View Full Version : Data Execution Prevention (DEP) Errors in XP

20th November 2007, 12:36
Microsoft added a feature to Windows XP SP2 called Data Execution Prevention, or DEP for short. This prevents code execution in memory regions already marked as storage, so is a powerfull tool against buffer underrun erros and exploits.

But sometimes this can cause specific applications to crash. Equally it can fix some programs. Some older games such as Age of Mythology have a buffer underrun bug which DEP fixes.

But as I just said, DEP can sometimes crash some applications, services or tasks. I've been finding this happening when I'm using Alcohol 120% and Windows Explorer. If I mount a DVD ISO in Alcohol's virtual drive, and copy the contents to a folder using Windows Explorer, at the end of the successful copy of all files a DEP error message appears, which crashes both Alcohol and Explorer, so Alcohol closes, all open Explorer windows close and the desktop reloads. So quite annoying.

Thankfully there is an easy way around this problem as Windows has an easy way to disable DEP for specific applications.

1, Right click "My Computer" and select Properties.
2, Go to the Advanced Tab.
3, Click "Settings" under the Performance section.
4, Go to the "Data Execution Prevention" tab.
5, Select "Turn on DEP for all programs and services except for those I select".
6, Click Add.
7, The open dialog box will open. Browse and select the application that you want to diasable DEP for.
8, Click Open.
9, Click Apply.
10, Click OK.
11, Reboot the system.

I hope this proves useful to some of you. If you get a Data Execution Prevention error message when using an application then disable it for that application and normally this will fix the problem. But be careful if you got the application/game from an unknown source as this could indicate a trojan/virus infection.

21st November 2007, 22:44
It does indeed, time to try Emperor : Battle for Arrakis again, :)