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I may have just done a bad thing. I reinstalled Windows 10 on my XPS 8900 desktop and asked Dell for driver updates. It offered 4, including a 'manual' update of the BIOS. I gave it the go ahead and now every time I try to boot the computer I get the error 'PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA'. Dell's automated local assistant scans the system and finds no hardware issues. I'm sure it is the BIOS. I have found numerous references to the error but nothing that I have been able to use. I just bought this computer from a friend. Haven't used it once. Fortunately I still have my old one.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

7thKahuna has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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Clarification Request
More info . . .

In reply to: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA Error on Start Up

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Nothing . . .

In reply to: More info . . .

Downloaded the older version of the BIOS, renamed it, copied it to a flash drive. Switched computer to UEFI, replaced updated BIOS with older BIOS. Rebooted. No OS. Switched back to Legacy Boot.

Still have the same problem. PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

Any ideas?

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Re:page fault

In reply to: Nothing . . .

Did you ask your friend if he had comparable issues with it?

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In reply to: Re:page fault

No, he says he had not. And I suppose I should clarify, I purchased the machine a month ago and had played with it a bit, cycling it on and off a dozen times without issue, I just hadn't done anything serious with it pending the fresh Windows install. The new Windows install itself had been booted once or twice prior to the driver and BIOS update. Also, I had popped in a new drive prior to installing Windows. Now the result is the same whether I try to boot from the old drive or the new.

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Clarification Request
when did you reinstall windows 10?

In reply to: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA Error on Start Up

If in the past 2-3 days, then you might be getting hit by the "mitigation" updates that Microsoft is doing to try and patch for the Meltdown and Spectre potential exploits on "Wintel" systems.

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Sorry, I didn't see this..

In reply to: when did you reinstall windows 10?

Thought the list was linear.

Yes, the reinstall was yesterday, but i don't think Windows itself had had a chance to do any updates yet. At least I hadn't asked it to, and it was only briefly online. The installed Windows version was more than a year old I believe. There would have been a lot to download.

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windows 10 doesn't wait for you to ask

In reply to: Sorry, I didn't see this..

It force uploads on users. You could check the KB........ files to see if any have been downloaded yet. A speccy would show them all.

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In reply to: windows 10 doesn't wait for you to ask

Sorry, as I noted elsewhere, I'm a network guy not a PC guy. 'KB.....' and 'speccy' are new concepts to me. I am however good about keeping a new machine offline for as long as possible, installing browser and antivirus from a flash drive. The machine was only online long enough to obtain the drivers form the Dell website. I know that doesn't mean anything really, but my thought is that Microsoft would have wanted to update Windows 10 to the current release before addressing Meltdown or Spectre.

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In reply to: Speccy?

All the windows updates come as files that start with KB and then a string of numbers after them. Sometimes they are a different color when seen in the file manager, depending on one's settings. Of course they are hidden files until exposed by allowing that in the settings for the file manager.

A speccy is a report from piriform that can be displayed online at help sites to better diagnose a problem.

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How to display to help forums

In reply to: OK

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I'll take a look at this

In reply to: How to display to help forums

I'll take a look at this but assume it requires the machine is running. This evening I'll try the Linux disk. Thank you, always good to know about online resources. There was a time when I was the guy they called. Maybe I can reup a few of my limited (expired) nerd credentials. Grin

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by 7thKahuna

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Just an idea.

In reply to: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA Error on Start Up

I'd get the latest BIOS in there then, well BIOSes change but the idea is the same. Load the defaults to the BIOS and don't change anything that doesn't need changing. I've run into folk changing to UEFI or other and losing a month to discover something that is broken. Always stick with defaults at first.

Next I take a blank HDD and install the OS clean. Then the drivers and apps. Usually that's all.

The error you noted is on google and there is no single cause or cure. You wrote the hardware tests pass so I'm going with a, current BIOS, b, BIOS defaults, c, clean install to blank drive.

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secure boot

In reply to: Just an idea.

I'm wondering if secure boot's connection with windows gets messed up on a BIOS update? I've not heard of such though. Typically page faults are associated with memory. The question then is, RAM memory, or CPU inbuilt memory?

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When I work a machine like this

In reply to: secure boot

There is what you noted plus more. I don't stop at just what I wrote but will pull out one of my Linux boot disks or USB sticks to see what it thinks. If I get kernel panics in more than one Linux I know something hardware is amiss.

