All you IT type Guru's out there........

Got a question about XP SP2

It seems like I hear something almost daily concerning XP Service Pack 2 screwing up somebodies life. Something that worked great pre-update is now FUBAR etc… For example, today I was helping a co-worker set up a network printer on his shiny new PC. Everytime we tried to print to that printer, a dialog would pop-up declaring the DEP had prevented some doo-dad from running then Explorer would crash and reset the desktop. After digging around Microsnots website, I found a tip to completely disable DEP. Worked like a charm. Now I’m wondering if DEP is responsible for some of the woes some users of n-Track and other DAW softies are experiencing?

Any thoughts? I’d sure like to hear 'em…er read 'em! :D


TG :)

EDIT** HERE is the Microsoft link. Scroll to the last “Workaround” for details on killing DEP.

Depending on what the drivers are doing it’s possible. It’s unlikely the problems would be inconsistent or random. My guess is that things would gloriously explode quite often when attempting to do some particular thing like running an app.

Read up on DEP and see why it’s a good thing for a lot of reasons but can cause headaches when drivers and apps do funky things…mostly older drivers or apps that weren’t written with WinXp in mind (or poorly written). Most real world legitimate code (legitimate meaning someone intended to do whatever caused this) would most likely be drivers. User mode apps that hit this would probably be trying to screw your system (like a virus or trojan). Self modifying code is the kind of stuff that can do it.…pr.mspx

I don’t know much about it but I’ve seen it.

Yeah. Thanks phoo. This particular printer uses a kind of screwy system to allow network printing. You MUST install the printer as a local machine and create a TCP/IP port for it to print too. Every PC that prints to this box has to have it setup that way. On this new PC as soon as you try to print…BOMB city!

Disabling DEP fixed it right up. That machine IS probably more vulnerable now though it does sit behind a massive corporate firewall plus local virus scanner etc…

We’ll see…


What kind of printer is it? Old, new, middle?

I’ve recently setup a new Epson. It’s working fine (though slow), but it puts an icon in the taskbar of every machine on the network. That’s not a problem, but if I use Remote Desktop to one of the other machines on the network the printer icon appears on the machine I’m sitting at from the machine I’ve remoted to, and it becomes the default. Once I disconnect, that printer, which no longer exists in the view of this machine stays as the default. To print from this machine I have to reselect the default. It’s a big pain.

This is not a totally funky thing to do. It will let me print to the default printer on the remote machine as the default of the machine I’m sitting at. The bad part is that it’s left that way after disconnecting.

I know this is unrelated to your problem.

The underlying problem is that file sharing and printer sharing are tied together into one option. I want files to be shared when I remote but I don’t want a networked printer, that is physically connected to a third machine to be shared in this round-robin sharing circle. I can’t have one without the other.

The Windows Firewall blocks this so I have add an exception for the printer on each machine or I can’t print from any machine on the network.

The old Epson (died unfortunately) didn’t do this and neither does an existing Canon photo printer, each of which were or are shared in the same way. This is new to a new Epson. I have the latest drivers.

Its fairly new. It’s a Canon D660 multi-purpose do everything but clean the toilets machine. Our IT guys tried for days to set it up as a “standard” networked printer to no avail. Some kind of oddball protocol I guess.

I just really wonder about this DEP thing. More and more you see on recording forums “Everything worked great until I installed SP2??” Was DEP even a part of XP originally? Or is it a totally new thing with SP2?


It was new to WinXp and Windows Server 2003. It’s not new to WinXp SP2 but the changes in it could be some of the trouble with some hardware.

It looks like to me the difference in WinXp and WinXp SP2 is that they moved DEP from software only to software and hardware.

It’s really doing nothing more than forcing developers to write code in proper way. One problem with backwards compatibility is that a lot of REALLY crappy code would run in a way that seemed correct. When the platform changed (new version of Windows) all kinds of hacks had to the added to Windows itself to keep these apps running the way they use to. In most cases that’s a good thing because you don’t have to update you apps or get new ones just because you install an updated Windows, but not always.

Years ago in the zeal to make Windows crash free (stop laughing) a lot of code that should crash didn’t crash and the developers (mostly game and driver developers trying to squeak out more performance by taking shortcuts) never knew there was a problem lurking under the hood. The idea now is that it is better to let it crash at development time and to force crashes or some things (what DEP does). All code will eventually be better for it.

The real trouble is how far backwards should Windows go to accommodate buggy apps that use to run correctly…many times because of a lack of error checking in Windows itself, but mostly code that caught the crashes in a silent way so the users (we) never saw them. Back in Win98 and before day that would bring down all of Windows. These days it usually means on the process (the application) will go down, unless it’s in a driver.

In this day of hacker attacks the need to fix the problems in Windows that let bad code run as it always did is magnified.

I slapped SP2 on all 40+ workstations in my office (and my home machines) on the same day and didn’t have any problems. Anytime that I’ve heard or seen something go wrong with SP2, it’s been because of crapy or wacky drivers. I’m still running Win2000, SP4 for my DAW, but if I owned a stand-alone DAW running XP, I wouldn’t even worry about SP2, it’s 90% security changes to the OS.

I took a quick glance at PC magazine and they had an article regarding SP2 and firewire. Apparantly it corrupts some aspects regarding firewire and there is a site listed where you can get a patch to correct this. Sorry, I didnt have time to write the URL down.

Yeah, might be something i have to look into then. My Herc hates my pc…


We need to keep that link handy. That’s not specifically about the DEP issue, bu it sure is a potential issue for lots of folks around here. Thanks willy.