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STOP: c000007b {Bad Image} in Win XP Home

This is a discussion on STOP: c000007b {Bad Image} in Win XP Home within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Greetings gentle readers, I get a strange BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) error on one of the machines here at

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Greetings gentle readers,

I get a strange BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) error on one of the machines here at work:
STOP: c000007b {Bad Image}
The application or DLL \??\C:\WINDOWS\system32\USER32.dll is not a valid windows image. Please check this against your installation diskette.
There is no other information on the screen (see attachment).

This occurs during boot-up, after the Microsoft XP logo appears and the activity bar flashes for a minute or two.

This also happens when attempting to boot into Safe Mode, Last Known Good Configuration, etc. (I've tried them all).

No new software was recently installed, but I had just run a Windows Update. It was a minor update, as I recall, but I don't remember what it was.

I booted up from the System Restore CD, entered the Recovery Console, and ran a CHKDSK manually on the entire drive. It reported that it had fixed some issues, but it didn't help.

Then I ran SpinRight on the whole drive in mode 2 and mode 4 and it couldn't find anything wrong with the disk. Also didn't help.

I suppose I could somehow backup the existing data and re-install the system, but I'm really hoping to find a way to fix the troubled files (or configuration) directly without having to go through all that.

Anyone know how to fix this without a complete re-install?

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Location: florida
Posts: 176
OS: xp pro sp2

this guy had the same problem though he didnt really fix the problem

That is a rarely encountered error, and there is not much
documentation available for it. The name is
PROCESS1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED and it seems to be most often
associated with a device driver or software compatibility issue. Older
versions of GoBack (when it was a Roxio product before Symantec/Norton
acquired it) are one known cause.

maybe try a repair install
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:42 AM   #3
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This same thing happened to me after I took a users laptop and tried to re-create the problem he had. He sent his laptop to me, I hooked it up to the docking station he sent in, I used a mouse, keyboard and monitor we have here and hooked them up to the docking station. When I tried to boot the computer to see the problem he was having I got the BSOD with the same error message:
STOP: c000007b {bad image}
The application of DLL \??\c:\WINDOWS\system32\User32.dll is not a valid Windows image. Please check this against your installation disk.

This is not the error the user got. He was able to boot the computer and his error was entirely different. The only thing I can figure that may have caused this on my end is that I hooked the docking station up to a newer type monitor using a DVI cable (comments?).

After searching this error message on TSF I found the other threads related to the same problem. One of the other posters on another thread (thanks Geekgirl) suggested a Repair with Windows Installation CD. But to go past the first repair option and get past the F8 selection and then to select Repair instead of installing Windows again. This worked for me. It ran through a repair (the screens were similar to the install screen so I was worried I hit the wrong option), and it took an hour or so. Towards the end, I thought it was finished and rebooting because it was showing the Windows start up screen. Unfortunately, it hung up there. After another hour of waiting to see if the screen would change I went ahead with a hard shut off. Upon reboot the laptop started up in Windows. Now on to the original problem the user had. Hope this helps you.
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