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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Fixed! VMWare Stop 0x0000007B 0xFFFFFA60005AF9D0 with Image Converter (0x7b)

I recently decided that I needed to have a few less computers sitting around my home. Not counting the three laptops we have, there were a total of 4 personal computers plus a network area storage (NAS) device to store all of the common files. That makes 5. Throw in the two Sony Playstation 3's (PS3) configured to run Ubuntu Linux and that puts the count at 10. Completely unneccesary for a household of two.

The easiest place for me to start with a "consolidation" what two Dell machines I have. One running Microsoft Windows 2008 Server, and the other running Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate. The Microsoft Windows Vista Machine, a Dell E520 running a dual core, 4GB RAM system was a great candidate to be consolidated into the Dell server running a quad core and 8GB RAM. The machine is already running VMWare Server 2.0.2, and I had several Virtual Machines including a Windows XP machine I had retired a little over a year ago. The question was how could I do it easily without a major problem.

The first answer I decided to try was using Microsoft's Complete PC Backup feature built into Windows Vista where you basically create Virtual PC images of your hard drives that can then be restored onto another machine. The only downfall is that to truly to a full PC (and include hidden or recovery partitions) you really have to use the CD/DVD backup and at 6 DVDs, is a little laborious. Once in the VMWare Virtual Machine, it appeared to be going very well. However, towards the end I hit a major snag with DVD #5 continually hit read errors. It was time to try another path.

I then decided to try out WinImage, a software that is a free, fully functional trial for 30 days to try and create an image. It seemed to go well with the exception of a couple of problems. The first issue was that it seemed to need to create the full size of the physical drive on the initial image. For example, I had a 250GB hard drive, but there was only 50GB used across both partitions. Rather than copying the minimal size of the drive, WinImage by default even with the dynamically expanding disk selected -- needed to create it at the full 232GB size. Very difficult if the drive you are creating the image on as the destination is not larger than the source.

Once I completed the effort, I transferred the 232GB image (thank goodness for Gigabit connectivity) and started up the VMWare image of Windows Vista. Within the first few seconds I got the message:

Stop: 0x0000007B 0xFFFFFA60005AF9D0 - 0x7b
Usually, anything starting with 0x0x0000007B has to do with an INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE; something to do with the hard drive configuration between IDE / SCSI or otherwise, especially when using VMWare and Virtualization. I had seen this in the past, but interestingly this time error message did not specifically mention an inaccessible boot device.

I made a second pass with a slightly different hard drive configuration, and no luck.

As you might imaging, one gets pretty frustrated at this point. After searching Google, I came across a post which mentioned VMWare's Converter tool which is specifically for taking an existing maching and converting it to an Virtual Machine without all the problem that I was likely going to have on startup with the Windows Complete PC Backup and WinImage issues. This was one of those V-8 commerical times, where I felt like hitting myself on the forehead and exclaiming, "I could of had a V-8." How did I not know this free tool was available from VMWare? Regardless, it was time to move on to a tool that was meant for this job.

Fast forward ahead 90 minutes. I successfully installed the VMWare Converter tool on my host Vista Ultimate x64 system and created the image. I transferred the much smaller 40GB image over to my VMWare Server 2.0.2 and fired it up...
Stop: 0x0000007B 0xFFFFFA60005AF9D0 - 0x7b
Ugh, now I was really getting frustrated. Time to return to the research bin. After a lot of research, I centered on three key issues that could cause this potential problem -- and here are the steps that I took in order to fix them.

1. The ATI 256MB Video Card drivers that were installed (X1300) can cause these types of problems.

2. The Sigmatel HD Audio drivers that were installed can cause these types of problems.

3. The Disk type (commonly known with inaccessible boot device) can cause these kinds of error.

Here's what I did in order to make another pass:

1. Uninstalled the all video drivers and the ATI software.
2. Uninstalled all sound drivers and the Sigmatel Audio software.
3. In the VMWare Converter job task, rather than choosing the "Preserve Source" or the "IDE" -- I choose the "SCSI LSI Logic" .

I ran the job again and 90 minutes later, the VMWare Server virtual machine powered up without any hardware related issues. I did experience some networking issues, but those were due to the Windows Firewall (which I documented here) and not the image creation and conversion process.

If you are struggling with the Windows Vista Error Stop: 0x0000007B 0xFFFFFA60005AF9D0, here are the settings I used for the entire VMWare Image Converter:

Fixed! VMWare Stop 0x0000007B 0xFFFFFA60005AF9D0 with Image Converter

Hopefully, this works for you in solving your potential inaccessible boot device issues with VMWare. If so, please let me know with a Twitter mention @SomeLifeBlog, a Facebook link, or a comment below.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean that you installed the sysprep files on the physical machine?
What exactly are the consequences for the fysical machine?