Monday, August 22, 2005

Crash Your PC Using HTML Code

At first I thought someone was joking when they told me this web link can crash your PC using simple HTML code and Internet Explorer. I suspected it might crash just the browser at worst and was simply a joke related site at best. However, after trying it I can confirm it can crash your PC. But it does so through an apparent bug in some video card drivers.

On my test machine I received a BSOD in nv4_disp (the nVidia display driver). The driver version on my test machine is the nVidia ForceWare v77.77 WHQL Certified driver. I would have suspected this to happen with BETA or custom drivers but it does so with WHQL Certified ones. This was very surprising. The code attempts to load an extremely large image that causes the video driver to go into an infinite loop and Windows Crashes.

HTML Crash Code

Alternate Browsers, Operating Systems
This appears isolated to using Internet Explorer and Windows but either Internet Explorer or Windows does not cause it. Internet Explorer is exposing a video card driver bug. Opera does not cause the error and I have been unsuccessful with Firefox but others have claimed everything from system hangs to increased memory usage. If you choose to test this please use Internet Explorer and Windows then reply with your findings.

Posting Results
Please post your results how I have done below. You are welcome to provide alternate browser results so long as you first include results using Internet Explorer and Windows. I am interested in isolating exactly which video cards and drivers are affected. If you system reboots, this usually means you are receiving a BSOD but Windows is set to automatically restart when encountering these errors. You can disable this by going to the "Control Panel", "System Icon", "Advanced Tab", "Startup and Recovery" "Settings" and uncheck "Automatically Restart". Then reboot your computer before trying again. You should now receive the proper error code.

Windows XP SP2
Internet Explorer v6.0.2900.2180
nVidia GeForce 4 4600 Video Card
nVidia ForceWare v77.77 WHQL certified drivers
Result: BSOD in nv4_disp

The following link may cause your system to crash, hang or reboot. This is not a Virus or Malware and no damage will be done to your PC. It will simply expose a bug in your video drivers if it exists. However, proceed at your own risk.

Crash Link

Update, August 25, 2005:
If you are using Internet Explorer and are not having any problems make sure this is enabled: Enable Automatic Image Resizing. Look under the Tools menu, Internet Options, Advanced Tab, Multimedia section.


Brian Crumrine said...

Windows XP SP2 MCE
Internet Explorer v6.0.2900.2180
ATI Technologies Inc v6.14.10.6467 certified drivers
Result: extremely slow system response, but was able to kill browser after a bit and system back to normal.

H. Cihan Salim said...

IE v6.0.2900.2180
ATI Radeon 9600XT
Driver v8.162 (catalyst 5.8 package)
1 GB system memory
Result: for 10-15 seconds no application responded, then i was able to switch between IE windows, but once i return to the crashing page, 10 seconds more waiting... no problem in killing the application. so, it wasn't a big problem...

Andrew said...

While interaction can be complex in the end it is the driver file that is referenced that ultimately caused the fault. This is the whole purpose of the HAL, to separate the Applications in this case IE from the hardware. It is the Drivers job to prevent this from happening.

Anonymous said...

IE deals with GDI which deals with win32k.sys which deals with driver. That means that if IE doesn't get error back from GDI when it does something illegal, GDI should get error back from win32k.sys before it reaches the driver. So if the problematic data/values from IE still reach the driver after two levels of checking and indirection then there is a chance of a GDI/M$ bug too, don't you think so?

Andrew said...

An illegal data/values from the application should cause an application error not a BSOD in the driver. Which means Internet Explorer would just crash but it doesn't, the driver goes into an infinite loop. I agree that their can definitely be other things wrong too. I don't excuse those other errors as the driver not being the cause of the BSOD though. In the end it is on the driver to prevent the BSOD that occured and it did not.

enigma_ said...

what about firefox mozilla ? it is too crash ????

Andrew said...

I have seen no proof of this but you can try it yourself. This does not hurt your computer in anyway.

Anonymous said...

When I opened this website, Outlook was opened about a hundred times, which almost made my computer crash. Did anyone else experience this?

Andrew said...

No but that might be because you have Outlook assigned to open images on your PC.

bichhoo2k said...


nice code

CyberToxiC said...

Lol ... does this still work ???
I've tried it 3-4 years ago and crashed my XP using ATI grapich card.

I'll give a re-try but this must have been fixed.

Anyways if it works i'll be back poting the GOOD NEWS !!!

Unknown said...

windows 7
google chrome
Nvidia quatro
normal response, full sized image without much lag