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I'm trying to boot into a Vista 64 bit machine and during startup, right after the progress bar starts scrolling back and forth, it BSOD's with a STOP error 0x00000050 (PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA). I have tried the following with no success:

  • Booting into safe mode (same BSOD)
  • Doing a system restore to a previous checkpoint (it says there are none, which is odd)
  • Running a memory test using the diagnostic tool - passed
  • I was able to get to the command prompt with the diagnostic tool and can access the boot drive. I copied off the most important files to another drive.
  • Ran a chkdsk with the repair option - it says it found 5 unindexed files, and fixed them, but the problem remains
  • I disconnected all external components except the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Problem still remains.
  • I tried just running it with one stick of RAM, then the other, just to make sure it's not a RAM issue. Problem remains.

I think the next step is to completely re-install Vista. Am I missing something?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Excellent troubleshooting work.

In particular, if you've run the memory test diagnostic and it is passing, then I can't think of any other resolution than reinstalling the OS.

(and even then, I'd be wary of bad hardware based on everything else you've ruled out -- a clean OS install is a good smoke test, because if you can't finish a clean OS install, you almost definitely have bad hardware at that point)

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Thanks Jeff, you've confirmed my fears. Now if only they can find their Windows install CD, we're set. –  Scott Whitlock Jan 18 '10 at 13:35

Did you add any new hardware? A Page Fault in Nonpaged area are usually caused by buggy drivers that tried to access memory that was currently paged out to disk (even at startup). If you added any new hardware (or installed any new software (those can sometimes add software "drivers", the Cisco VPN client installs a virtual network card for example)) try removing it if you can. If you haven't changed anything, try removing any extra hardware addons (scanners, printers, sound cards, etc.) and see if it boots.

If you are unable to get it to boot, reinstalling would be your only option.

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Definitely no new hardware, but as I wasn't the last to touch the machine, you never know what was downloaded to it. Most of the stuff I see online about buggy drivers says you should disable the device, etc., but that presupposes you can boot! :( –  Scott Whitlock Jan 18 '10 at 13:33

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