Pagefile error = BSOD --> XP = thorn in my side
November 9, 2006 7:59 AM   Subscribe

XP Woes. Pagefile in a non default area causing the continual loop of BSODs. I ask for my friend, his laptop bsod'd and I am having trouble fixing the problem. I know basically what a pagefile is, and this particular error occured after a sudden shutdown when he was out of his apt. What to do now?

I booted into knoppix and checked the size of the pagefile, it is roughly 703 MB and I cannot delete it. I'm not sure if this is because the drive won't allow me to mount it as r/w or if there is a way to enter in the admin password to unlock the drive to me.

I've got the drive in an external enclosure now, and I tried mounting it on my powermac. It mounts read only in tiger, so again I can't delete the pagefile.sys. I wanted to try carbon cloner to clone the drive with out the pagefile and then format the disk and reimage... no dice - read only.

So intrepid XP users, how do I get past this page fie error, oh and I already tried the repair xp install option with an XP disk.
posted by eleongonzales to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Non-default area?

Did they move it to a different partition?
posted by owenkun at 8:46 AM on November 9, 2006

Also, what's the specific STOP error that you're getting?
posted by owenkun at 8:49 AM on November 9, 2006

That's the error- I think the pagefile exceeded the size of RAM and wasn't dumped properly due to the improper shutdown. Now when XP starts and tries to write to the pagefile it exceeds the allocated space, meaning non default area. Basically I need to know how to mount this r/w with complete access so I can delete the pagefile.sys and have xp create a new one when it loads. Then I guess I can increase the size of the pagefile to help stop this from happening in the future...

I can't be more specific right now- because I have it out of the computer and at work with me.

Single Partition, recent install of XP > 1 Month.
posted by eleongonzales at 8:58 AM on November 9, 2006

Can you try booting XP in safe mode? I believe it's f5 when the logo first pops up. It might take a long time to boot but if it gets to that point it should restart and work ok.

The drive is most likely NTFS which mac/linux defaults to read-only status. Theres a way to read/write NTFS but its disabled by default because it's not 100% reliable or something.

You might try reinstalling windows over the previous install without wiping the hard drive, but you need a real windows disc and not a restore disc that usually come with laptops. Some people think this is bad as it doesn't clean out the bogey men.
posted by psychobum at 9:24 AM on November 9, 2006

Tap F8 after the BIOS loads until the menu comes up to reboot in safe mode. As psychobum said, if you can get all the way in to windows in safe mode, you should be OK once you reboot (jinx).
posted by na2rboy at 9:40 AM on November 9, 2006

@ psychobum

tried safe mode (it's F8 btw) - same bsod.

"There's a way to r/w NTFS" - knoppix can do this but it fails everytime I try and I believe it is because it is admin pass protected.

Already tried the reinstall over previous with retail xp disk, no dice.

Thanks for the imput though, tells me I tried the right things at least.
posted by eleongonzales at 9:47 AM on November 9, 2006

You could try one of the many rescue CDs. But I have had a similar problem once. Somehow the ACL on a file got messed up and I was never able to repair it or delete the file, even with other OSs booting. Most free OSs won't modify NTFS and all windows systems refused to touch it.

I never found a solution and eventually just gave up.
posted by chairface at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2006

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but you can use the Recovery Console to get a cmd-line environment where you can do custom actions.

Here is a document on how to delete pagefile.sys in the Recovery Console, and here is a general description of the Recovery Console and how to use it.
posted by hincandenza at 10:45 AM on November 9, 2006

On re-reading, your pagefile is in a "non-default" location, that you didn't specify. But I do believe you can copy and delete from the root of any hard disk while in recovery console (just not subfolders of any disks, excepting the %windir%\ subdirectory). So the above steps should work if you specify this non-default location if it's on another drive root.
posted by hincandenza at 10:59 AM on November 9, 2006


That's the part I don't get... there's only one partition, how can it possibly be out of the default location... I think it must have surpassed it's size limitations... otherwise I have no idea.
posted by eleongonzales at 11:41 AM on November 9, 2006

Well then in that case, you can delete it per the exact instructions on the first link- that'll have it rebuild a new page file on boot.
posted by hincandenza at 11:57 AM on November 9, 2006

Access Denied.

