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Windows 7: 0x0000007b - limited tools!

16 May 2015   #1
wegtet

 
0x0000007b - limited tools!

I rebooted my laptop earlier to enable the onboard LAN; after enabling it in the BIOS, I can't get past the Windows loading screen without BSOD. I have tried disabling the LAN again and that doesn't help. I can't fathom what I managed to do to break Windows...

All I have to work with is a USB stick with Kali. I have no Internet access at home. I can drive to somewhere with WiFi if necessary, but it'd be ideal if I can fix whatever is wrong with what I have!

The 7b error apparently is storage related. I tried setting the msahci "start" key to 0 with chntpw, but I still can't get past the loading animation, regardless of the BIOS sata mode.
I wonder if I need to fix the MBR? I don't think I can do this with the tools available in Kali? Is there a way to definitively tell the MBR is corrupt?

I did the original install via pxe and I no longer have a router on hand (loong story), so can't really use the proper recovery tools! ... are modern NICs capable of treating a regular ethernet cable as a cross over cable? I could potentially overwrite the USB stick if I was smart enough to keep the win7 iso from digitalriver on my desktop. Probably wasn't.

What else could be wrong? I can access the drive fine via Kali.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2015   #2
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Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
The 7b error apparently is storage related. I tried setting the msahci "start" key to 0 with chntpw, but I still can't get past the loading animation, regardless of the BIOS sata mode.
I wonder if I need to fix the MBR? I don't think I can do this with the tools available in Kali? Is there a way to definitively tell the MBR is corrupt?
You are on the right track.

First of all, try any other storage controller mode. If it is AHCI now, try ATA/IDE or vice-versa. Aslo, you may try to reset the BIOS to defaults by clearing CMOS. (If it fixes the issue, we can concentrate on the LAN part later).

Next, try to rebuild MBR, but before that make it sure that the system reserved partition is marked as active.

Next, try a bootable virus scanner, Windows Defender Offline would be a good option.

Hopefully either step of the above would work. If not, test the health of the physical disc using a bootable disc check utility. Seatools for DOS would be a good one.

Let us know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #3
wegtet

 

I tried resetting the BIOS back to factory defaults--no luck.

I rebuilt the MBR and boot sector using Bootrec.exe from the recovery environment--no luck.

Will try the bootable virus scanner when I have access to a PC with admin account. Really doubt there's a virus, since the laptop is only for work and I pretty much never download anything that could give it a virus. I run weekly scans.

Is Seatools safe for an SSD? I remember hearing something one time about not using Seatools for SSDs, but perhaps that's faulty info...

It may just be easier to do a reinstall at this point. Virtually everything is on Dropbox anyway... I'm just concerned this is something awry with the BIOS-level configuration; being a laptop, there's very little I can actually control in the BIOS, making it hard to troubleshoot.

I'm wondering if this is somehow related to the fact the original installation was done in a RAID environment with one of those "cache" SSDs, which I subsequently physically removed (pointless with a real SSD in place of the factory HDD) with no apparent ill effects. Evidence against this is that I did this 1.5 years ago and have used the laptop daily with absolutely no issues of any kind. The laptop originally came with Win8, and it was very tedious getting Win7 up and running since I had to supply the storage drivers half way through the installation.


I talked myself out of buying a nice new Dell Precision laptop since it was frivolous; wish I'd just gone ahead with that!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 May 2015   #4
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Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
I tried resetting the BIOS back to factory defaults--no luck.
No wonder. It is just one of teh possible causes which is nullified by this.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
I rebuilt the MBR and boot sector using Bootrec.exe from the recovery environment--no luck.
Corrupt MBR is one other of the reasons .... which is nullified by it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
Will try the bootable virus scanner when I have access to a PC with admin account. Really doubt there's a virus, since the laptop is only for work and I pretty much never download anything that could give it a virus. I run weekly scans.
Still that would be a worthy try.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
Is Seatools safe for an SSD? I remember hearing something one time about not using Seatools for SSDs, but perhaps that's faulty info...
My Solid State Drive may be defective, how can I test it?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dondon View Post
It may just be easier to do a reinstall at this point. Virtually everything is on Dropbox anyway... I'm just concerned this is something awry with the BIOS-level configuration; being a laptop, there's very little I can actually control in the BIOS, making it hard to troubleshoot.

I'm wondering if this is somehow related to the fact the original installation was done in a RAID environment with one of those "cache" SSDs, which I subsequently physically removed (pointless with a real SSD in place of the factory HDD) with no apparent ill effects. Evidence against this is that I did this 1.5 years ago and have used the laptop daily with absolutely no issues of any kind. The laptop originally came with Win8, and it was very tedious getting Win7 up and running since I had to supply the storage drivers half way through the installation.
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