Need help analyzing Stop 0x0000006b PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED


A customer brought me her Win 7 Home Premium laptop complaining that the right mouse button was having problems. The first thing I tried to do is connect a Logitech wireless USB mouse, but the driver could not be downloaded as my internet connection was down at that time.

On reboot, I got a blue screen with


The 4 parameters were all zeros.

This is a hard failure, here's what I've tried so far...
Safe mode - same error
Last Known Good configuration - same error
Turn off driver verification - same error
Booted from Win 7 Recovery disk, ran startup repair, same error
Ran chkdsk c: /r it found and fixed several errors including a couple of bad sectors - but same error on reboot
Restored from a previous restore point and it booted! Noticed that Win 7 SP1 was not installed so I ran that update, and went out to dinner. Came back and rebooted machine, got the Stop 0x6a again
Booted from Ultimate Boot CD ad ran memtest86+ through 4 iterations, no errors
Can no longer restore from a previous restore point, all give some sort of failure

I'm out of ideas. My gut tells me this is a software problem, but I don't really know. I'll attach the minidump files and hopefully someone here can give me some idea of where things are going wrong.


Harry Z.
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lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
was going to say "Check that virtual memory is set appropriately and that you have done a checkdsk on the drive. Worth a try at least."

But then realised you said had bad sectors - nothing is worth trying until you replace the hard disk and reinstall. Odds are something is broken on the installation - windows will hobble along for a while but the drive will eventually collapse. The mouse issue is, until you replace the drive probably nothing but a red herring.
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
I would actually recommend taking a. Image of the drive soonr rather than later, in the last few hours that the disk will probably only run for. Your customer (and you)w ill appreciate a backup of the data and afresh install more than just a temporary fix , assuming you can ( which you probably won't)

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harry_zAuthor Commented:
Aloha lojk,

Mahalo (thank you) for your prompt response.

FWIW, the S.M.A.R.T. data does not indicate imminent failure. But, I don't put a lot of faith in the SMART data as I've had other drives whose SMART data was OK, but failed shortly thereafter. Also, it is my understanding that a few bad sectors do not necessarily indicate a failing drive.

Any suggestions on how to get this system to boot once or twice more so that I can use a backup program to properly back up the data?

I was hoping that someone could analyze the minidumps and give me a pointer to what file(s) are damaged so that I can get this thing running for a short time.

Harry Z.
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lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
dont even attempt to get it running - back it up FIRST! as per your own comments.

quickest easiest answer is something like (clonezilla, ultimatebootcd etc..)
just go get the iso and use one of the many tools from there..

you could just clone the disk to another drive as part of that backup and then do a repair install on that drive - you might just get away with it... ;-)
Did u try this article

To work around this issue, start the computer from the disc drive or from the USB drive by using the Windows installation media. Delete the Bootcat.cache file, and then restart the computer.

Note The Bootcat.cache file is located at %SystemRoot%\system32\codeintegrity


Crash dmp is not able to capture the faulty driver...if the above does not work then try this

Enable driver verifier
1) Open an elevated command prompt
2) Type "verifier /standard /all"  (no quotes)
3) Reboot your machine
4) Use machine again until it crashes (hopefully this will be fast :)

After the crash & reboot, go into safe mode.  

Disable driver verifier
1) Open an elevated command prompt
2) Type "verifier /reset" (no quotes)
3) Reboot your machine

Upload the new dmp file for analysis.

harry_zAuthor Commented:
Ded9:  Mahalo for the pointer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Unfortunately, this did not resolve my problem. Also cannot try your suggestion about driver verifier as I cannot boot the machine at all.

lojk: I'd prefer to get the machine running (if possible) and then use Acronis True Image to do the backup as it will make the restore much easier after restoring the factory image.

I'm attaching windbg output to see if it makes any sense to anyone else. It didn't help me at all...

Harry Z.
try running HDDregenerator, it helped recover many disks for me  :
Just connect power cable, video cable, keyboard and mouse...disconnect the reset of the devices ...reboot computer and check.

If this is a dell laptop then tap F12 on boot - select boot to utility parition and run a test on hard drive.

lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
I stand by my comment, back up the drive first! If this is a paying customer, why gamble? After 20 years on build benches/private work I have learnt my lesson on this.

If the drive does fail during your testing/repair what are you going to tell the customer?
That you lost all their documents and the operating system needs a reinstall and a new drive or you managed to back everything up and it has now got a brand new hard drive and everything shoudl be pretty much as it was.

Trust me, the first one is harder to justify, especially if its only originally with you for a faulty mouse button.

As for ease of use - using pendrivelinux to create a clonezilla installation will take you a while to get used to (but no more than a couple of hours) if you have never used it (or ghost or winpe or whatever) but it can do backup and restore and DOESNT require windows working to install - it is its own operating system that can access the drive in the machine. And free.

