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33. Disable Data Execution Prevention (DEP)

Viruses and other security threats can control your PC by executing code from within memory. To prevent damage, the Data Execution Prevention (DEP for short) feature monitors program applications to ensure they use protected memory in a safe manner. Any incorrect usage, by an application, of protected memory and Data Execution Prevention steps in and automatically closes the application.

While DEP, by default, only monitors Windows programs and services, it is possible to increase protection by having DEP monitor all applications on your PC.

As DEP monitors activity in the background you may not have actually experience DEP close a program down. On the other hand, you may have already experience DEP at work because it closed down an application that you actually trust.

Like all security features, it is not recommended that you turn these features off. It is better, if possible, to work with the security feature. In many cases there are options available whereby a trusted program that constantly causes DEP to block it can actually be allowed to execute without the need to completely shut down the security feature completely.

 Regardless of how good or how essential a security feature is there is always going to a minority of users' that want to shut it down completely. These instructions, therefore, are for those that cannot live with DEP. Disabling DEP,however, can potentially lead to the exposure of the user to viruses and trojans that can deliver personal details to people who want to steal identities.

Disable

1/ Click the Start Button.

2/ On the Start menu Click All Programs.

3/ On the All programs menu Click Accessories.

4/ From the Accessories menu Right Click on the Command Prompt and, from the drop down menu, Select Run as administrator.

5/ If the User Account Control feature pops up you will need to either press the Continue button or else provide UAC with the details it requires.

6/ When the Command Prompt window opens type: bcdedit.exe/set {current} nx AlwaysOff and press Enter.

7/ If all has gone well you should see a message saying that The operation completed Successfully.

8/ Close down the Command prompt window and Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

Enable

If, at a later time, you want to re-enable DEP proceed as follows:

1/ Click the Start Button.

2/ On the Start menu Click All Programs.

3/ On the All programs menu Click Accessories.

4/ From the Accessories menu Right Click on the Command Prompt and, from the drop down menu, Select Run as administrator.

5/ If the User Account Control feature pops up you will need to either press the Continue button or else provide UAC with the details it requires.

6/ When the Command Prompt window opens type: bcdedit.exe/set {current} nx AlwaysOn and press Enter.

7/ If all has gone well you should see a message saying that The operation completed Successfully.

8/ Close down the Command prompt window and Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.