PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA is the closest thing Windows has to an “invalid memory reference” error when it comes to BSODs. Understanding paged memory, which organizes accessible memory space into a set of 4K-sized memory pages, is necessary to fully comprehend what’s happening. Only a small portion of the very huge number of pages that the OS can address will actually be stored in RAM.
When a program or the operating system refers to a particular memory page that isn’t existent in RAM, the page manager typically issues a “page fault” (page not present) status. The requested page is ultimately read from the page file as a result of this. An old memory page (one that hasn’t been accessed recently) will be swapped out to create a place for the new page as it is swapped in if space is needed to accommodate anything new.
The OS “locks in” some pages that are regularly used in Memory. In other words, they are not involved in memory paging and should always be present and accessible. This memory allocation is referred to by Windows as the “Non-paged pool,” and Task Manager displays it as such as seen below.
A page fault occurs when the OS requests a locked-in page but instead receives a page fault, as shown by the PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA BSOD. Because this error shouldn’t exist and immediately impacts the operating system, Microsoft treats it as a stop code and generates a BSOD (only highly privileged, important memory pages get allocated into the non-paged pool).
Page Fault in Nonpaged Area: What Causes It?
The Microsoft Documentation article for PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA(opens in new tab) states that this specific stop code may appear after installing what it refers to as “a malfunctioning system service or bad driver code.”
System services are typically provided by Microsoft as part of OS releases, upgrades, or updates. You’ll know whether they’re to blame right away because Microsoft will note this possibility in its “Known Problems” listings for situations like this. Also, there will be a large amount of internet activity to report, record, and complain about such issues.
While problematic Windows updates can occasionally occur, a defective driver is much more likely to be to blame for the error code PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA. Note the file listed on the BSOD (for example, nvlddmkm. sys) and think about if you’ve recently updated a driver or installed a new device to determine if the issue is caused by a driver.
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How to Resolve BsoDs with Page Fault in Nonpaged Area
The best course of action when dealing with problematic system services is to uninstall (or roll back from) the upgrade or update that gave rise to the issue. If it was installed using a fresh copy of Windows, it’s time to perform a new installation using a different OS version that is known to be reliable and functional. Visit this article to learn how to perform a Windows repair reinstall in 30 minutes.
If a driver is the cause of the issue, look for a newer version of the driver on the website of the device’s manufacturer first. Download and install it if necessary. Try going back to an earlier version if necessary. To reverse a driver
- Start Device Manager first. There is a menu item for it under Windows + X.
- Choose properties by right-clicking on the questioned device.
- Choose Roll Back Driver from the menu.
Even then, it will only return you to one version because many devices won’t have the Roll Back Driver button enabled. Alternatively, you’ll need to search the manufacturer’s website for an older driver (or some reputable third-party source, such as the excellent French Station Drivers website).
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Search for Disk Issues
The PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA BSOD can also be brought on by disk faults or specific issues with system files. To rule out or resolve these problems:
- Launch the command prompt in administrator mode. By typing cmd into the search bar, right-clicking, and choosing Run as administrator, you can get there.
- To identify and replace any broken OS components, enter DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
- To check for corrupted system files, type SFC /scannow.
Although they aren’t the most common causes of a Page Fault in Nonpaged Area BSOD, you can take them right now and they might help.
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Page Fault in Nonpaged Area Bsods Might Be Caused by Memory
Memory issues are another one of the PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA BSOD’s possible causes. Problems with Memory, the L1 or L2 cache on the CPU chip, or even video RAM on a graphics card could be the cause of this. Such problems must be found via an elimination approach. The CPU cache and video RAM can be checked, but RAM is the easiest.
PC Memory can be tested using the Memtest86+ tool, which is open-source and free. On my Ventoy repair flash drive, I retain a bootable copy of MemTest86+ with the name mt531b.iso to reflect the most recent MemTest86+ version. The tool typically has to run overnight, so shortly before going to bed, I boot to the MemTest image and let it run all night so I can watch what it’s doing (and finding).
A fascinating list of 6 free applications to examine your video card memory for faults is provided by Malaysian hacker Raymond. cc. Although there aren’t any tools that specifically examine CPU cache, I did come up with an interesting StackOverflow answer that uses DotNet libraries to get close.
Keep an eye out for related stop codes if memory issues are actually there and none of the other methods I’ve mentioned work to solve them.