COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working Fix: Windows Vista

5 05 2007
Even since I stated using Windows Vista in early november 2006 (thats right, Microsoft Student Partners get their copy early) I have never faced any problem with it. It has never crashed, nor restarted. To the maximum extend, it has only freezed some programs for a few seconds to allocate memory for other critical programs. But recently a new problem popped up. Whenever I browse some folders, the “COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working” error pops up. It doesnt hinder with the perfomance or data loss, but I find it quite irritating. So does some of my friends.

The simplest and shortcut solution is as follows that worked for me:
1. Right click on Computer, and choose PropertiesRight click on Computer, and choose Properties
2. Click on Advanced System Settings, and then under Advanced, click Settings\
3. Select the “Data Execution Protection” tab, and then click “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select”
4. Click on the Add button, and then browse to C:\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe as shown
5. Click Open, and then OK.
Your’e done!!! Now it should work fine for you in 99% of the cases.
But if the problem still persists, then this could be due to a software installed on your computer. DivX and Nero are a common cause, but there are others that cause the problem as well.

Possible Solutions
- If you are using DivX, you should be upgraded to the very latest version 6.5+)
- If you are using Nero, you can try upgrading to the latest version (
- If you’ve upgraded Nero and Divx and still have the problem, you can try renaming the fileC:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter\ to You may also need to rename to NeVideoHD.bak. Caution: Nero Showtime will not work anymore
- The older ffdshow codec pack has been known to cause some problems. The ffdshow tryouts codec pack seems to work better. Might want to try using this one:

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76 responses

22 05 2007

Thanks alot man helps alot

22 05 2007

Thanks alot man helps alot
works fine to me

22 05 2007

Thanks alot man helps alot
works fine to me:D

22 05 2007
Dave C

For those running AVANT Browser and who apply the DEP fix for this by adding dllhost.exe to the DEP listing!!!

This will cause Avant Browser, and possibly other browsers and programs to also Stop Working!

Workaround (Tested) – Add Avant Browser EXE to the same DEP list, and in the same manner as you added dllhost.exe, and it will work again. Same goes for any other programs that may stop working right after applying this COMM Surrogate fix.

28 05 2007
Michael Green

Thanks alot
Its sorted my problem out with no worrys, I didn’t need the last paragraph though, just as well as I couldn’t find it anyway.

6 07 2007
Chris J. Breisch

Don’t have Nero. Don’t have Divx. Can’t make such changes to DEP in 64-bit Vista.

I appear to be screwed for the time being.

11 07 2007

Try to fix the ” COM Surrogate has stopped working” problem with my boss Laptop. Still waiting is it OK or not. When It’s OK, will let you know

11 07 2007

Hi there, Thank you so much, it’s really sort it out the problem. Now my boss not complaint for that pop up. Thanks GOD, less headache today.

18 07 2007

i think the com is the problem with my video editing software
every time i go to save and finish the movie into a playable format *avi .exc
the program freezes then closes
after this “fix” i cant even open up a program that has to do with video, pictures, or audio. any one else have this problem
- PJ :-)
p.s. – going through files is fine though

1 08 2007

I’ve tried the DEP settings, the Nero update, the Divx update & i’ve renamed both the & with the .bak and still nothing

31 08 2007

Great, It’s working.
Thanks a lot.

2 09 2007

the first shortcut solved the problem of my video programs crashing. but i still get the error when viewing thumbnails in explorer and in wmp.

3 09 2007

Ok, looks like i got it working. I just uninstalled all my divx programs. then reinstalled the current version of ffdshow. I think its in version 6.1 now so if you dont have the latest you might want to give it a try.

I still have my settings to turn off DEP for certain programs like outlined above though. But my computer seems to be back to normal.

30 09 2007

Wohoo! Thanks soo much! I have been trying to find a cure for this for soo long :)

3 11 2007

thanks a lot!

23 12 2007

Thanks a lot for your advise it works for me, how do i remove rest of nero program from my computer called Nero Scout, pls advise, manny thanks, Merry Xmas & lovely Happy New Year 2008

31 12 2007

This fix doesn’t work on 64 bit Vista…unfortunately.Anyone has an alternative solution for this f…king COM Surrogate error?

