NVDA service and Internet Explorer Crashes

If you’ve been reading my twitter feed lately, you may have noticed me complaining about excessive IE crashes. Early this morning, I got the idea to find out which module was causing the crashes (based on some forum posts I came across on Google). I had no idea how to do it in Windows 7, but it turns out you just have to look in the Event Viewer (unfortunately, I can’t find said crashes off the top of my head).

So, what was the component causing these crashes? Turns out it was VBufBackend_mshtml.dll. This is the NVDA virtual buffer helper for Internet Explorer. What this does is allow NVDA to read webpages in IE. There are also corresponding libraries to assist in the accessibility of Adobe Reader and Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird.

Why does this particular dll cause crashes, and more importantly why is it even loading a dll into iexplore.exe when NVDA isn’t running? Presumably, it’s the work of the “Non-visual Desktop Access” service, which I had (foolishly) set to startup type “automatic.” I went in and set it to manual, and haven’t had any crashes today, yet. If the crashes continue, I’ll update this post. If you’re using Xmarks, this isn’t the cause for your crashes if you’re experiencing them.