Hyper-V Windows Server 2008 VM halts with code 0x7B, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034

imageIt was finally time to install Windows Server 2008 SP2 on a bunch of test machines on my home server. Why two of them never came up, but instead hit me with a BSOD right on boot?

As usual, everything is simple once you know what to look for. A 0x000007B halt code indicates an inaccessible boot device, but it can also hide lots of other errors. Since an LKG (Last Known Good configuration) boot worked no better, and even a safe mode restart attempt crashed, it was time to dig up some tools.

First, always check out what the crash dump code means. Googling for them in the hexadecimal form generally works; if you want to browse a list, you’ll find many. This is one example.

Second, analyze the parameters in the BSOD (the things in the parentheses after the error code; click on the screenshot above). In the 0x7B case, the second argument is key. However, in my case the second one was 0xffffffffc0000034, not listed in the article mentioned above.

But combining that particular error code with some of the other keywords (“Hyper-V” et al.) did result in the correct find, and it’s a known issue: KB2000048 Installing Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2008 in a Hyper-V virtual machine may result in a Stop 0x7B if the beta version of the integration components were installed. The KB article also provides a relatively easy fix, so no problems thereafter.

Too bad it took me quite some time to figure out exactly which were the key components to search for. I also tried various repair tools from the OS media before I deemed that route non-working. It’s very easy to get misled. For example, when booting in safe mode, the names of loaded drivers get dumped on the screen. Simply because crcdisk.sys is the last line in the print doesn’t certainly mean that it would be the problem: it’s just that it’s the last line in the safe mode printout, and any crash after that gets attributed to it (search for it to see this in action).

Oh, and of course, the test machines that did boot up properly were, of course, created after the host Hyper-V was upgraded to the RTM version. It seems I need more time debugging and learning the OS internals.

November 30, 2009 · Jouni Heikniemi · 5 Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Windows IT

5 Responses

  1. Jaba - December 2, 2009

    This reminds me of the messages Linux can throw at you if you mess up with your custom kernel (forgetting to compile support for all the needed hardware to boot up your system), or if you mess up with GRUB configuration and pass wrong parameters to it.

    You will have some fun time pondering why your Linux says upon boot up things like "Aieeeeee! Attempted to kill init! What a brain damage!" or more understandably "Unable to mount root fs".

    (The former can be easily fixed by booting up to a known good kernel and the latter by fixing GRUB configuration file and/or booting up to a known good kernel.)

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