Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area errors have been around since Windows XP if not longer. They refer to Windows or a windows application trying to access a part of physical memory that is invalid. Either it is in use by another app or is reserved for something else. Windows somehow cannot cope with it and will generate this error and a Blue Screen of Death.
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If you’re lucky, the error syntax will also tell you what caused the issue. For example, ‘Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area (ati.sys)’. The .sys file referred to in that error is the application that was trying to access memory it shouldn’t.
The error can be caused by hardware or software and will not typically happen out of the blue. It will most often occur just after a RAM or graphics card change, a Windows core or app update or when you have installed something new. With that in mind, the first troubleshooting you should do is to roll back whatever change you made. Remove the RAM, disable the service of the app you updated, uninstall it or roll back to a previous version. Only once you have done that should you move on.
Fix ‘Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area’ errors in Windows 10
The first thing we need to do if identify the app causing the error. If you see a file referenced as in the example above, update the driver it refers to. If you don’t see a file name, let’s do a broad stroke driver update.
As this error results in a BSOD, we will need to perform all steps from Safe Mode.
- Reboot your computer from your Windows installation media.
- Select Repair my computer instead of Install when prompted.
- Select Troubleshoot, Advanced and then Startup Settings.
- Press F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking.
- Navigate to Settings and Update & security.
- Click the Advanced options text link in the right pane and check the box next to ‘Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows’.
- Go back to Update & security and click Check for updates. Allow the process to complete.
- Right click the Start Button and select Device Manager.
- Right click your graphics card, sound card, network card and any peripherals you have connected and select ‘Update Driver Software’. Repeat for each piece of hardware.
- Navigate to the website of your motherboard manufacturer and check for a driver update.
- Reboot your computer once completely updated and retest.
This should fix ‘Page_fault_in_nonpaged_area’ errors in most cases. If it doesn’t, the cause may be memory related.
- Download Memtest86+.
- Burn it to a CD or download the USB version.
- Boot your computer from the media and allow the test to run. It should perform 8 passes and could take a few hours depending on how much memory you have and the speed of your computer.
If Memtest86+ finds errors, troubleshoot by swapping RAM slots or sticks and performing the test again. If you have faulty RAM replace it. If you have a faulty RAM slot, work around it or replace the motherboard.