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STOP: c000021a Fatal System Error


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#1 Gorf1

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:32 PM

As always, it's a long story, so I'll try to stick to just the pertinent details. Apologies in advance if I miss anything or if it's a bit disjointed.

I have a 120GB SSD (OCZ) to replace the 300GB HDD in my laptop. I've copied the files over and tried to rebuild all the boot records etc. I'm now getting the BSoD:
STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a
 status of 0xc000003a (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has been shut down.

It is a single partition on the SSD drive. It starts at a 2MB offset. Going into the Startup Repair simply yields "Checking Disk for Errors"* then tells me Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically.

When I do

sfc /scannow /offbootdir=C:\ /offwindir=C:\Windows

It tells me it may take some time before saying "Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation" - this is in a startup repair "Administrator" CMD window, don't forget. Also, it happens after two or three seconds - on a SSD, so it might be trying to fix something and can't...


The windows installation comes from the old hard drive using Easeus partition manager. The old HDD had four partitions:
  • 100MB bootloader
  • 260GB C: Boot (Win7 home premium 32bit)
  • 30GB D: Recover
  • 1GB diagnostics (which I never even knew were there)

I'd just cloned the boot partition to the SSD using Easeus. Then I used GPARTED to move the partition to the 2MB offset. Then I used EasyBCD to fix the bootloader.

I need help identifying the cause of the BSoD and how to fix it. (The BSoD only appears for long enough to read when I turn off restarts in the screen that offers safe mode.)

Additional information about getting to this state (may not be relevant)
  • I have a vista laptop available for working on the SSD and the old HDD, and two USB to SATA bridges.
  • I tried using "Drive copy" on Easeus PM but it made the 100MB partition 16GB and oversized the other partitions too. This approach worked perfectly - was able to boot up and use the SSD. However, booting failed later after I tried shrinking or deleting the partitions.
  • The old HDD used to have a WUBI based Ubuntu installation. I uninstalled, but it didn't appear to get rid of it from the boot loader properly. At the time, it never caused a problem, so I didn't care. One of the things I've tried is using EasyBCD to get rid of any remnants of Ubuntu from the bootloader, but I've done something wrong because the old HDD won't boot now, either.
  • All the data is present on the old HDD and the SSD
  • I have made a repair DVD but there are no Win7 discs, just the recovery partition.
  • I made backup images using the built-in tool in Windows. Big mistake. It only backed up the lettered drives. The diagnostics and boot loader aren't saved.

I think the cause of the problem might be to do with drive letters. I had the "autochk not found" problem that is mentioned elsewhere. It seems to be just a chkdsk being put in the registry as standard during repair routines. Deleting it from the registry does not affect the outcome, except that the message no longer appears (briefly) before the reboot..

Thanks for reading, asssuming you got this far, and thanks for any help offered...

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:43 PM

First thing I understand is that you are using a OCZ boot SSD?

Then if so go here and check for a firmware upgrade. OCZ SSD Firmware Updates and Tools With OCZ it is very important to be running he latest firmware. Second thing is that although I have cloned my Boot Partitions successfully they fulfilled two conditions.
1. They were the only partition on the drive.
2. I was using Intel SSDs. I used the Both The Intel and the Easeus todo for that purpose.
3. OCZ recommends a clean Install.

I suggest going here to their forums and selecting the one for your model drive and reading.
From My reading The latest firmware and a clean install is helpful.

I do have one OCZ 90Gb I use for playing since it was cheap. I did update it's firmware to 2.22. I did a clean Install and it seems stable, Knock wood. My Intels have many more hours, they cost a lot more too however

If your old Boot Drive was reliable then It has to be either the firmware or the way you tinkered with the drive after the clone process. I remember that Easeus had a box to check when cloning a SSD. Try re-cloning the drive and check the SSD box and see how that works for a while. Reliable?

I've cloned I cloned four computers and did not have to do anything to get them to boot. I'm not sure what happened except that the fact that you had to fix it to get it to boot implies a problem with the cloning.

