not valid.

Do Safe mode or Safe mode with networking or Enable VGA mode work without you getting the error when the SATA controller mode is set to an IDE compatible mode ?

"By the way --- in an earlier post, I said that CHKDSK quoted 1.56 GB and 1.34 GB --- yes, I did make a mistake. That should have been 156 GB and 134 GB."

OK, good to be informed about.

"To backup from my C: drive to my D: drive: I use the Second Copy program. It always works fine."

Did you back up the entire contents of C then do incremental backups after that (backup only what had changed since the last backup) ?

Go to the web site of the maker of the Second Copy program and find info that tells you what you need to do to use the backup data to restore the contents of C if you can no longer access Windows normally. You must have at least one backup of ALL the data that was on C:
......

If you get the STOP: ...7B error no matter which way you try to load Windows after pressing F8 while booting when the SATA controller mode is set to an IDE compatible mode in the bios, Save settings, then there are several things you could try.

- Boot the computer from the XP CD, load the Recovery Console, type: fixmbr , then type: fixboot. Type; exit to close the Recovery Console and restart the computer. DO NOT press a key to boot the computer from the CD. See if Windows then loads normally.
......................

- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows - that attempts to fix what is wrong and DOES NOT delete the personal data and settings and program installations you have added to the partition Windows was installed on.
Running it can't fix all possible problems, but it often does fix the problems and it takes less than an hour to run, so it's worth trying.

Requirements:

The XP CD you use.....
- MUST have SP1 or later Windows updates included in it in order for it to be able to recognize the full size of hard drives larger than 137 gb manufacturer's size. If it has SP2 or SP3 updates included it has "Includes Service Pack 2 (or 3) " or similar printed on the surface of the CD. If it has SP1 updates, that has not been printed on any of the Microsoft OEM XP CDs I've seen, but the volume label - the label you see for the disk in My Computer or Windows Explorer - for an XP CD with SP1 updates included is different from the volume label for an XP CD that has no SP updates at all included - you can find out whether the CD has SP1 updates or no SP updates by searching the web using the volume label.

If the CD has no SP updates at all....
- you may NOT have the Repair installation choice when you boot from the CD when all other requirements have been met. I'm not 100% sure about that, but the Repair installation choice has NOT shown up when I've used Microsoft OEM XP CDs that have no SP updates at all on them.

- you can follow a procedure to make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD, preferably a CD-R disk for best compatibility, that has the SP3 updates integrated into the contents of your original CD. If your mboard has SATA drive controllers, you can also integrate the SATA controller drivers for your mboard into the contents of the CD while you're at it.
There are plentiful instructions on the web that tell you how to do that with various burning programs and free third party programs. The freeware nLite program can be used to do both of those things.
You use the "slipstreamed" CD instead of your original XP CD to install Windows from scratch, or to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure, along with the proper Product Key for your original XP CD.

- The XP CD must be for the same version of Windows - Home, Pro, or Pro 64 bit - as the Windows installation on the hard drive.
(If you have an XP MCE 200x version, you need the first of TWO OEM CDs for the MCE version, and there are things you need to be informed about that I know from experience with the MCE 2005 set).

- The XP CD must be for the same type of Windows license as the Windows installation on the hard drive - OEM, Retail, or Volume licensed
OEM licensed regular Microsoft XP CDs have "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on them.
Almost all brand name systems come with an OEM licensed version of Windows - a few may have come with a Volume licensed version - NONE came with a Retail licensed version.

More later - I need to do something else for a while.
.....

I'm back...

To add to the last one before this...

If the CD is NOT for the same type of Windows license as on the hard drive, you WILL NOT have the choice shown of running the Repair installation procedure when you boot the computer from the CD.

- you must use a Product Key that is meant for the same type of Windows license as on the hard drive - OEM, Retail, or Volume licensed. If you don't, you CANNOT complete the Repair installation of Windows procedure.

Usually that's the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label that's on the outside of the computer case.

