Two days ago I decided to upgrade my Dell Latitude E6500 laptop from Windows XP Home Basic to Windows XP Professional. I decided not to do a clean install and use Upgrade option at install time. It upgraded fine. When I tried to log into the machine, i got the error message that I need to activate this version of Windows before I could use it. Well that is another story. I tried few things and decided to do a clean install. So I inserted my boot disk and made the laptop boot from it. All the drivers copied fine and when it went to step of Starting Windows Executive, BAM. I get the dreaded BSOD with error code STOP: 0x0000007B (OxF8968640, 0xC0000034, 0X00000000, 0x00000000). Well, this is a new laptop and was botting fine when I upgraded OS version. So it did not seem logical to think that hard disk is corrupted or some controller is failing. I remember that I had similar issue couple of years ago when I tried to upgrade OS on one of my Dell Precision Workstation. Then it hit me that at that time the problem was because of SATA drivers not being loaded from Windows XP install CD. And I had to ask Dell for installer CD that was used on that desktop. When you see this kind of error when you do any of the following:
First try to see if you can find your original OS disk that came with the machine or ask the manufacturer for a new one. There are different solutions proposed like disabling SATA option in BIOS. I do not feel comfortable with those options because it may introduce issues that may affect performance of your machine. I will strongly suggest using disk that has appropriate disk drivers.