Possible solution for STOP: 0x0000007B (0xba4cb524, 0xc0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000) in WIn XP SP3
I recently encountered this Windows boot error on a Dell Laptop running on Windows XP SP3:
STOP: 0x0000007B (0xba4cb524, 0xc0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)
The solution was to correct a BIOS setting. In BIOS Setup, the SATA hard disk drive controller manager was set to "AHCI" mode which is appropriate for Windows Vista, but not for Windows XP. The Stop error was resolved after setting the SATA setting to ATA mode, (or perhaps Legacy Mode or disable AHCI mode.
Is it possible that your laptop was installed with the BIOS set to Legacy mode, or from a disk image with the legacy IDE driver loaded as the storage controller?
PC manufacturers leave that legacy setting in the BIOS to make their SATA controllers emulate good old IDE controllers. This is very helpful when you want to install an older operating system from a time period when SATA did not exist, and no one writes SATA drivers for that OS. As an example, just try finding native-mode SATA drivers for Windows NT 4.0 or OS/2. The BIOS reports the disk controller's hardware ID to the system using the "new" AHCI hardware ID or an "old" generic IDE controller ID depending on the setting of the switch.
The STOP 7B error, as you guessed, refers to being unable to load a critical driver. Because of this, the OS cannot continue loading. At a bare minimum, XP's boot loader needs to be able to load the HAL (which is working) and the storage controller driver (which is not) to get the rest of the OS to boot. These two drivers aren't plug-and-play in the traditional sense when you're running XP; there's a hard-coded pointer to the disk controller's hardware ID. Your loaded driver is pointing to the legacy ID, which is only exposed to the OS when the AHCI switch is flipped to Legacy. When you switch it to AHCI, the BIOS reports a different ID, and the OS gives up because it can't find a match. Everything grinds to a halt because the system can't go any further without fully mounting the system disk.
You should be able to correct this by going to Dell's website and downloading the correct storage controller drivers. Replace the standard IDE disk controllers in Device Manager (Update Driver...) and reboot. Before the OS boots, go to the BIOS and switch the AHCI switch back on.
By the way, the reason it worked in Vista is because Windows 7 and Vista use a totally different boot manager that can dynamically detect storage controllers.
I also experienced this identical stop error code, but with some key differences that perhaps point to a different (unknown) cause in my case...
I have a Sony desktop machine running the original OEM WinXP MCE, with SP3 and subsequent updates. I have four 200GB SATA HDDs configured in a RAID10 (RAID0 interleave plus RAID1 mirror). This machine has the Intel 82801GR disk controller chipset (ICH7R), and I'm using the corresponding Intel extension for BIOS and Intel v5.7 iastor.sys WinXP driver. It's been working great for 4 years now, but within a few days of an automatic Windows Update that installed KB979683 update, the machine would not start Windows, instead going into a continuous restart loop. It does the POST, followed by the Intel RAID bios report, the Windows boot option screen (Normal/Safe/Last Good Config/etc), then about 3 secs of the Windows "splash" screen (logo with running "fuel gauge"), then black screen and re-boot. During days of troubleshooting, I found some KB articles on editing the registry to disable auto-restart (since the Windows boot option screen didn't work for this) and enable me to get a BSOD and saw the same STOP error code in this thread. (I was able to make those registry changes thanks to an Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD4Win), based on BartPE, with utilities, booting that up with the same Intel F6 iastor.sys driver so that I could see the machine's C:\windows installation.)
There are several KB articles about a Windows XP update (KB971486 & KB977165) that causes the same problem symptoms, except no mention of the stop error code we're discussing here. It is very suspicious to me that my machine went thru an automatic Windows Update, KB979683, which updated the OS kernel (ntoskrnl.exe & ntkrnlpa.exe) just a few days before I re-booted my machine and began seeing this problem. I don't know how to uninstall that update, as the directions I've found online here and MS KB articles don't work (due to non-existence of required files on my machine).
After reading this thread, I checked my bad machine's BIOS and could find no setting for AHCI vs legacy IDE. I am aware that Intel has different F6 drivers for AHCI and RAID, and I'm using the RAID version.What to do next?
Dell XPS M1330 with XP SP3. Motherboard fried so I had to replace a bunch of hardware parts. Stuck the disk back in after repair -> BSOD with above signature. I knew it wasnt loading the driver but all my attempts to revive it went nowhere. Thanks to Google and K Short's tip, I am up and running! I had to also disable Flash cache via BIOS, it wouldnt let me flip to ATA without doing that.