You move a hard drive from one computer to another but receive a blue screen with a stop 0x0000007b error on boot up. At this point usually your best option is to re-install the OS. Most people however, would prefer not to.
This article will show you the various methods I tried including the ones that failed. If you wish to jump straight to the solution read Method 6 but note it requires a Hyper-V server. For the rest of you that STILL think there are other alternatives there aren’t! Still not convinced? Then read on and you will see why…
Important information on how windows 7 boots
For those of you that don’t know, Windows 7 creates two partitions on install. The boot partition contains the boot menu which starts the boot up process and OS partition contains the actual operating system. When you select an OS to load the boot loader then tries to load the OS on the second partition. Why is this important? Well, the stop 0x0000007b error only occurs after you select the OS to load from the boot menu. This means that the problem is not with boot partition but the OS partition – I was lucky to have a dual boot operating system otherwise this would have gone unnoticed!
Here are the methods I tried:
Move hard drive to a new laptop (Stop 0x0000007b) – Failed
Microsoft claim that in rare cases you may have problems restoring a backup with Vista backup to new hardware. This is not true but the exact opposite. In MOST cases moving a hard drive or doing a bare metal restore to new hardware fails resulting in a stop 0x0000007b. It is in RARE cases that it actually works.
Note: Although the quote and link above is relating to a restore I have mentioned it because it is related to moving the OS (through a restore) to new hardware. We know the outcome of this which is the stop 0x0000007b error.
Restore from a bare metal backup (Stop 0x0000007b) – Failed
Luckily I had recently performed an entire backup of my laptop so I decided to try a restore. I was hoping that Windows Backup was clever enough to realise that if I am doing a bare metal backup I MIGHT just want to restore it to new hardware. I thought that after the restore it would maybe trigger a sysprep or force a new hardware detection. This was wishful thinking on my part as it did nothing of the sort. The outcome was identical to Method 1 with a stop 0x0000007b error.
Run all Windows repair utilities (Stop 0x0000007b) – Failed
I booted into the recovery console using the Windows 7 DVD and ran the autofix but it said there were no problems. I then ran the following commands in the command prompt:
- bootrec /fixboot – writes a new boot sector on the boot drive
- bootrec/fixmbr – fixes master boot record
- bootrec /rebuildbcd – scans all hard drives and builds a new boot menu/loader from what it finds. This is very useful because partition and disk order may have changed on your new laptop and this allows the boot loader to now locate the images correctly.
- bootrec /scanos – Same as rebuildbcd but this ADDS an additional menu option for what it finds. I tried this first before rebuildbcd. Rebuildbcd is actually better because it will clear the now useless boot entries out.
- bcdboot path to windows installation folder ie bcdoot c:windows – This is a fantastic simple tool that will help you out lots of times in the future. You point it to your Windows 7 installation and it then fixes the boot menu, as well as the boot image, files and boot sector.
- bcdedit and all it’s switches – Gives you fine control and tweaking of the boot menu. You should only use this after you have tried all the above first and you now need to fine tweak settings.
NONE OF THEM WORKED which resulted with the same stop 0x0000007b.