/execute

The /execute parameter disables Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and Physical Address Extension (PAE).

Note   DEP is a highly effective security feature. Do not disable DEP unless you have no other alternative.

Note   The /execute parameter is supported in in Windows Server 2003 with SP1 to disable both DEP and PAE . To disable DEP and PAE in Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), use /noexecute=alwaysoff. For more information, see /noexecute.
 
 

For more information about using the /execute parameter and the other parameters that affect DEP configuration, see Boot Parameters to Configure DEP and PAE.


    /execute

   

Comments

What is DEP?

DEP consists of hardware and software methods. Software-enforced DEP, which protects only user-mode processes, must be supported by the operating system. Hardware-enforced DEP sets a bit in the page table entry that prevents code from being executed from a virtual memory page that should contain only data. Hardware-enforced DEP must be supported by the operating system and the processor on the computer. If the operating system supports DEP, but the processor does not, only software-enforced DEP is enabled on the system.

Operating System Support

DEP is supported in Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows XP with SP2, Windows Vista, and later versions of Windows. The /execute option is supported only on Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and Windows XP with SP2. On Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, use the NX element in BCDEdit.

32-bit and 64-bit Support

The /execute parameter is effective only on 32-bit processes. On 64-bit processes, DEP is enabled by default and cannot be disabled. For these processes, the /execute parameter is ignored. On a 64-bit operating system, the /execute parameter affects only on 32-bit processes running on the system.

Enabling and Configuring DEP

To enable, disable, and configure DEP on Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and Windows XP with SP2, use the/noexecute boot parameter.

DEP and PAE

On 32-bit operating systems, hardware-enforced DEP requires PAE. Therefore, when DEP is enabled on a computer that supports hardware-enforced DEP, 32-bit versions of the Windows operating system automatically enable PAE (see /pae).

The /execute parameter disables both DEP and PAE.

On Windows XP, Windows Vista and later versions of Windows when you disable DEP, Windows also disables PAE. On Windows XP, the /execute parameter has the same effect as the /noexecute=alwaysoff and noexecute=alwaysoff /nopae parameters; they all disable both DEP and PAE.

However, on Windows Server 2003 with SP1, the /noexecute=alwaysoff parameter disables DEP, but it does not disable PAE, and the system ignores /nopae. To disable both DEP and PAE on Windows Server 2003 with SP1, you must use /execute.

 

 

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