When you start getting in-page errors on your hard drive, it’s time to go shopping for a new hard drive, redux

Raymond Chen

Some time ago, I explained that receiving a STATUS_IN_PAGE_ERROR from your hard drive means that it’s time to go shopping for a new hard drive. It means that the system needed to page in code or data from a storage device, but the storage device was unable to produce the data. This can happen if you are running a program from removable media or over the network, but if it happens for your hard drive, that’s bad news.

Your hard drive is starting to die. Back up everything you can and replace it as soon as possible.

Now, the STATUS_IN_PAGE_ERROR code is used when the system could not page data in for a user-mode application, and the kernel is forced to terminate the program. But the I/O failure could also occur if the system could not page data in for the kernel itself, and that’s a much more dire situation.

There is no process to terminate when the kernel itself suffers an in-page error. The only thing it can do is terminate itself, and that gives you the infamous blue screen of death.

There are two different stop codes for in-page errors, depending on whether the thing that couldn’t be paged in was static data or stack data.

Stop number Stop code
0x77 KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR
0x7A KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR

The difference between them is not really important. They both mean, “Back up all your data and get a new hard drive ASAP.”