I don't stop there either. I'll downsize the machine to one stick of RAM, be sure the machine heatsinks and internals are clean and nothing odd about the PC partswise. That is I've had machines with added cards that just pushed the machine over the edge. Not to mention old models with the Classic Bad Caps issue which can cause the machine to cough up that message.

Point? It's something. What is it this time?

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It is usually a cable issue (or so we used to say)

In reply to: When I work a machine like this

Ok guys, I'm already outside my comfort zone here. OS updates and hard drive swaps no problem, but it's been years since I tried pulling a computer apart. I stuck to the network side (CCNA CCNP) and even that knowledge is pretty outdated. One thing I do remember about troubleshooting though was no matter how complex the set up, nine times out of ten, the problem was a cable issue. Not that we have cable issues here, but, and correct me if I am wrong, it's most likely to be something simple. Here are my thoughts based upon comments above:

I pulled the old drive, installed a new one, then loaded Windows. Rebooted. Everything works.
Installed the new drivers using the Dell utility. Rebooted. Everything works.
Installed the BIOS update. Attempted to reboot. No luck.
Downgraded the BIOS. Attempted to reboot. No luck.
Reinstalled the original hard drive and OS (untouched). Attempted to reboot. No luck.

Having reinstalled the original hard drive and OS, that should exclude the driver updates as the problem.

Having downgraded the BIOS to the original version (per the date of manufacture, I wish I remembered for sure what it was) that theoretically eliminates the BIOS compatibility as the problem.

As best I can tell the machine is as delivered in term of components. Original video card, memory, etc.

The BIOS was set to Legacy rather than UEFI (and I'm not entirely clear what that means) but I may have done that myself a couple weeks ago when I was trying to get it to boot Linux off a flash drive. In any case, I had to switch it back to UEFI to get it to acknowledge the flash drive when I 'restored' the BIOS. Then I had to switch it back to 'Legacy' in order to get it to recognize the hard drive afterward.

The simple solution or 'cable issue' in this case, assuming the BIOS install didn't fail twice, is that I have a setting issue.

Now my experience with BIOS settings was mostly gleaned in the 1990's; boot order, date, time. This computer doesn't even appear to access all the settings from the same place. I've found two different screens. One I get to with F2 the other with F12, I think . . . Nothing looks familiar.

Anyway, all of this to say that I am leaning toward the idea of restoring the BIOS defaults and seeing if that doesn't solve the problem. What are the chances that the default setting were modified at the factory? If the machine is as I believe 'stock', then should the default settings be functional settings so that I can at least boot the machine and launch Dell's web-based tech scan?

If the default settings were potentially changed at the factory, can anyone point to the appropriate resources to work that out? Hitting that 'restore default settings' button scares me as much as hitting the 'update BIOS' button should have. The only reason I tried it in the first place was because of the recent stories about the flaw in the Intel chips.

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Wrong order.

In reply to: It is usually a cable issue (or so we used to say)

When I start my fresh windows install, the BIOS is updated, cleared and only the bare minimum is changed.

If you update a BIOS there is a risk you can tank the installed Windows.

But after all this, why change the BIOS. What issue are we working here?

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Not sure I understand.

In reply to: Wrong order.

Knowing nothing of BIOS, I pulled the old hard drive, installed the new one, and installed Windows from a Microsoft DVD not a recovery sector. When I checked the devises there was a PCI issue and knowing that none of the Dell provided drivers had been installed, I went to Dell Support and let it scan the computer. It suggested thee drivers and a BIOS update. Dell indicated that the BIOS update was urgent so on the chance it actually was, I proceeded. The install order (BIOS last) was theirs, not mine, though they obviously couldn't have installed it before Windows.

That was all I did. It was only after the BIOS update failed that I opted to change the BIOS back to an older version.

So it sounds like you would suggest I install the most current version of the BIOS, then a fresh Windows install, then any drivers? Understanding that you may be speaking a foreign language to me, what do you mean by 'cleared and only the bare minimum is changed'?

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Yes. Install order matters.

In reply to: Not sure I understand.

We have to work from the lowest order component item up to the biggest.

BIOS is at the lowest tier. If we change this after Windows is installed there is a chance we'll pull the rug out from under Windows.

But here again, if you have a working PC on the old BIOS why bother?

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Not Working . . .

In reply to: Yes. Install order matters.

The steps I detailed are the steps that led to this post. The machine is not working. (and the thought that I have killed it bothers me).

If you are referring to the comment about the hard drive access, then maybe you are on to something but no, having reset the BIOS to Legacy, the BIOS recognizes the presence of the hard drive but the result is only a cycle that culminates in the error message stated before automatically rebooting the machine. It is the same result I had before 'downgrading' the BIOS.

