The last thing you ever want to see on your PC is the dreaded BSoD (blue screen of death). However, this is exactly how you’ll see the kernel data inpage error. This is a serious code that you shouldn’t ignore. It’s a warning that something is wrong with your PC and you need to act quickly. The good news is that there are multiple ways to figure out the root cause before things get worse.
- What Is the Kernel Data Inpage Error and What Causes It?
- How to Fix a Kernel Data Inpage Error
- 1. Reboot Your PC
- 2. Check Your Hardware
- 3. Scan Your Hard Drive
- 4. Run the Memory Diagnostic Tool
- 5. Uninstall Recently Installed Software
- 6. Disconnect Recently Installed Hardware
- 7. Run Security Scans
- 8. Run the System File Checker
- 9. Check Device Drivers
- 10. Restore Your BIOS
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Kernel Data Inpage Error and What Causes It?
The name alone doesn’t really give you much to go on. The stop code “kernel data inpage error” typically refers to hardware failures, namely memory and hard drive. However, it can also appear due to corrupt system files, bad BIOS settings, motherboard issues, and even viruses. None of these are good news for your PC, so it’s necessary to start troubleshooting right after you see the error appear for the first time.
This error can also happen if you’ve recently installed new hardware or cables. If something’s not connected properly, your system views this as a hardware failure and gives you the appropriate BSoD.
Occasionally, you’ll see the error once and it never shows up again. This is usually due to a temporary issue with your RAM, such as extreme usage for a longer period. If you were taxing your system, you might not actually have any real problems with your system. However, always back up your PC after getting the stop code: kernel data inpage error, just in case.
In addition to seeing the KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR stop code on the BSoD, you might see a status code, which can help narrow down possible causes. These codes include:
- 0xC0000185 – unseated or damaged cables, or an IRQ conflict
- 0x0000007A – file access errors (could be due to bad sectors, device drivers errors, or a virus)
- 0xC000016A – bad hard drive sectors
- 0xC000009A – lack of pool resources
- 0xC000009D – loose cables or hard disk failure
- 0xC000009C – bad hard drive sectors
If you didn’t see a code or your system rebooted before you could write down the status code, don’t worry. When your PC starts back up, press Win + X and select “Event Viewer”. Or, go to Start and search for “Event Viewer”.
Then, search “Windows Logs and Applications” and “Services Logs” for “Kernel Data Inpage” from the sidebar. A good starting point is “System” under “Windows Logs”. Right-click “System” (or any other category) and select “Find” to search.
How to Fix a Kernel Data Inpage Error
Whether you have a status code or not, there are a series of troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the kernel data inpage error. Before you do anything else, back up all your personal files. If it’s a hard drive failure, your system could crash again at any time.
1. Reboot Your PC
Whenever your get a BSoD, your system reboots automatically. However, when you’re trying out solutions, try rebooting your PC after making any changes.
Also, it’s possible the error was caused due to a random hardware glitch, high resource usage, or even a driver or system update that needs to finish installing. Rebooting is a simple solution, but it’s always worth trying whenever you have PC trouble.
2. Check Your Hardware
All it takes is for a cable to come partially undone or twisted to get a kernel data inpage error in Windows. If you have a laptop or you’ve bumped your desktop tower or all-in-one monitor, you may have unseated a memory stick or damaged sectors on your hard drive. Even with an SSD, any physical shock to your PC can disconnect the drive or damage the pins connecting the drive to your motherboard.
Turn off your computer and disconnect the power cable. Move the laptop or case to an area without carpeting to reduce any chance of static discharge as much as possible. If you have an anti-static wrist strap, use it now.
Then, do the following:
- Remove memory modules and ensure there’s no damage to the pins.
- Ensure all memory modules are securely seated in their correct positions.
- Check the hard drive cable both at the hard drive end and on the motherboard to ensure it’s connected properly.
If you have a laptop, check your user manual to open the case and access your hardware without damaging anything. They’re not as easy to work on as a desktop.
