A close cousin to the KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR (which I wrote about separately), the KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR Windows 2000 crash screen can occur under similar but not always identical circumstances. Some of the details behind this crash can also be misleading, which makes it worthy of looking into closely.

Windows 2000 reports this crash when it cannot swap a page of memory in or out of the on-disk swapfile. As with the STACK crash, there is an error status code that reports the reason for the crash. (See the tip

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"Understand the KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR" for more on this.) Many of the symptoms and resolutions for this crash are the same as that one, but there are some key differences that can indicate whether or not the problem is relatively trivial (a bad signal cable) or severe (a faulty controller or motherboard).

Aside from the codes listed, there is another error code associated with this particular crash: 0xC00000C0 (STATUS_DEVICE_DOES_NOT_EXIST), which is reported when a kernel-level request is made for a device that is not there, or which is expected to be there but no longer seems to be attached to the system. The main reasons for such a failure are:

  1. A failing signal cable. Rounded signal cables are often less prone to errors than the "ribbon"-style signal cables, especially in systems with crowded cable traffic.
  2. A faulty kernel-level device driver. If you are using a motherboard that has a vendor-supplied disk controller driver, or the disk controller is integrated onto the motherboard (which usually requires a custom device driver), the driver may need to be upgraded to a more recent revision. You may also need to upgrade or replace device drivers for the motherboard's chipset controller, if a custom driver is used for it.
  3. A heat problem. If a system has a ventilation obstruction, the hard drive or the disk controller can overheat and malfunction, causing devices to disappear without warning.
  4. A defective controller. This is the least appetizing possibility, but it does happen. If the controller is integrated into the motherboard, the motherboard itself may no longer be good and may have to be replaced.
  5. A defective hard drive. One way to determine if the hard drive is failing is to run SMART Diagnostics (if supported by your drive), using the diagnostic software supplied by your drive's manufacturer. If there are on-disk errors, they will be registered with the disk.

Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.


This was first published in March 2003

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