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Data Execution Prevention (DEP) related crashes

A few users have reported to me that they're getting crashes in VirtualDub when opening the video compression dialog or when opening an AVI file, the crash diagnosis is Access Violation, and the highlighted line in the advanced crash view looks like this:

01671710: 8b442408        mov    eax, [esp+08]      <-- FAULT

At first I thought this was an overclocking related crash, because it's a virtual impossibility for ESP to be invalid and for exception handlers to still fire. It wasn't until I saw this line that I realized what was going on:

Windows 5.1 (Windows XP build 2600) [Service Pack 2]

The crash was occurring because the video codec was attempting to execute dynamically generated code in a memory block that wasn't marked as executable, and crashed due to Data Execution Prevention (DEP) in XPSP2. Both dumps I received implicated PICVideo MJPEG 2.1 (pvmjpg21.dll), but there may be other codecs that have this problem (probably due to "protection" or compression wrappers). Turning DEP off will temporarily work around the problem, but if this is happening to you I highly recommend checking with the vendor for an update. I was not able to reproduce this problem with the latest version of PICVideo MJPEG v3.


This blog was originally open for comments when this entry was first posted, but was later closed and then removed due to spam and after a migration away from the original blog software. Unfortunately, it would have been a lot of work to reformat the comments to republish them. The author thanks everyone who posted comments and added to the discussion.