Good Luck
Roger

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#3 Gorf1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:59 AM

Many thanks for your swift reply, Roger. Sorry for the delay responding - I went straight to bed after posting: It's not often BleepingComputer yields a reply so quickly.

Unfortunately, a clean install is not really possible - like many, I try out a lot of the software offered on giveeawayoftheday - it can only be registered on the day it's offered, so migration to a new drive is the only feasible option.

Ironically, it was giveawayoftheday.com that was part of the problem - one of its previous offerings was Easus Partition Master pro - which I'd kept. The tutorial I was using for the SSD transfer showed use of the free home version, I'd been using the giveaway pro version. I just downloaded the home version, and I was able to resize the target partitions to a more acceptable arrangement before copying to SSD.

I'm typing from the SSD now. :thumbsup:

It still needs work: I want to get rid of all but the boot partition. I want to find a drive imager that will do all the partitions, not just the lettered ones, and will work from a bootable CD. I also need to "optimise" the SSD: The sites I've looked at say variously that the byte offset needs to be roundly divisible by 4, 1024, and 4096 for best SSD performance and lifespan - at the moment the boot partition starts at 32,256 bytes...

Edited by Gorf1, 17 September 2012 - 02:59 AM.


#4 Gorf1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:01 AM

Incidentally, you were spot on with the suggestion that it was a problem with the cloning: the software I was using was too old to be useful.

Edit: aaaand to add insult to injury, the "pro" version was a giveaway right in the middle of my troubles, but I didn't see at the time because I never thought to check...

Edited by Gorf1, 17 September 2012 - 06:57 AM.


#5 rotor123

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

So, is it still crashing and did you check for the latest firmware. The latest has stability enhancements.

Their forum for a agility 3 firmware updates lists a few things. But their people strongly suggest the upgrade and say there are fixes not in the release notes and can not say what they are or why they aren't listed. Supposedly the 1.15 version was a good one and then they released a version 2.22 they recommend. Go figure.

Roger

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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#6 Gorf1

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:25 PM

Thanks again for the reply, Roger.

Yep - checked firmware - it shipped with 2.22

Current status is that I have a full, working SSD with one big C: partition and 219.61 MB of unallocated space before it. When I try to reclaim any of that space and/or align the SSD at a 4 KB offset, I get the bluescreen crash.

I still want to overcome it, I'm more concerned about the longevity issues that are supposed to occur from the offset than performance or the loss of 200+ MB. However I've got a backup regime in place and will tinker with it until I stumble across a way to move the partition back 200 MB or so, and still hit a reasonable boundary...

#7 rotor123

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:38 PM

To be honest I would just leave it alone since it is working. The unused 219Mb will actually be used by the drive as part of the free space for the wear leveling algorithm as I understand it. As I see it, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Having said that if you want to do it as a learning experience I can understand that too.

Before making yourself crazy worrying that spaces effect on longevity why not go to the OCZ forums and ask if that will have any effect. They may say, none at all. They may also come back and say, Oh that is very bad or they may say a minimal effect. I'd want to know before banging my head against the wall.

My guess is that your 120Gb OCZ is just like my 120GB Intel. The other 8Gb is actually free space that the drive can use as spares to replace a bad block and for use by the wear leveling algorithm.

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 19 September 2012 - 09:39 AM.
correction

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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#8 Gorf1

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for the reply Roger. I've been on the OCZ forums, and they weren't much help. Seem to me that a SSD is only any use if you're installing a new retail operating system. If you're trying to migrate, or trying to install from OEM, it will not be reliable or as quick.
Posted Image

(edit: Incidentally - I got those figures by temporarily installing a retail copy of Win7. It can't stay on, though - it's already installed on another machine.)

Edited by Gorf1, 18 September 2012 - 06:14 PM.


#9 rotor123

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:58 AM

I would think an OEM install would be the same as a retail install. Unless when you say OEM you mean using a recovery partition, That could be different.