30 04 2011

I”m not sure when your question was put here but I was wondering if you have heard of a fix for the Vista 64 bit. I’ve been looking everywhere and it seems like the the fixes all still only for Vista 32 bit???

3 01 2008
Colin Pachl

Installing the Vista Codec Bundle was the key. Thanks!

14 01 2008

Thanks a lot man.
I really got rid of the bloody thing ‘COM SUROGATE HAS STOPPED WORKING’.
Basically I removed softwares on after the other nero , vlc,divx.
restored the system .. no result..
Then I removed the klite kodec .
then onwards the error message did not appear..
Thanks a lot again..

14 01 2008

And one more thing is I have also checked the ‘Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select’ and added hostdll.

20 01 2008

no nero or divx the only software was Roxio – still same issue;;;plz comply

19 02 2008
Gary Finley

This does not work with 64 bit Vista. Error can not set DEP with 64 bit. Does anyone have any sugestions.

1 03 2008
graham thompson

sweet as a nut this worked a treat for me as I was getting this problem when i tried to access movies on my western digital external passport drive. Now happy to say no mor COM Surrogate has stopped working messages popping up. Well happy thanks.

17 03 2008

i am getting very upset my computer dell has a maessage it says com surragagte has creased i dont no what to do pleas eemail me and help fast

22 03 2008

Thank you!!!

22 04 2008

what to do with vista 64-bit, which don’t allow to stop DEP on 64-bit applications ?

16 05 2008

i did what you said to do, and it still is not working!
i dont have nero nor DivX, so im pretty annoyed. i dont know what to do!
anyone can help me?

16 05 2008
Wm Osborne

seems to have done the trick for me also.

17 05 2008

This didn’t work for me, and on top of that, it’s broken my movie maker. I’m downloading SP1 right now and installing it to see if maybe that helps fix the problem.

Will let you know the results.

17 05 2008

Even installing SP1 didn’t fix it. Looks like my WMM and whatever else are permanently broken. Just further testimony to: Don’t Buy Vista.

13 06 2008

Thanks for the tip.Cheers

19 06 2008

The original solution at the top of the page worked perfectly. However now my guest account has stopped working completely. Nothing loads up when I log into the guest account. I get allot of error messages which pop up, and all the shortcuts on my desktop are blank. The error messages are all the same. They say the “insert program name” can not open. Then Vista attempts to ask me to choose a program to open the processes which effectively make my guest account not turn on. Please do not tell me I have to go back in and manually add ALL of those programs to that list as the fix above mentions for the comm surrogate error?

These are all of the windows which “Instantly” pop up as I attempt to load the guest account.

1. MSASCUI.exe
2. Nerocheck.exe
3. Rthdvcpl.exe
4. Zclient.exe
5. Language.exe
6. Ufseagnt.exe
7. Updreg.exe
8. Winampa.exe
9. Rundll.exe
10. Khalmnpr.exe
11. Volpanlu.exe
12. Reader_Sl.exe
13. Jusched.exe
14. CTXFhelp.exe
15. Logitech Setpoint.exe
16. Sidebar.exe

6 07 2008

Thanks a ton! I have Vista x64 and it worked perfectly!

10 07 2008


Its working fine with me…what is the use of comsurrogate..if i add this in EDP any problem will come

Thanx for the solution


19 07 2008

Thanks guys, it can solve the problem when i uninstall nero 7.5..
good job..
Thx very much…

3 08 2008
Tech guy

Information rich article.thanks

16 08 2008

doesnt work. still cant play the film. com surrogate stopped working, windows media player stopped working

28 08 2008

For vista 64 byte switch over to the sysWOW64 to disable the dllhost.exe

6 11 2010

oh gods thank you! It’s about time I’m freakin COM-free!

10 09 2008

The first fix worked for me and it was driving both my wife and I nuts – thank you!

11 10 2008

great job….thank u from Chile.
works fine

20 10 2008

thnkx dude..its working great..

19 11 2008

Thanks a lot for this post
I was using vista on dell from 1 month only and this error was from day one .
i contacted dell suppport through email and they have given me the link of your post .