At least read this page...

Yes, i have seen hard drives run for a while with bad sectors but in my experience it is much more likely to fail than not and odd problems that have no obvious solution often come down to component failure not software.

If it is actually a faulty/damaged mouse button on the laptop you have to weigh up whether it is even worth attempting to boot the laptop at all. Is it time for the customer to buy a new laptop?
harry_zAuthor Commented:

Well, I managed to get the machine to boot, and the first thing I tried to do was create a backup. It crashed, and now I'm back to the Stop 0x6b error. (You're allowed to laugh  :-)

So, now I'm exploring alternatives to getting a backup done. I've taken a look at EaseUS ToDo Backup Free, and created their WinPE boot disk, but it only allows me to clone a partition.  My understanding is that if I replace the hard disk, and restore the system from the "clone" it may not work since different drivers may be needed for the new hard drive (and who knows how corrupted Windows is). And it's not real clear if I can do a folder or file level restore from the clone if I replace the hard disk. states that you cannot do a file/folder level restore.

Any other tools you might recommend that will allow me to do a folder / file level restore in this situation?

Mahalo for your assistance,

Harry Z.
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
LOL but just a little bit :-(

In your case here what i would have done, before i started the job was to take the disk out of the laptop and imaged it somewhere (or used clonezilla to copy it from the laptop directly) and then started work on the laptop. As a rule i now do this (and so do most build benches i have ever worked on) whether the machine has a drive related issue or not. Your customer expects you to do this (but expects you to delete it afterwards, btw).

Once you know you have an image of the drive (whether containing a working installation or not) you can always get the drive or a replacement drive at the same point you were at before you started.

So, my best advice here is to stop thinking in such simple terms about hard drives - they dont have to be physical...

Check out this page - assuming you have enough storage you can create hard disks as required (if you dont have enough spare physical disks to work with).

You could then use that disk as a destination disk to restore to from your clonezilla image and then from that virtual drive in your machine extract the files on a per folder basis. If you prefer (and i think you do) you could also backup that virtual drive using Acronis or whatever is preffered and do a partial restore from the copy of the virtual drive that you have just made to the new drive in the machine/fresh installation!

Also, yes replacing drives can cause a driver issue when imaging but as a rule as long as the drive is of the same type - SATA/IDE/Whatever, windows will accept being moved (or at least imaged) without moaning. It is quite common practise.

Food for thought and quite a lot to take on but you werent familiar with clonezilla until  quite recently. Its all just about getting the bytes off the disk in the right format to continue working with it - once the faulty disk is out of the equation you can focus on the data.

(There are similar tricks you can do using Virtual Box to generate a virtual machine that can boot off virtual (ISO) media to virtually restore to disks but that is probably more than enough to keep you going for today, eh?)

[edit] Just a warning in advance - avoid creating VHDs with thin provisioning/dynamically expanding size on NAS boxes that dont have sparse creation swithced off. Its complicated to go into here - just avoid it as you will end up with odd error messages when attempting to mount the VHD next time; create VHDs on storage connected directly to your PC (hard drives mounted via SATA or USB are fine though) and preferably on NTFS filesystems.
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
I talk about VHDs and virtual machines above but if you have a (the) new drive that you are going to put in the machine just add that to your pc (using an adapter/usb dongle whatever) and use that drive instead of the whole VHD step.

It's kinda hard compressing everything I know and all the pain i have experience about salvaging PCs and keeping customers happy in just one URL - I'm just trying to spout as many suggestions as possible to help you though this. ;-)
harry_zAuthor Commented:
Aloha lojk,

Tried using clonezilla from a USB drive. It reports that the partitions are damaged  :-(  Since this is the first time I've used this tool, I don't know if this means that I'm out of luck or I just have to try something different.

Also, for future reference, how do I restore from a clonezilla clone of a drive or partition to a virtual hard drive in Windows? Can clonezilla see the vhd on my windows disk???


Harry Z.
try HDDregenerator - it often helps recovering the drive
also - i use Paragon FREE software for clocning disks and partitions - try it :
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
Yes, the partitions are probably damaged because the surface of the disk platters is now beginning to degrade - that probably occurred when you ran a bunch of tools that hammered the disk to try and make it work again - every spin of the disk after a bad sector issue is just another slice in the 'death by a thousand cuts'. Ensuring the disk is (kept) cool can prolong the final few hours but when it's time, it's time.

In GHOST you can stipulate a 'resume on error' type setting that will continue even if there are read errors and i am sure that clonezilla will have something similar -  i have to confess I am not that familiar with using clonezilla as there are alternatives that i use more regularly, I mostly suggested it because it is quite easy to get hold of and use as i knew your time was running out (even if you didn't).

