What Is Page Fault in Nonpaged Area?
STOP 0x00000050 - PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
What do you do with the following error message on a blue screen?
"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.
If Check Disk Does Not Work
At this point, you have eliminated software and hard disk as the cause for the crash. That leaves the most likely suspect, your RAM.
Before diving into the RAM, you can check one more thing by opening up the event viewer and try to find errors that suggest another cause. You can do this by typing the command eventvwr into the Start Menu's Run option, and looking through the System and Application logs. However, unless you know what to look for, this could easily send you off on a wild goose chase.
Before you touch anything inside your computer, make sure that you ground yourself to discharge static electricity that may damage your PC. This can be done by touching something metallic, like a radiator or the metal case of your PC when it is plugged in but not turned on. Unplug your PC before making any changes to the hardware.
Test Your RAM
If you don't find any errors by using event viewer, or don't know how to, the next thing to do is to check your hardware, notably the RAM.
- Turn off your PC and remove the side panel.
- Inside—once you push aside the mass of cables—you will find the RAM affixed to the motherboard. The RAM chips generally sit next to each other in parallel slots on the motherboard. Little plastic clips sit in small grooves on the sides, keeping the chips fixed in place.
- Likely, your PC has more than one stick of RAM. To establish which chip is causing the problem, simply remove the clips on either side of one of the sticks, and then pull it out. Try loading up the computer again. If the problem still exists, put the chip back, and remove a different stick of RAM.
If the problem persists
The purpose of this hub has been to try and explain the error, hopefully to help prevent the need to pay out for a computer repair. While I've done my best to cover the most common causes of this particular blue screen crash, and present you with the less complicated home troubleshooting options available to you, no online guide could ever cover every single possibility.
If the problem persists, you are left with an issue that is too complicated to troubleshoot by following an online guide. It could be occurring due to faulty hardware such as your motherboard, CPU or graphics processor, or it could be due to badly written software or drivers that are interacting with an area that they should not be.
Unless you already have a good understanding of how to repair your own computer, then consider taking it into a professional.