3. Scan Your Hard Drive
If it’s a hard drive issue, you should be able to scan for and fix certain errors using either
chkdsk from a command prompt or the Error Checking tool (similar to chkdsk, but in a graphical format). It’s easier to use the Error Checking tool for most users.
- Open “File Explorer” and select “This PC.” Right-click your hard drive and select “Properties.”
- Select the “Tools” tab and click “Check.”
Please note that in Windows 10 and 11, drive health is monitored automatically. So you might see a message saying the drive doesn’t need to be checked. However, it’s best to run the Error Checking tool just to be safe.
- Click on “Scan drive” to begin the scan.
If you receive a message saying the scan can’t run while you’re using the drive, schedule the scan to run at the next restart when prompted and reboot your PC.
You’ll have the option to let the tool repair any errors it finds. Let it proceed.
If you prefer using the command line, you can also use
chkdsk to find errors. Open “Start” and type
cmd. Select “Run as administrator” under Command Prompt.
At the prompt, type
chkdsk /f to find and fix any bad sectors, if possible. Use this chkdsk guide to understand other commands you may want to use.
Once again, you may have to restart your PC for the scan to run.
If either tool is successful in fixing errors, this should resolve the kernel data inpage error.
4. Run the Memory Diagnostic Tool
If the status code refers to memory issues, then you should try running the Memory Diagnostic tool. This is a built-in Windows tool that scans for memory errors. Close all open files and apps before running this tool.
- Open “Start” and type
mdsched.exeand click the result. You can also type “Memory Diagnostic” and select the result.
- Choose whether to run the scan immediately or wait until the next restart.
- When the scan starts running, press F1. This allows you to choose the type of scan you want to use. By default, the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool runs a “Standard” scan. However, when you’re getting the kernel data inpage error, it’s best to run a more extensive scan. Select “Extended” from the list.
- Press F10 to apply your changes. This scan can take a while and it’s best not to interrupt it.
If any issues are found, they should appear as a message on your desktop when your computer restarts. You can also find them in Event Viewer under “Windows Logs -> System.” Right-click “System” and choose “Find.” Search for “MemoryDiagnostic”. Look through any events that say “results”.
There is an issue with this tool sometimes. Sometimes, you won’t receive a message or find anything in Event Viewer , especially when an error isn’t found. In this case, try third-party memory checking tools. These are also useful for more complex and varied scans.
5. Uninstall Recently Installed Software
Software installation can make a number of unintended changes to your system. From affecting device drivers to causing corrupted system files, a single app has the power to drastically change your PC.
If you recently installed any software/apps, uninstall them and restart your computer. If you still get the error, then you know the software isn’t to blame. However, if you’re able to use your PC for a few hours with no issues, either there’s a problem with the software or it didn’t install correctly.
Plus, if you’ve installed any untrusted third-party software, it may not be compatible with your system. It could also contain a virus. The same holds true with any unsigned drivers. If you’ve installed unsigned drivers and get the error, remove the drivers.
Try installing the software again to see if you still get an error. If you do, uninstall the software.
6. Disconnect Recently Installed Hardware
If you recently installed any new hardware or peripherals, disconnect them and restart. The error may be caused by faulty new hardware, corrupt device drivers, or even incorrectly installed hardware.
Typically, you’ll see errors within a few days if it’s related to new hardware. If so, disconnect anything new and restart your computer. If you can use it without error, try reinstalling the hardware to see if you get the error again. If you don’t get it, then it was likely just an error during the installation.
7. Run Security Scans
There is very little a virus can’t do, including causing kernel data inpage errors. To check if a virus is the culprit, run a full system scan with your chosen anti-virus tool. You can also use Windows Defender (also known as Windows Security) or a combination.
You may also want to check your Windows processes to see if anything looks suspicious. Often, malware poses as legitimate Windows processes and it can be hard to tell the difference. Our guide can show you how to assess whether a Windows process is legitimate.