No kidding, that's what I got.
posted by eleongonzales at 12:24 PM on November 9, 2006

Using the Recovery Console, and the method of doing a copy of boot.ini over pagefile.sys? Or trying to access it through Knoppix?
posted by hincandenza at 12:40 PM on November 9, 2006

Well trying to do it from within the command prompt from my work machine... win+r, cmd, e:\, copy e:\boot.ini pagefile.sys or copy e:\config.sys pagefile.sys

Is there anyway to enter the admin user and pass in the command prompt to give me full access??? I'll try recovery console tonight when I get home, I'm just trying to do it on the side at my workplace...

Thanks for the help though hincandenza... keep it up... haha
posted by eleongonzales at 1:03 PM on November 9, 2006

What's the actual BSOD error hex code?
posted by paulsc at 1:21 PM on November 9, 2006

This is a good place to start if you want to utilize a GNU/Linux system in mounting NTFS v5 partitions with full read/write capability.

Click on "Related Projects" for pre-packaged solutions.

Personally, I use GParted Live CD, which includes ntfsprogs.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 2:48 PM on November 9, 2006

Yes, really knowing what the BSOD was (exact error code, exactly where it occurred) could be very important. How do you know it is a pagefile error and that it is in a non-default location?

You might try to gain access to the disk with BartPE.

Probably you will have to back up the data and reformat. (Backing up the data before doing anything is probably a good idea anyway.) Make sure you test for RAM or drive errors. I had a nasty NTFS problem recently caused by some bad RAM.
posted by grouse at 2:54 PM on November 9, 2006

OP: Is there anyway to enter the admin user and pass in the command prompt to give me full access???
Um... not sure what the "haha" was about, but that's what the safe mode with command prompt is for- it's a command prompt-only safe mode, I believe, which may or may not boot. If it does, then you have the ability to log in as admin and fix the system.

The other solution, and a simple one all things considered despite taking more time up front, is to put the disk back into the system and install a quickie copy of windows to another partition. That one will give you full access to manipulate the original partition, and once you've finished fixing the original OS you can boot into it, delete the new OS'es folders on the separate drive, and edit the boot.ini to get rid of that reference.
posted by hincandenza at 3:13 PM on November 9, 2006

hincadenza, the "haha" was because I felt awkward telling you to keep up the help, I mean you aren't obligated to- but I really appreciate it.

I tried recovery console last night, it let me copy over the pagefile.sys with the boot.ini file and then delete it. I booted xp back up, tried normal settings and 20 seconds in BSOD same error.

Back into recovery console, deleted the pagefile, boot into safe mode, backed everything off to an external drive and then just Gparted the disk and started over with a fresh install of XP, this time not the recovery version shipped with it.

Thanks for all the help, but in the end I couldn't figure out how to repair it.
posted by eleongonzales at 6:00 AM on November 10, 2006

Oh and for the record I turned off the pagefile, restarted, turned it back on and set is as min- 512 max-1028 and then tried booting back into normal. BSOD'd even faster than before right after the login.
posted by eleongonzales at 6:14 AM on November 10, 2006

Hm- well, you've already reinstalled, but given the pagefile deletion didn't fix it, we might have made headway with the specific stop code.

Anyway, you're fixed now, so... congrats! :)
posted by hincandenza at 10:07 AM on November 10, 2006

Thanks, next time I'll remember to write down the HEX...

This one was easier to fix than my other computer question posting. In the end with that computer it kept BSODing when i'd finally get it up and running again. I couldn't do anything with it. I had to buy a new motherboard and a case to fix the problem...

Thanks again for the help hincandenza
posted by eleongonzales at 1:08 PM on November 10, 2006

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