The exe or COM program has stopped working under Windows 10

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on your Windows 10/8/7 operating system if you receive an error message : The exe or COM substitute program no longer works. A problem has caused the program to malfunction. Windows will close the program and notify you when a solution is available, so here are some troubleshooting steps I would suggest to fix such bugs.

What is COM Surrogate

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The process dllhost.exe is named COM Surrogate. It is located in the System 32

folder Microsoft says,

COM Surrogate is the sacrificial process for a COM object running outside the process that requested it. The explorer uses the COM substitute, for example when extracting thumbnails. When you switch to a folder with the thumbnails enabled, the Tag Browser launches a COM substitute and uses it to calculate the thumbnails of the documents in the folder. It does so because Explorer has learned not to trust thumbnail extractors; they have a poor stability record. Explorer decided to absorb the performance losses in exchange for improved reliability, which led to the removal of these questionable code bits from the main process of the Explorer. If the thumbnail extractor crashes, the crash destroys the COM substitution process instead of the explorer.

COM Surrogate has stopped working

There are few reasons that can lead to such errors : defective or damaged programs, UAC settings, malicious infections, DEP settings, etc…. If you have recently updated an Evice driver, you may want to go back and see if it helps. If the problem is recent, could you try restoring the system and see if that solves the problem? Disabling thumbnails using the File Explorer options is also useful. If not, here are some other suggestions.

1] In Windows 10/8/7, you have User Account Control (UAC) settings that would prevent the administrator from accessing programs for security reasons. Some programs require administrator access to bypass this problem, you must right-click on the executable and run it as an administrator.

If you still want to run the program as administrator, right-click the shortcut and go to Properties and click Compatibility.

Then enable Run this program as administrator and click Apply / OK.

You may need to enable compatibility mode, as some programs may not be fully compatible with Windows 7/8/10.

If the program is compatible with Windows 10/8/7, make sure you do not enable compatibility mode when it is disabled, as it may also crash the program.

2] If you get error for multiple programs, your Windows computer may be infected. In such cases, download a good standalone third-party antivirus software and scan your PC with this software.

Start the system in safe mode and run a full scan.

3] DEP, i.e. the Data Execution Prevention parameter can cause programs to crash. To check these settings

1. click on Start and Right click on Computer and go to Properties

2. Click Advanced System Settings

3. Click Advanced and Settings under Performance.

4. Click Data execution prevention

5. Make sure you have DEP enabled only for important Windows programs and services.

Alternatively, for all programs and services except those I have selected, you can enable DEP, click Add and add the following :

      • C:WindowsSystem32dllhost.exe for 32-bit systems
      • C:WindowsSysWOW64dllhost.exe for 64-bit systems

Click Apply/OK.

4] Open a raised PDC and execute the following commands :

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

See if this helps.

If these steps do not work, try reinstalling the specific application that is causing the problem.

If this happens to one of the Windows components, try SFC /SCANNOW

View this message if you receive an action that cannot be completed because the file is open in the COM message.

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