That is some difference in the overall scores. The SSD In use, that I've done with a clean install was the computer I built my Brother and that was a OEM Windows 7 DVD. My Three are all cloned from regular drives. The cloning Process doesn't seem to have really slowed them down. I do have to say I don't benchmark either. I just know they are so much faster. I just cloned one last week for someone using Ghost and he is happy with the improvement.

I would suspect that the computer even cloned is much faster for you. Benchmarks do not always tell the whole story.

Bottom line. If you can make a intermediate clone with a spare drive. Set it up like you want it. Test it. If OK, then clone with something that has a setting for use with SSD drives. I would hope that the SSD setting aligns things. Test Again.

Good Luck
Roger

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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167 @ June 2015


#10 Gorf1

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:09 AM

Thanks again, Roger.

I explained the problem to Microsoft - was on the phone to three different techs over a 45 minute call. Bottom line: They gave me a new OEM key to replace the one that came with my laptop. I've now got a fresh Win7 install with the offset in the right place. I've lost a heap of stuff (mostly from GiveawayOfTheDay.com), but the drive's offset is now an acceptable value.

You're absolutely correct - I was very happy with the speed increase. The problem I had was the drive's longevity, which apparently is much reduced if I don't have the correct offset.

#11 rotor123

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the Feedback
Roger

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167 @ June 2015


#12 digisaster

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

I know it’s an old topic, but I got the same problem, and after lots of trail/error i got it fixed without a reinstallation

 

I made a post on my blog, but I will just copy/past the article to prevent the admins to think I’m a spambot :)

 

Here it is (sorry for the lousy English)

 

/paste

 

stop c000021a

This was a situation where i had a small problem, and after some changes it got bigger and bigger.

 

The original problem i had was a non working hibernation system on a Windows7 computer.
The reason was simple. I did have a small boot partition and the system was a factory default fujitsu.

I did not like the idea of the small boot partition because i also wanted to use a other BCD loader, so i first made a image of the bootpartiton, and then a remove the boot partition.

After i made a reboot i got this message on the screen

 

autochk program not found – skipping autocheck

 

After this i got a stop C000021a error, and i was expecting a easy fix with a Windows7 bootrepair cd.

The complete error i got was:

 

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000003a (0×00000000 0×00000000)
The system has been shutdown.

 

Bootrepair failed
sfc /scannow failed
boot with option “Last Known Good Configuration” failed
fixing the MBR and BCD failed

 

To make a long story short, i got it fixed without re installation by using the following steps

First boot with a bootrepair cd/usb
If you don’t have it, create one on another working computer
If you don’t know where you can find the option of creating a System Repair Disc, just use google to find out, its just a option on any Windows7 computer.

Then boot into WinRE and launch Command prompt
Then open regedit and take a look at HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
These keys are NOT the value of your own registry, but from the ramdrive environment

Next load the registry hives from your own system into a subkey
First just klik on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and then click on File, Load hives
(in dutch its Bestand, Component laden)

 

Then browse to your local windows installation and load the file SYSTEM (normally its in c:\windows\system32\config)
Just name the loaded hive something simple like “temp” and go to the
HKLM\temp\MountedDevices
Then hit on delete, so you completely remove the complete key and subkeys.
Then go back to the temp key and select File -> Unload Hive
Then make a reboot and if you’re lucky your problem is fixed.
If you’re not lucky then the keys are regenerated with the wrong values, but is easy to fix.

Just repeat the above steps and take a look at the values of both the HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
and the HKLM\temp\MountedDevices
You will notice that value of \DosDevices\C: will not match the discid, or that the driveletter is simply wrong
\DosDevices\F: for example instead of \DosDevices\C:
Take a look at the values on the ramdrive HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices and you will understand the problem and know what to change.

I hope this info will be helpful for some other people.

 

p.s. After this fix my hibernation problem was also fixed :)

 

link to the original artikel:

 

http://www.digisaster.com/?p=335






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