Most of the Virtual Machine formats understand VHD so mounting it to a VM in VirtualBox would have probably worked or you could have used a VM (containing a Windows or Linux Installation) to convert it to another format - the easiest option though is just to write the image back to another physical disk as i suggested. The point i was making was that if you have a copy of the disk in some format you always have the ability to come up with something later on.

If you are going to continue dealing with customer repairs there are a few things that you really need to invest in:

3.5" to 2.5" IDE drive adapter
Spare machine and/or Spare Drives for imaging/cloning (and/or virtualisation) purposes

If you can get the hard drive from the laptop connected  to your pc (probably using one or more of the tools i mention above) you may be able to salvage some of the data for the customer by running this .. in  a command box but i fear you may be too late :-(

xcopy FaultyDriveLetter:\*.* c:\Bak\*.* /s /e /d /c /h /r /y

please reread all of my comments above to understand what went wrong, especially the bit in comment 37706583 where i said

"If the drive does fail during your testing/repair what are you going to tell the customer?
That you lost all their documents and the operating system needs a reinstall and a new drive or you managed to back everything up and it has now got a brand new hard drive and everything shoudl be pretty much as it was."

Like i said, it's kind of difficult to explain everything i would do as only years of pain teach you all the tricks I know - here is todays lesson though:

Before of 'Snake-Oil' salesman offering to fix all your (hard drive) problems with a magic pill - hard drives are one of the few truly moving parts in a machine and like all moving parts they wear out eventually, especially if not looked after (when the customer has dropped the laptop but not told you so). Tell your customers to backup their data and lead by example by backing up your data. For the brief time you have a customers computer you should consider their data to be your responsibilty and act accordingly (i.e. back it up) - that is called 'customer service'.
having a backup is always a must; however, up to now - we don't know exactly what happens
that we will (hopefully) know after running tests and diags
did you have a look at HDDRegenerator yet?  it DOES what it says : fix about 60% of all bad drives
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
nobus - this is not helping the guy. are you commercially linked to that software?

I have been doing this for 20 years - there is no fix for a failing hard drive, no magic buttons will work and there is little point further diagnosing the problem, files on the disk are corrupted/unreadable, thats why windows cant load correctly.

The best thing for a hard drive corruption issue is a chkdsk in windows or one of the many tools available in the Linux space but if the surface is failing/damaged by impact of the head etc. throwing money at the issue is pointless unless it is with a professional disk recovery house that will disassemble the disk in a clean room and recover the data straight from the platter.

The best he can hope for here is to get the machine up and running on a new hard drive then perform a low level format of the offending disk to see if indeed as you think it is salvageable (you are wrong btw) but continuing to gamble with the customers data is helping no-one and exposing our friend here to potential litigation from his customer.
i can assure you the opposite -it fixed many disks for me - and NONE came back
i even posted it "it helped recover many disks for me  "  this personal experience - not hearsay
and why do you feel you must give unfavorable comment on my posts? i don't comment on yours  -i simply try to help the guy the best i can - without telling stories
harry_zAuthor Commented:
Aloha lokj and nobus,

I have the USB drive, hard drive docking station, etc. but I don't have the special tool ("plastic scribe") you need to pry the keyboard out of this Dell laptop to get to the hard disk. Which is why I've been trying to use various boot CD's to do the backup. If I can get the hard drive out, then I at least stand a chance of getting whatever I can off the drive using tools I'm familiar with. and may even try the put the drive in the refrigerator trick.

As for HDDRegenerator and other similar products, the "snake oil" vs. "great tool" debate has been going on for quite a while in various forums. It's clear where each of you stand on this issue, and there is no need to continue the debate in this thread.

Again, thank you to both of you for your assistance.

Harry Z.
if you need a backup - i suggest to make alive Knoppix cd, and boot from it
you can then copy your data to an internal, or external disk
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
Nowhere did i say HDDRegenerator was snakeoil - just that i have been trying to offer useful insightful advice in my own time from years of experience whereas posting 3 comments saying 'try this commercial software' did seem a little out of place.
harry_zAuthor Commented:
Aloha lojk and nobus,

After talking with the customer she indicated that they were not going to invest in a new hard drive for this laptop, so it was OK if I broke something while trying to pry the @#$! thing open. Got the laptop disemboweled and the hard drive into my docking station. Was able to get her data off the hard drive successfully (at least it copied without an error), and I'm setting up her new laptop as I type this.

Majority of the points to lojk for nailing this immediately as a hard drive issue, and some points to nobus for also adding to the discussion. I've learned a lot from this episode and I thank both of you. If you're ever in Hawaii, let me know and I'll purchase a beverage of your choice.

Harry Z.
tx for feedback
lojk.Net and Infrastructure ConsultantCommented:
Thanks Harry,

Happy to be of help - sorry if was getting a bit (unneccesarily) gnarly at the end there.. The nicotine patches are working much better now ;-)
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