8. Run the System File Checker
If the problem stems from corrupted or missing files, the best solution is the System File Checker tool. It’s a built-in Windows tool that attempts to automatically find and fix damaged and missing system files. Viruses, Windows update issues, software, and bad device drivers can all cause issues with system files.
Press Win + R and type
cmd. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt with administrative privileges. At the prompt, type
sfc /scannow and hit Enter to continue. The process can take a while, so be patient. If there aren’t any errors, it should take less than five minutes to complete.
If nothing’s found, you’ll see a message saying “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.” If any errors are found, you’ll see a list of what was found and whether it can be repaired or not.
9. Check Device Drivers
Bad or corrupted device drivers often cause the kernel data inpage error, making the system see your hard drive, or other hardware, as failing. The good news is that you don’t need to replace your hardware, just update your drivers.
- Press Win + X and select “Device Manager.”
- Look for error icons next to any devices. If you don’t see anything, expand “Disk drives”. Right-click your hard drive and select “Update driver.”
- Choose whether to search for drivers automatically or select a file from your PC. The second option is only for when you’ve downloaded a new driver yourself. If Windows can’t find a driver, visit the hardware manufacturer’s website for the latest official driver.
If you recently installed new hardware or new drivers, you can also select “Uninstall device” to remove the driver from your system and let Windows reinstall it for you.
10. Restore Your BIOS
Most users never change anything about their BIOS settings outside of adjusting the boot order. However, any incorrect settings or configurations can wreak havoc on your PC, including throwing you a BSoD with the kernel data inpage error. There’s no real way to know whether this is the cause without resetting your BIOS to its default settings. This applies whether you use the traditional BIOS or the newer UEFI.
If you have any custom settings in place, note them before you make any changes. (You can restore your customizations a few at a time to see if any of those are the issue.)
Restart your PC and press your system’s BIOS button. This varies based on your system, but is usually F2. It may also be F1, F10, or Del. To verify, look for the message that says “press key to enter BIOS” during startup. It flashes quickly, so it’s difficult to see, especially if you have an SSD.
Once in your BIOS, look for the “Reset to Default” option. (The wording might vary slightly based on your specific BIOS and version.) After you reset the BIOS, restart your PC to see if the error still exists.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What exactly is a “kernel”?
If you think “popcorn” when you think “kernel,” you’re not alone. However, when it comes to computers, the kernel is the go-between for your physical hardware and applications. It’s a vital part of every operating system and runs in the background. Until you get a kernel error, you’d never know the kernel exists.
2. When do I need to replace my hardware?
That depends on the kind of glitches you encounter and also on the age of your PC’s hardware. The kernel data inpage error is not the only warning sign that shows up when something is wrong.
If you’re having frequent crashes without a BSoD, sluggish performance, files suddenly going missing or you get errors when trying to open them, or apps fail to open, it’s likely your hard drive is failing.
Likewise, if errors are found with any memory checking tools, it may be time to replace your RAM. Unless you’re constantly maxing out your resources or overheating your PC, your RAM is probably failing.
If there are numerous hard drive errors that can’t be fixed, it’s usually a good idea to back up all your files or even clone your hard drive to a new drive. Hard drives do wear out over time, which can be anywhere from 5-10 years on average, though they can last longer. Hardware defects can also reduce this timespan.
3. Will I see the error often?
That depends on the exact cause of the error. You could get a BSoD within minutes of starting your PC. If it’s due to a specific file or a virus, you might not get the error until your system interacts with that file or virus. This means it could be minutes, hours, or even days before you see it again.
However, if you’re seeing it frequently, don’t ignore it. The more often you see it, the less time you have to troubleshoot and resolve the issue before your PC won’t boot any longer.
It’s also important to notice if any other errors begin to appear. For instance, many of the causes behind the kernel data inpage error are also known to cause the bad system config info error. If you’re getting multiple types of BSoDs, cross reference the similar causes to narrow down the root problem.
Image credit: Unsplash
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