Wrong signature on hibernation file

#1
I posted my question in the User-to-user section, but I've got no reaction. And I did some research.

I have a desktop computer with XP Home SP3, Windows 7 Ultimate and Ubuntu 10.4. Problemless thanks to EasyBCD.
Since a few weeks XP doesn't resume from hibernation, but presents the boot menu. Without apparent cause. I restored previous backups, incl. MRC, it makes no difference.

Preparing hibernation looks very normal: progress indication, appropriate text, flashing lights, etc. And there is a hiberfil.sys with the correct date&time, but at startup this file is not handled. There are no error messages, although applications and files have not been closed properly. I find nothing abnormal in the eventlog.

To test the situation I have shut down XP with hibernation.
On restart I got (as usual) the boot menu and I activated Win7.
Under Win7 I inspected hiberfil.sys of XP, and found out that the signature of the file header was all zero. That is an indication that the file has been previously successfully restored. But that is definitely not true!:angry:
I modified that signature in 'hibr' for an active status, restarted, and the miracle happened: I got 'Resuming windows' with the exact reconstruction of the situation where I left XP!:happy:

That means that the hibernation file is correct, except the signature.
I am told that ntiskrnl.exe is responsible for the hibernation, and ntldr checks for the resulting hiberfil.sys.
I replaced \WINDOWS\system32\ntoskrnl.exe and \NST\ntldr. No effect at all.

What else can be done?
You know all ins and outs of the booting process, I hope you can give me a hint to solve this (small but irritating) problem.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hmm, there are any number of things that could explain this - it certainly is interesting though.

It's most likely possible that when _Windows 7_ booted, XP's hiberfily.sys had its header zero'd out. Hibernation isn't meant to be used with dual-booting, and as such, booting into a copy of Windows usually disables any hibernation profiles for any other OS on the drive.

What I would do is hibernate XP, boot into Ubuntu instead of Windows 7, and investigate the hiberfil header from Linux - is it zero'd out as well?
 
#3
Thanks for the quick reply.

I have no hacking tools in Ubuntu (and lack of skill too...), but I made there a copy of hiberfil, and in that copy the signature is also zeroed out.
It looks like that signature is never set......

Edit:
I repeated this test by means of Ubuntu-Life (bypassing the normal boot procedures) with the same result.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Good work!

Question: do you happen to have more than 4GB of physical memory?
 
#5
I have only 1.5 GB memory.
If I had 4 GB I had even no option to hibernate. And now I have a fine hibernate file with only 4 bytes missing.....
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Do you know if you updated any drivers, installed any Windows Update patches, etc. in this timeframe?
 
#7
I had the normal Windows updates, but I did an Acronis TI restore, incl MBR. I kept it offline to prevent any intervention. But no resume from hibernation!

So I suspected at first the MBR (there seems to be some friction between Acronis, BCD and EasyBCD), but later I discovered that missing signature: the inactive hiberfil has been made before any possible action of MBR. Or maybe the MBR has some influence on the later creation of hiberfil. Intriguing....
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#8
I suspected as much - this isn't something that happens out of the blue.
I'd follow the steps here to perform a repair installation of Windows XP: How to perform an in-place upgrade of Windows XP

It won't erase any of your date or remove any of your programs - it'll just fix any corrupt Windows files.
 
#9
I'd follow the steps here to perform a repair installation of Windows XP
Thank you.
A repair is a panacea for all troubles indeed. But...

As I said in my very first post (0 replies): I have no installation disk. It is an old Presario desktop with a pre-installed OEM. On the manufacturers website the link to the installation disk is dead. I'm afraid I have to live without hibernation (there are worse things!).

I'm glad the old box still supports my scanner and my tablet and my printer. All things Win7 can't do. So I try to keep it in shape.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#10
Can you borrow a CD from a friend?
 
#11
Can you borrow a CD from a friend?
That was not so easy. Most of my friends have no XP CD at all (just like me). And who has one, has a Pro, or a Media Center, or a Corporate, or a 'wrong' OEM without the repair option for this XP Home. But finally I found a retail Home SP3.

I did a repair installation, but at the end I was asked for the product key. The key on the label on the computer was rejected. The key I had got from keyfinders was not accepted too. Big deal! After a restart I was invited to activate the system, but saying yes or no, the system was frozen.

So I have restored my old system, and I'll not hibernate again......
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#12
Ouch! For what it's worth, you can order a new CD from MS for the cost of shipping if you give them your product key - interested?
 
#13
Ouch! For what it's worth, you can order a new CD from MS for the cost of shipping if you give them your product key - interested?
No thanks. It will be an endless story. I have spent to much time on this. I quit!

But in the meantime I got sufficient info to be convinced that:
1. An OEM can only have a clean install, not an 'In place upgrade' or 'Repair'.
2. The product key of an OEM has no real significance.
 

mqudsi

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#14
Sorry it didn't work out so well :S
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
The product key of an OEM installation (end-users, like me, can be OEM self-builders), translates to a
xxx-OEM-yyyyyyy-zzzzz system key at activation, and marks the system as one for which a reduced price was paid, and which is as a consequence tied to that hardware and not transferable.
The number you need is the vvvvv-wwwww-xxxxx-yyyyy-zzzzz Microsoft OEM software label with the hologram stripe which the manufacturer should have stuck to the PC, not any model/serial number of the PC itself.
If the label has become detached/illegible, you can use freeware apps to "unhash" the serial number in Control Panel > System back to the sofware packaging product serial, if you can still boot the OS.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#16
But he'd still need an OEM setup disc, right?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#17
For a "factory reset". But any old XP should work for a vanilla reinstall or repair provided the right key is used.
(for Vista/7 definitely, and previous OSs I'm pretty sure, all flavours of Windows from Basic to Ultimate are present on the CD/DVD. Just the serial number tells Setup which flavour to install, and the EULA restriction as previously posted)
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#18
What I mean is, will a standard XP Home/Pro CD accept an OEM serial key?

Because I know you needed to have special media for "Corporate" and "Volume License" editions of Windows XP, but I never was sure about OEMs.. and the majority of the people we advise to "borrow a CD" (albeit for Windows Vista/7 usually, not XP) have had Windows pre-installed....

Back in the day, I had around 4 or 5 different XP setup CDs, depending on if I wanted x86/x64, Home/Pro and then Standard/VLK/Corporate for the licensing. But I never crossed paths with OEM...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#19
My MS OEM Vista DVD has everything from Basic to Ultimate. It has to because you don't have to quote the key during setup, and you can choose any flavour. You can't of course activate any except the one you've paid for, but you can try each for 30 days, and it's not till activation that the key you enter identifies the fact that you got it cheap and brands it as unmovable.
An HP or Dell "OEM" disc is a different beast of course. It's not the full, every flavour, any hardware version that they buy from MS. They just pass on the bits that pertain to the version you bought and the limited subset of the hardware drivers for your PC.
If you install from a standard disc with an OEM serial, there's no difference in the OS you get, just the EULA conditions that subsequently apply to its use.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#20
Right, but is that the same for XP?