How To Fix The ‘Page Fault in Non-Paged Area’ BSOD In Windows 10

As BSODs go, PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA is as close as Windows comes to saying “invalid memory reference.” To really understand what’s going on, one needs to understand paged memory, which divides addressable memory space up into a collection of 4K-sized memory pages. The OS can address a very large number of pages, where only some of those pages will actually be resident in RAM. 

In most cases, when a program or the OS references a specific memory page, if it’s not resident in RAM, the page manager throws a “page fault” (page not present) status. Ultimately, this means the requested page gets read from the page file. To make room for something new if room is needed, an old memory page (one that hasn’t been accessed recently) will be swapped out to make room for the new page as it gets swapped in.

Certain pages that the OS uses frequently are “locked-in” to RAM. That is, they do not participate in memory paging and should always be present and available when requested. Windows refers to this memory allocation as the “Non-paged pool” and it appears as such in Task Manager, as shown below.

 The non-paged pool on a PC with 32 GB of physical RAM is only 951 MB. Windows allocates only the barest minimum to this collection of “locked-in” memory pages. (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA BSOD signals a condition where the OS has requested a locked-in page, and gets a page fault instead. The reason why Microsoft handles this as a stop code and generates a BSOD is because this error is not supposed to occur, and it directly affects the operating system (only highly privileged, important memory pages get allocated into the non-paged pool).