Windows Vista Error: COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working

You may encounter the following error message on your Windows Vista computer while trying to browse folders that contain media or video files.

COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working

Cause of the Error

This error message is displayed when certain software programs install codecs and other COM components that are not completely compatible with your Windows Vista computer.

Some of the common programs that are known to cause these problems are Nero and DivX.

Resolution Methods

There are several ways to resolve this issue. The method you choose primarily depends on software that is causing the problem.

Some solutions for various software programs that can cause the problem are discussed below:

  • In case DivX software is installed on your system, you must upgrade it to version 6.5 or higher to resolve the error.
  • In case Nero software is installed on your system, you must upgrade it to version or higher to resolve the error.
  • If the problem persists even after upgrading the DivX or the Nero software, navigate to the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter\ folder and then rename the following files to break Nero Showtime:
    • to
    • to NeVideoHD.bak
  • A workaround to the problem is to disable the Thumbnail preview, by performing the following steps on your Windows computer:
  1. Open the folder that contains the video and media files, click the Organize button, and then select the Folder and Search menu option.
  2. In the Folder Options dialog box, open the View tab, select the Always show icons, never thumbnails check box.
  3. Click OK.
  • If you have an older version of “ffdshow” codec on your system it might generate errors. To resolve the issue, you may try to use the ffdshow tryouts codec pack.
  • If you are unable to resolve the problem with Nero, it is recommended that you completely remove the older version from your computer before updating it. To do this, you may use a reliable program uninstaller tool, such as Perfect Uninstaller. You may also clean your registry with the help of a reliable registry cleaner tool, such as RegServe to get rid of any left over orphan program keys.
  • Try to install the Vista Codec Package to update all codecs that are installed on your system. It is recommended that you create a system restore point before proceeding, This will help in restoring the system if something goes wrong after the update is installed.
  • Try to use a third-party utility to disable all codecs installed on your system to troubleshoot and identify the component that is generating the error on your system.
  • Try to turn off Data Execution Prevention on dllhost (the COM surrogate) to fix the problem.
  1. Click Start and then right-click on Computer and then select Properties.
  2. Click Advanced system settings.
  3. On the System Properties dialog box, open the Advanced tab and then select Settings.
  4. On the Data Execution Prevention tab, select the Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select option.
  5. Click Add, and then open the C:\Windows\System32\ folder.
  6. Here, locate and double-click on the dllhost.exe file to add it.
  7. Click OK.

Note: You may also have to add the executable files for DivX and Nero software in the Data Execution Ignore List.