What Is Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and How To Disable It In Windows 7 / Vista
The very first part to this question is answering what Data Execution Prevention is. DEP is a security feature that helps to prevent damage to a computer system from security threats like viruses, for example, according to Microsoft. Potentially harmful programs try to attack your Windows by trying to run a code from your OS’ system memory locations that are reserved only for your Windows and other authorized programs. Programs of this nature can be dangerous. DEP protects your computer by monitoring your programs to ensure they use the system memory in a safe manner.
Why would you want to disable DEP if it’s beneficial to your system? Once, I was running Firefox and after some time, it crashed and it displayed me with the above reason. If you are a hardcore computer nerd (no offence to anyone) and you use online services to access your system memory, chances are that your Firefox will crash until and unless DEP is not disabled.
So here’s how to disable it.
Go to the Start Menu and right-click on Computer and then go to Properties. This will bring up the System window. Click on Advanced System Settings on the left-hand side of the window. It can be seen in the screenshot posted below.
You are now in the System Properties Windows. Under Performance, click Settings as you can see in image below.
The last step asks you to navigate to the Data Execution Prevention tab while in the Performance Options window. Select the second option which states “Turn on DEP for all programs ans services except those I select”. If you are having trouble, then refer to the screenshot below.
If you have to disable an executable file, click on Add and select the file you want to add from the list. Firefox cannot be added because it’s not an executable.