If you have no official Microsoft label, or if you do but you can no longer read the Product Key on it, or in any case....
- if the Windows installation is working, you can use a freeware program to find the Product Key of the Windows installation that was loaded.
- if Windows is NOT working properly but the Windows installation is still there on the hard drive, it there's nothing wrong with the hard drive itself, SOME freeware programs can find the Product Key Windows WAS using, if you connect the hard drive to another computer that is using a Windows version in the same "family", and use a special feature of the program.
E.g. search the web for the freeware program Keyfinder, on the Jellybean whatever site - it can do both things. If you need to find the Product Key for a Windows installation that is NOT able to load, click on the link to Keyfinder FAQs at the bottom of the page where you can download Keyfinder - you need to use the Load Hive feature. .

- the computer must be experiencing NO memory errors (from ram modules installed in the mboard) - even a tiny number of them will cause problems that will probably result in you NOT being able to complete the Repair installation procedure successfully

(You have not mentioned anything so far that indicates that to me, in this case.)

- there must be NO errors reading files from the CD. If you DO have that problem, that may or may not result in you NOT being able to complete the Repair installation procedure successfully. If you DO have that problem, try skipping the installation of that file, but you will probably get other errors like that if you got one., If you keep skipping loading files until you get no more messages about that, if that results in you can complete Setup, then you can run the Repair installation procedure again if you need to.

(You have not mentioned anything so far that indicates that to me, in this case. However, I HAVE seen the situation where the initial files load from the XP CD fine, you are able to press R at the first screen to load the Recovery Console and that works fine, yet when you continue on from that screen rather than pressing R, I DID get errors reading files from the CD.)

- NOTE that if you fail to complete the Repair installation procedure for ANY reason (get all the way through Setup), you will probably NOT have the Repair installation choice when you boot from the CD after that

- NOTE that a brand name labeled XP Re-installation CD or similar that came with a brand name computer model, or that is one of the Recovery disks you bought for a brand name computer model or that you made yourself by running a program the brand name provided that's already on the original brand name software installation, usually CANNOT be used to install Windows from scratch, or to run a Repair installation procedure, on a computer other than the same brand name computer models, or a small group pf computers models made by the same brand at about the same time - the CD will REFUSE to do those things, because certain standard files have been modified on the CD.
....

How to do an XP Repair installation step by step:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win...

If your Windows CD does not have SP1 or SP2 or SP3 updates included, and you updated Windows with SP2,or SP3 updates, you will have to install SP2 or SP3 updates again to get it working properly. SP1 updates or later is required for USB 2.0 and hard drives larger than 137gb (manufacturer's size; 128gb in Windows and most bioses).

You may also need to re-install some of your Windows Updates

- if you have installed IE 7, 8, or 9 in your Windows installation, the CD installs IE 6. You will get error message when you use IE because of a mix or IE 6 and newer IE version files. The cure for that is to un-install the IE version you installed in Add or Remove Programs and install it again.

IE 8 is probably the best version to install at the present time - it's "mature" and most of if not of it's bugs have been fixed, at least they have been if you load all the Windows Updates available for it after it has been installed (most of them are Security fixes).
IE 9 still has lots of bugs, and not all web sites support it. IE 7 never was supported by all web sites. IE 6 is no longer adequate - there are many web sites that can't use it properly.
You should have a newer version of IE installed even if you don't use IE as your internet browser, the files installed include some that are not specifically for the IE browser that all browsers benefit from.
...................

If running the Repair installtion of Windows procedure doesn't cure your problem, then you need to either

- install Windows from scratch.

If you have any personal data on the drive that you do not want to lose, BEFORE you do that, you need to either
- boot the computer from something that has an operating system on it that can read the files on the drive, e.g. a Linux CD,
- or - remove the drive and connect to another computer that has a working operating system that can read the files on the drive

....and copy the files you do not want to lose to elsewhere. You DO NOT need to copy any standard Windows files or the standard files for programs that you can easily install again.
By default, ALL of your personal data is stored in XP in C:\Documents ans Settings\(your user name)\(your user's files and subfolders), uinless you stored them in non-standard locations.

- OR - in your case -

Go to the web site of the maker of the Second Copy program and find info that tells you what you need to do to use the backup data to restore the contents of C if you can no longer access Windows normally.
You must have at least one backup of ALL the data that was on C:



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#11
October 17, 2011 at 00:14:27
Hello,

In your last message, you suggested: "Boot the computer from the XP CD, load the Recovery Console, type: fixmbr , then type: fixboot. Type; exit to close the Recovery Console and restart the computer."