24 11 2008

it didn’t work… I don’t know how to fix the problem….. help me please =(

25 11 2008

thanx 4 the solution…,great job.

24 12 2008
13 01 2009

Thanks, ffdshow option worked, I upgraded it and now I don’t have that com surrogate thing popping up any more

11 02 2009

Rename extension AVI to DIVX

18 02 2009
Windows 7 Tweak

nice post……………….

This error is an annoyance for both windows vista and windows 7 users,who also install Nero.

24 02 2009

if you don’t have nero and you’ve don’t have urge and you keep trying to but still get teh message.

try uninstalling your codecs and installing the k-lite codec pack.

4 03 2009

Vista 64bit FIX for Com Surrogate

After DAYs of trying to find a fix for the stupid com surrogate for my Vista 64bit computer, I finally found it. I tried everything under the sun even contacting windows and my computer support and no help.

all you have to do is 1 thing. Download the K-lite Codec Pack (64-bit) 2.1.0

and walaaa Done No com surrogate. I’m excited and Had to share :D

20 07 2009

i had a question, sometimes “com surrogate has stopped working” appear on my screen.. what will i do?so that it will not appear anymore.. hoping for your response..thank u

23 07 2009

thanks you so much now i can sleep in peace

21 11 2009

i just uninstalled my old ffdshow then installed the new one, then my problem with this com surrogate vanished. thanks for those who gave this solution. Godbless.

6 12 2009

i also have the 64-bit, where can i download the K-like code pack (64bit) 2.1.0, i cudn’t find any site.. was it uprgraded to 2.9.4.. im not really a techny person so yeah.. tnx in advance..

26 12 2009

To my fellow COM Surrogate Problem: Curse this virus COM SURROGATE it drives me crazy and very irretable to a point i almost threw my PC,. but thank to the guys who previously had this problem. if the mention above solution won’t help and even upgrading Xdiv and nero wont help also.

Try install K-Lite mega codec because my problem also help me this virus pop-up situation…

20 03 2010

Its a great help for all of us. I used DEP option and its working as expected. Thanks for all of your wonderful effort.

17 05 2010

Great information.

San Antonio Computer Repair

26 10 2010
document scanning

That really is a problem. I don’t know how I would fix something like that but I hope that there are those of you out there that know what the solutions is. It really would help to save us not so geeky people some time. We always love the help we can find online!

16 05 2011
tips for whiter teeth

I have got one suggestion for your site. It seems like there are a number of cascading stylesheet problems when opening a selection of webpages in google chrome and opera. It is running alright in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check this.

5 07 2011

thanks it worked, less irritation now

9 07 2011
Shiharo Tae

thanks you so much now i can sleep in peace

21 07 2011

The divx codecs is the problem it’s not read by vista

1. Just uninstall divx
2. uninstall and all codecs.

t===he divx codec in the divx package corrupts the codecs and vista can’t read it after corrupting it==

3. reinstall codecs but not the one from divx.

!!!!!but don’t use an divx codecs!!!!!

just install the divx PLAYER Only!
====Don’t install the divx codec when installing divx player ==

NO divx codec the problem is the divx codec not compatible or conflicting with windows vista. i wouldnt recommend going to system as changing settings it is dangerous

27 08 2011

Thans, Thanks, Thanks

30 10 2011

solved my problem. any video would cause the com pop up. also explorer would stop running, this download fixed it instantly. ffdshow…—>

15 02 2012

I’m in 99.9%!
Tks a lot!!!

15 02 2012

1.W7 user
2.NO Nero and NO video codecs packs
3.Just using cdburner portable and VLC player portable.
Lightest system RLZ!

15 02 2012
Highly recommended!

2 04 2012

WORKED♥. thanks :D

12 05 2012

tried all these thing NOTHING WORKED

31 05 2012
bv love

Simple & best…….!! Thanx Alot………!! ; D

23 06 2012


31 05 2013

I love it when people come together and share opinions.
Great website, continue the good work!

13 07 2013

Hello, I desire to subscribe for this website to take most up-to-date updates, thus where can
i do it please help.

19 07 2013
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