PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA during Vista Installation
I was having trouble installing Windows Vista on an HP Pavilion zd8000. Repeated attempts yielded the same result — during the “copying files” phase, the machine would blue screen with a PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA STOP error. STOP errors are typically hardware-related, so I went through the drill and disabled anything out of the ordinary in the BIOS setup, re-seated the memory etc. No joy.
I then tried the Vista recovery option, and found an option to run memory diagnostics. Since my drive is a new partition and has no OS, this would not run (of course, the error message was not helpful at all…it just said “there’s a problem”). After Googling a bit, I found this cool site — Microsoft Online Crash Analysis. The site has a detailed guide to using the Windows Memory Diagnostic and an ISO image containing the memory diagnostic software. I downloaded the ISO, burned a CD and booted up the machine with it. The machine booted up and instantly ran a series of memory tests from which I determined that one of the 1GB memory chips is bad. Removed the memory and the blue screen problem went away.
I have added the memory diagnostic CD to my collection of Windows disaster recovery tools. If you are getting intermittent blue screens, try this software…it will help identify or eliminate bad memory as the cause of the problem.