What is an Access Violation Error?

Instructor: Lyna Griffin

Lyna has tutored undergraduate Information Management Systems and Database Development. She has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Information Technology.

In this lesson, we will define an Access Violation Error (AVE). We will learn how the error occurs, different types of AVEs and the methods for correcting them.

What is an Access Violation Error (AVE)?

Access simply means the ability to get to what you need. In the case of information technology and programming, 'you' refers to a program application or hardware device trying to access a resource. A violation is a conflict with the rules or policies on which a program or device or resource operates or is running. An access violation is, therefore, a conflict with the rules or policies on which a resource (memory resource) is run resulting in the inaccessibility of resources needed. The conflict is manifested in a system generated error called an access violation error.

In information technology, whether we are dealing with applications, executable code or hardware, memory resources are accessed using read/write operations. If there is a violation of the governing rules during read/write operations the result is an access violation error.

Instances of AVE

Application-Memory Access Violation Error

Memory is a vital part of any application/operating system environment and is the most used and accessed resource that practically forms the heart of the environment. In computing environments, computer memory is configured into different compartments called memory allocations which are reserved to hold specific types of information.

There is a specific allocation for the operating system, for example. This is an area of the memory that holds all the applications pertaining to the environment of the computer. Every existing application on a system needs and uses some part of memory while running. In the event that an application attempts to access that allocation in memory reserved for and protected by the operating system, a memory access violation occurs and a corresponding access violation error is generated. The application's attempt at the resource is unsuccessful.

Reserved Virtual Address (Address Zero) AVE

In this instance, the application or program is expected to return a certain valid address, but the program coding is done incorrectly. As a result of the failed execution or function, a zero value, instead of a valid value is returned by the application. Memory configuration is usually designed to handle these flaws by creating a reserved 'no-access' page with the zero value address. The configuration helps automatically trap all requests that return the invalid zero value addresses.

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