Page Fault in Nonpaged Area
Are you following error message on a blue screen?
STOP 0x00000050 – PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
“Page fault in nonpaged area” is the error message for the 0x50 stop error on a Windows PC. But what does that mean?
At its most basic, the error means that your PC asked for a page of memory in order to continue, and the page was not available. Windows, as a result, was unable to continue the processes it was running, and crashed with what is commonly known as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).
Below, we’ll break down the different parts of this error message to help you understand what it means, and then discuss how to fix it.
What is the Non-Paged Area?
Your PC contains many different components that are used for storing data, these include – among others – the hard drive and random access memory (RAM). One of the major differences between an hard drive and RAM is the duration of storage. RAM is the dynamic, short-term storage, that only remembers it’s contents while the computer is on and running. This is opposed to permanent hard drive storage, which stores data while the computer is off.
RAM is faster to read than hard drive storage, and contains the information required for the computer to process its current active task. When there is too much data to all be held in RAM, data that is not actively in use is stored temporarily in the page file, a location on the hard drive that the computer uses as additional RAM storage. Pages of memory are swapped between the physical RAM and the page file on the hard drive as required for a given task.
The Non-Paged area is an area of memory that contains data that is critical for the running of the system. This data is always required, so instead of swapping the data back and forth between the RAM and the page file, the data is kept constantly in RAM, in the non-paged area. Essentially this area is where data that should not be moved from RAM to the page file is stored.
What’s Causes Page File Errors?
This error occurs when Windows attempts to access critical data from memory that was supposed to be stored in the Non-Paged area, but cannot find it.
Because this area of memory is reserved for the Windows core, it is unlikely to be caused by an error in software code, and most likely to do with hardware. While it’s possible that software (such as an antivirus product) may have accessed the non-paged area and in the process removed or edited the data windows was looking for, the mostly likely culprit is faulty RAM. It may also suggest a hardware problem with the level one or level two cache or corrupt sectors on the hard disk.
How to Fix the Problem
As with any system crash, the first thing you ought to do is reboot and try logging in again. You may well find that everything works and the crash does not happen again. You may, however, find out that the blue screen occurs before you get the chance to log in. If this is the case there are a few things you can check.
First, restart the PC. During the first stages of booting your PC (while the background is black with white text) press the F8 key. This should bring up the boot menu. The boot menu will offer a selection of options, including starting Windows normally, booting into various safe modes, and starting using the last known good settings.
Try to log back in using the last known good settings. Failing that, try booting into safe mode, and restoring back to a previous save point using system restore. The system restore utility can be found in the Start Menu, under Accessories and System Tools.
Running Chkdsk to Fix Page File Errors
If you still cannot log in after restoring to an earlier save point, log back into safe mode and run check disk (or chkdsk). This program will scan through the sectors of your hard disk, looking for bad sectors and correcting them, or flagging them as corrupt to prevent them from being used.
To run check disk, go to the Run option in the Start Menu, and type: cmd
Pressing enter should open a black screen with white text called the command prompt. Type chkdsk and press Enter.
Windows will then check the status of the drive and will tell you if it finds any errors. It is probable that Windows will want to restart prior to running chkdsk. This enables the program to scan files that are locked and in use by the operating system after Windows has loaded.
If chkdsk finds an error, you will want to run the command again, this time adding /F to the command, telling chkdsk to fix any errors it finds. Fixing issues on a disk can take some time so be patient.