Intermittent Page_Fault error at start up

  Jem 11:02 23 Jun 2007

I've been rebuilding my PC around a new motherboard, CPU and memory and thought I'd got it all right but am experiencing an intermittent problem on start up.

The symptoms:
1. Usually happens after PC has been off overnight
2. After switch on the PC stops before loading XP-SP2 in the Bios screen at end of "PCI listing" just before it normally tries its first boot.
3. I switch off and re-boot and it gets into the XP loading screen and then crashes to Blue Screen (just prior to welcome) with message "Page_Fault_in_Nonpaged_Area" etc.
4. It may repeat this crash on re-start once or so but does eventually start up normally and continue to run happily.

I've researched and as a result checked the "Device Control" for hardware errors - none reported; I've also run Memcheck86 (no memory errors reported).

Any ideas what's going on?

Hardware: ECS KV2-lite m/b; AMD 3800 dual core; 1GB Kingston RAM; new 450W PSU; Bios latest update; ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card; Soundblaster Live.

  Gongoozler 17:20 23 Jun 2007

"Page_Fault_in_Nonpaged_Area" is almost invariably caused by a memory problem, usually faulty memory but occasionally a faulty motherboard. Try running MemTest for a time to see if it reveals a problem. click here

  Gongoozler 17:23 23 Jun 2007

This information from Microsoft might also be helpful click here. Although it specifically applies to Windows 2000 I think it looks fairly applicable to XP.

  Jem 00:23 24 Jun 2007

Thanks. But I have run memtest and had no errors.

Once PC does start successfully, it runs happily with no problems. The crashes all seem to occur at start up and repeated re-boots do get system running eventually. Very strange!

  Gongoozler 09:45 24 Jun 2007

As the computer eventually runs smoothly and all the crashes occur at startup, this suggests to me that the problem is a temperature related timing effect. After a few startup attempts the defective component temperature has risen sufficiently for the component to work correctly. If I'm right, then by the time you are able to run MemTest the problem has gone away and the test result is clear. If your RAM is in more than one stick, try with just one.

  Jem 10:27 24 Jun 2007

Good thought - will try out. Thanks

  Jem 19:59 24 Jun 2007

Well Gongoozler - you were right.

Having let PC cool down, then booted straight into Memtest86 - almost immediately 3 memory errors appeared. This after the previous test (run after the PC had been on for a while) ran all the way through without a single error.

I guess it's time to return the memory sticks (they're a Kingston kit of 2 x 512MB (1Gb total)DDR RAM) to eBuyer.

Thanks again.

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