Windows Home Server Restore CD getting BSOD STOP 0x0000007b – Fixed

This post is to raise the awareness of a fix to the Windows Home Server Restore CD. 

I spent a number of hours researching and trying unsuccessfully to get the RTM version of the Restore CD to work on pair of Dell Studio (15 and 17) laptops that had hard drive replacements; more on that another time.  🙁  From my research I also found that a number of HP, Toshiba and Lenovo laptops also had this issue.

Problem

You have a computer with SATA drives (hard drive and optical) or external USB optical drive and you need to restore the machine from backup using the Windows Home Server Restore CD.  During the boot process you get a BSOD with STOP 0x0000007B code.  This stop code indicates an INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

Issue 

The RTM version of the WHS Restore CD doesn’t have all the drivers needed to load SATA drives.  When the WinPE image loads it can’t find the drivers it needs and crashes. 

Resolution

Get the updated Restore CD.  When it boots, it will look for a folder named “Drivers” on any USB drive that is available at boot-time for additional drivers.  This is where you put your specific SATA drivers if needed.  

UPDATE (7-Mar-2009): One of the commenters on this post (Mike) mentioned that all the drivers you need can be found in your last good backup in the Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore folder.  I’ve updated the steps below to reflect this new (and very handy) information.  Thanks Mike!

Another UPDATE (7-Mar-2009):  Another commenter (Erwyn van der Meer) mentions that the Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore folder only contains 32-bit drivers.  If you are restoring a 64-bit system you will have to put your 64-bit drivers onto a USB drive yourself.  Thanks Erwyn! 

You can follow the steps below:

  1. Download the updated Windows Home Server Restore CD (version 1800)  image.
  2. Install the update to get the Restore CD image on your drive.
  3. Burn the image to a CD.
  4. Get Drivers for your computer (if needed)
    1. Download the SATA drivers for your computer from your PC manufacturer’s support site (or your DVDs)
      – or –
    2. Open your last successful backup find the “Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore” folder in the root of your backup (32-bit drivers only).
  5. Copy the SATA drivers (or the entire contents of the folder in Step 4.2) to a USB drive in a folder named DRIVERS
  6. Place Restore CD in drive on machine to be restored.
  7. Attach USB drive with drivers to machine to be restored.
  8. Power up the machine and boot from the Restore CD.
  9. Follow on-screen prompts.
  10. [Possibly] take note of the Network devices found.  It may need additional drivers for NICs.

During my restore I also had to put the Network card drivers onto a USB drive so that the Restore CD could access the NIC.  These didn’t have to be in the Drivers folder as the Restore CD did a search for them.

Hope this minimizes the headaches and anxiety for someone else.  🙂

– Steve

Download

Windows Home Server Restore CD Update: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=26881305-91cc-4f37-b1fc-3813c423df2c&displaylang=en

Original MSFT Forum Thread: http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/ffa3e6f0-0e6e-4d02-bd42-f3e379e58f55/