I was trying to upgrade an older Dell computer to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and I was continually getting page_fault_in_nonpaged_area. Sometimes (maybe one out of five times and depending on the troubleshooting step too) I would also get "System Thread Exception not Handled." I went through two days of troubleshooting and probably reset Windows 10 at least five times, 50 or more reboots, before finally finding the solution (i.e. problem). Keep in mind I was only half paying attention for the first day as I was allowing it to do it's thing, while I did other things.

Having seen this error message in the past (going all the way back to NT4), I immediately thought, it's bad RAM. When that turned out to not be the case. I thought bad blocks on the hard drive. I reset the BIOS and every other trick I could think of. However, none of those thoughts paid dividends other than to eliminate them as the issue. 

I was finally able to get a restore point immediately after a reset and step forward one step at a time (as well as eliminate having to reset any more), disabling and enabling the network adapter all the while (so windows can't push it's mandatory updates or otherwise change something in between reboots).

The problem showed up before any Windows updates were installed and after all devices were remedied in the Device Manager. After removing an old NVidia 8600 GTS and enabling the default onboard video, the issue still prevailed.  The only things left was an old Soundblaster Audigy card with a front expansion panel. Low and behold, that stupid sound card turned out to be the cause of all my headaches.

In hindsight, after receiving the error, I should have removed any custom devices and moved forward from there, installing one device at a time. But, I've never seen this type of device cause that type of error (as far as I can remember). Live and learn. Hopefully, this might save someone some time.


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