I typed fixmbr, and it said, "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid boot record. Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed."

So I aborted the process, as I did not want to take a chance on this. My original XP installation was done by the custom computer builder, and it includes all the tweaks for running the computer cool and fast. So it might have a custom boot sector, for all I know. I thought I should mention this, and see what you think.

I also removed one RAM stick at a time, to see if the computer might reboot with a possibly faulty Ram stick disconnected. But nothing changed.

Robert


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#12
October 17, 2011 at 07:56:44
"I typed fixmbr, and it said, "This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid boot record. Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed."

So I aborted the process...."

I should have mentioned that you often get that message.
You can ignore it
- if you are NOT using a program that loads what is generically called a drive overlay - software that you use when the mboard's bios can't recognize the full size of your hard drive because of a bios version or main chipset limitation that allows you to use the full size of the drive. In that case, there is always a delay while booting the computer when a line appears that says along the lines of Press ( a key) to boot from a boot floppy or CD, or similar. Those drive overlays were commonly used for OLD mboards (made in ~2000 or earlier) but are rarely used now.
- if you are NOT using a third party multi boot program so you can select more than one operating system while booting.

Running fixboot asks you "Are you sure ?" or similar. You can ignore that.
.........

Bad ram is a myth
Almost always when someone thinks there may be something wrong with the ram there's nothing wrong with it.
It's extremely unlikely for ram modules that worked fine previously in the same mboard .to go bad, but they CAN develop a poor connection in their ram slot, which is easily cured by re-seating the module(s).

It's' rare, but new ram CAN be bad, but in that case it does not work properly when you first install it - it does NOT spontaneously go bad later on.

It IS possible for ram modules that worked fine previously in the same mboard to be damaged by an external event such as by power surges or spikes caused by a power failure event or a lightning strike, or a power supply can damage anything while failing, but in the real world that is extremely rare.

Ram CAN be damaged by the computer user doing something dumb such as NOT removing the AC power to the power supply BEFORE they install or remove ram modules.

You have mentioned absolutely nothing that indicates to me you might have a ram problem.
E.g. If that were the case, it's likely you would NOT have been able to run CHKDSK /R C: successfully in the Recovery Console

Not all ram modules that you might think should work fine are compatible with being used in your mboard. People often try ram they have lying around or that was working fine in a different mboard when they can't figure out why their computer is not working properly. That can introduce a problem they didn't have previously - ram incompatibility - in the worst cases, the mboard may not boot at all and you may hear no error beeps. .
Usually there is absolutely nothing wrong with ram modules that worked fine previously in the same mboard


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#13
October 20, 2011 at 23:19:20
Hello,

Fixmbr fixed it! I tried fixmbr, then fixboot, and it rebooted itself and then came up with a WinXP installation dialogue. I let it run, and it apparently fixed the old installation.

At the end, it said I must wait a bit, but it just hung there for about 40 minutes. So I turned off the switch, turned it back on, and it booted into WinXP. And everything is still there, all of my programs and data.

Before I did this, I took your earlier suggestion and got my data off the drive with a Linux Ubuntu usb drive.

But all is well. Thank you for your help.

Robert


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#14
October 21, 2011 at 08:02:49
We're glad to hear your existing Windows installation is working again.

"....it rebooted itself and then came up with a WinXP installation dialogue. I let it run, and it apparently fixed the old installation."

I'm assuming the XP CD was in a drive and that you ran the Repair installation of Windows procedure.
If that is not what you did, you need to explain the details of what happened / you did.

"At the end, it said I must wait a bit, but it just hung there for about 40 minutes. So I turned off the switch, turned it back on, and it booted into WinXP. "

Setup has had the built in ability to recover from freezes since Win 95 - the newer the Windows version, the better it is at doing that. Sometimes all you need to do is wait until there has been no hard drive activity for a while and turn off the computer one way or another, start up the computer, and it will have recovered from whatever caused the freeze.

"Before I did this, I took your earlier suggestion and got my data off the drive with a Linux Ubuntu usb drive. "

Good. It's always a good idea to do that.


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