Fix COM Surrogate has Stopped Working in Windows 7

I was playing around with one of my virtual machines running Windows 7 the other day, when I ran into a bit of a problem. I was trying to right-click on My Computer and choose Properties and got the following error message:

Runtime error!

Program: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\DllHost.exe

After clicking on OK, I get an message stating that COM Surrogate has stopped working.

com surrogate has stopped working

If I click Cancel a few times, it eventually goes away and I can access what I want, but it’s pretty annoying. It also happened when I tried to click Personalize on the desktop and when trying to use the Control Panel.

Eventually, I found a couple of solutions and tried them out. Luckily, one of them worked and the problem went away. Below are the solutions I found.

Method 1 – Uninstall Adobe Photoshop CS3, Nero, etc

Apparently, certain versions of Adobe CSX and other software like Nero 8 can cause the DllHost.exe error. If you recently installed some new software, go ahead and uninstall it and restart your computer.

Note that this problem tends to occur more on 64-bit systems than 32-bit. Badly written 64-bit software can cause issues, so make sure you download the latest 64-bit versions on all your third-party software.

If you’re not sure what app could be causing the problem, you can use the Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 to figure it out.

Go to Control Panel, System and Security, Action Center, and then Reliability Monitor. You can also type reliability monitor into the search box at the top right.

reliability monitor

Next, click on View all problem reports at the bottom and you’ll now end up in the Problem History screen.

windows problem reports

Find the crash report that has COM Surrogate in the source and then right-click on it and choose View Technical Details. Check out the entry that says Fault Module Name as that usually tells you which program caused the problem.

I’ve also heard that Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 can cause the problem with dllhost.exe and com surrogate. Adding the dllhost.exe to the exclusions list in KIS 2011 seems to solve the problem.

Lastly, DivX and ffdshow codec pack programs have been known to cause this error, so download the latest version of the codec or uninstall them. If you’re using any other codecs like K-Lite, install the latest versions or uninstall them completely.

Method 2 – Turn off DEP or Add Exception

Another way to possible solve this problem is to turn off DEP or Data Execution Prevention. You can do this in Windows 7 by right-clicking on My Computer, choosing Properties, and clicking Advanced system settings.

dllhost.exe error

Click on the Advanced tab and then click on Settings under the Performance section.

com surrogate

Finally, click on Data Execution Prevention and click on Turn on DEP for all programs except those I select and add dllhost.exe to the list.

turn off dep

Hopefully this fixes the Com Surrogate error in Windows 7. If not, post a comment and I’ll try to help.

5 Responses to “Fix COM Surrogate has Stopped Working in Windows 7”

  1. Sapphire Says:

    Doesn’t let me set the DEP… it says…

    You Can Not Set DEP attributes on 64-bit executables.

    Any other ideas?



  2. Merds Says:

    I have the same problem as Sapphire with my 64-bit OS

  3. xeon55 Says:


    just change the path to syswow64/dllhost.exe

  4. Molly Says:

    i tried setting the DEP, but when i entered dllhost.exe it said i could set the DEP on 64-bit executables. what does this mean?
    i’ve been having the ‘com surrogate has stopped working’ warning when i’m using picture viewer on my windows 7, and i’ve tried everything it feels like. help please?

  5. tskjaerpe Says:

    Same problem. Trying to turn on DEP except for dllhost, I am warned that viruses may have easier access. Is this just a general warning which is not that important concerning dllhost, or should I take the warning seriousely?


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