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I know it's tough the first times.

In reply to: Not Working . . .

I don't see an answer to why you are upgrading the BIOS.

Why not leave it working?

Here I may upset you about the order of updating. If you install the OS then the BIOS you can get into a rough patch as it can be tough to install windows in that situation. I have my ways to get out of that hole but here, we've covered this enough.

Advice: Go with the BIOS that works.

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that's a good question . . .

In reply to: I know it's tough the first times.

Why did I upgrade? Only because the Dell Support website said it was 'urgent'. Even flagged it in red. I assumed it might have something to do with Meltdown or Spectre. The machine was working fine. I am very willing to follow your advice as to the order of install, it makes perfect sense to me. I was just trying to clarify what specific steps your would take in terms of versions, settings to be aware of, etc.

There does seem to be some confusion remaining though.
1) The computer is not currently working. Windows does not load. I am able to load some sort of Dell self check, but I am assuming that is loaded from BIOS not from the hard drive, though it did not run until I switched back to Legacy so I'm not really sure. It could have downloaded with the drivers.
2) I do not know with certainty what version of the BIOS was loaded prior to my attempting to update it. I can see via the Dell Support website what version it would have shipped with, what version is considered current, and several versions in between. As such if I were to start again from scratch, I need to decide which version to start with. You had earlier indicated that the most current would be best. Do you still think so?

I realize we have been at this for a while and I thank you very much for your assistance.

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Here's the deal on Legacy setting.

In reply to: that's a good question . . .

When you install Windows if tailors itself to the current configuration. If it's in UEFI mode, it does that. Then a change to Legacy changes a fundamental "how does the HDD talk to the machine and Windows" and BLAMMO. Broke Windows.

This is why we update the BIOS. And then install Windows. It's also why we make the minimum changes to the BIOS if the default is Legacy, leave it that way. Or the other? Leave it. WHY? Because in a few years someone will reset the BIOS and blammo, borked Windows.

Hope this helps.

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My plan

In reply to: Here's the deal on Legacy setting.

Ok, then tonight I'm going to try James' suggestion of the Live Linux DVD, just out of curiosity, and then I will install the most current BIOS and a fresh Windows install on top of that. We'll see what happens. I'm assuming I'll just be leaving the BIOS settings as default unless I see something obvious that needs to be changed. Is there any BIOS setting that you foresee me needing to be conscious of?

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Depends on the machine.

In reply to: My plan

Most of the bios today I set to defaults and never look back.

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Thank you, thank you

In reply to: Depends on the machine.

I can not tell you how much I appreciate your time. I learned a tremendous amount in the process. I ended up installing a fresh drive, followed by the most current BIOS, and finally Windows 10. I guess you were right all along, the error was not a BIOS error but a Windows error. Order of operations. I know better for next time and no longer need to fear BIOS updates. Think I'll do some more research. When I first downloaded the BIOS update Dell warned you could damage your computer. I took them a bit too seriously. Again, thanks. I thought I had destroyed my 'new' computer.

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More good news.

In reply to: Thank you, thank you

By installing that latest BIOS then W10 in the right order you should be as good as it gets and not have to update like this for some time (well, the jury is out about Meltdown and Spectre as to what it means to updates and what will be changed about that.)

This is a good way to learn about install order.

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Hmmm . . .

In reply to: More good news.

Well, the excitement was short lived. Now it fails to recognize the onboard wired network interface. Any chance that's BIOS? It worked before. Back to troubleshooting.

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Could be a BIOS setting.

In reply to: Hmmm . . .

Some BIOS allow control to turn off/on devices so check that.

More common are folk new to installing windows. You learned install order matters about BIOS then Windows so what's next?

Motherboard chipset drivers then audio, video, LAN, WLAN and so on.

For some models like Dell there is this app called Quickset (model specific). What it does is offer keyboard control to audio levels, wifi on/off and such. Not all PCs have such an app.

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In reply to: Could be a BIOS setting.

Yes, I should have noted, I download the network driver from Dell Support and installed via flash drive. The device manager still doen't see the interface however, just the Bluetooth and Wireless. The first time I installed Windows, before the initial attempt at a BIOS update, the connection was successful with just the generic Windows drivers. I'm going to take a look at the BIOS settings next.

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Order matters.

In reply to: Drivers

In order for LAN and WLAN to be seen the motherboard chipset package would be installed first.

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