1. #1

    Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Okay, so, to start off, I have been using Ad Aware for quite some time, but I hadn't seen a definitions update in about a year and a half, so I figured maybe it was time to try something else. So I decided to give Malwarebytes a try. For some daft reason (I guess because I've never had an issue this extensive before) I didn't create a restore point before the install. But after that, and a Windows update, I'm now stuck with a few large issues. I don't directly know what could be causing what, only that I've tried everything I could find on the internet short of wiping the OS and starting fresh, which I really don't want to do as I put quite a bit of time into setting up the PC over the past few years. So anyways, the main issues are:

    COM Surrogate: Every time I try to open a photo in photo viewer, I get the "Com Surrogate" error for dllhost.exe. It doesn't matter what type of file, and I don't believe it has anything to do with loading thumbnails, as the preview seems to be fine, and it doesn't matter how I open them (right click or double click). I can, however, load them in IRFan (which I downloaded after seeing it as one potential direction towards resolution), but this, too, will crash if I scroll through them too quickly.

    Gray-screen at start up: At startup, it was taking a very long time to load the desktop after login, and would go to a gray screen with no interactivity other than cursor movement for 2-3 minutes before finally loading Windows. This has since been resolved, it appears, after using the System Update Readiness tool (KB947821). I've attempted a few restarts and it seems to be consistently better, though the other issues are still present.

    No Sound: I have the HDMI on the GPU outputting to my TV, and from there, it uses an HDMI-Out and Infrared to send audio to my surround system. I don't know how, or why, but the TV/HDMI was not being found by the PC as a device for sound to travel from, so the mixer was defaulting to other options. This, I managed to correct, though I don't know how. Maybe it was coincidental but it did seem to be helped when I tried a clean boot. I didn't maintain that boot style, though, so I don't know that it could have actually improved anything. Likely the constant restarts allowed the PC to suddenly find it as a device again?

    The desktop is an HP Pavilion Phoenix h9-1130. 3.1 8-core AMD chipset (FX, I think?), 16GB RAM, Win 7 Home Premium 64bit, Radeon 7670HD

    Things I have tried to correct the issue:

    -SFC/chkdsk= Found no issues after two attempts.
    -Removing Codecs= I tried removing both Quicktime and disabling the K-Lite pack to no avail
    -Re-Registering the dll's=Both before and after I tried to swap out the Photo Viewer folder from a Win 10 unit (It didn't take)
    -Creating a DEP Exception=Windows Explorer kept crashing here.
    -Windows update and Update Readiness tool=As mentioned above, the gray screen was fixed, but nothing else is different. On the next restart after doing this, it did remove the COM surrogate error popup, but did not fix the issue. And in addition to the photos crashing, video was crashing as well.
    -Clean Boot=Somehow, after giving up on the clean boot, even though I didn't kill any programs the COM Surrogate error is back, but video is playing again. And sound! Glorious sound! For now >_>
    -Rolling Back GPU drivers=The last driver update was 2016, I believe, but the rollback option is grayed out. So it looks unlikely to help.

    I've already spent a good 15-20 hours trying to dig into this problem, and the depth of my knowledge revolves around Google and a one-semester Python intro class, so I'm really in over my head here. If there's any other info you'd need, please let me know. I would really appreciate any help you guys could give! I really miss my PC

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  2. #2
    plodr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Things to try:
    1. First uninstall malwarebytes. How do I uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware? | Official Malwarebytes Support
    Be sure to reboot.

    2. Use the Ad Aware removal tool
    most security products leave too many things behind so you probably have 2 security programs fighting each other. Be sure to reboot after you've removed Ad Aware.

    3. Uninstall the Windows update just to be sure that isn't creating the issue.
    Please post what "windows update" you installed.

    Now describe the issues you are having.
    The first step to fixing is to try to undo what has been done. I try to make only 1 major change at a time. If I'm doing a Windows update, I would never install any new security program. Or if I decided to try a new security program, I would wait a few days to install a Windows update.

    I also image our four Windows 7 computers. I have had to restore an image to at least 3 of the computers over the years. It is far easier and saves time than trying to troubleshoot an issue or a bad install.

  3. #3

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    I uninstalled Malwarebytes quickly after the issues started. I installed the Ad Aware removal tool, but when I went to use it, it changed from "Remove" to "Complete" way too quickly, like it wasn't even trying.

    The Windows update installed a TON of different things, mostly Office Suite security updates. Should I try to uninstall everything? It's quite a list:

    Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!-upd1-jpgMultiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!-upd2-jpgMultiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!-upd3-jpg

    I've never had an issue that couldn't be resolved with a bit of patience, learning and Google, but never one this hard to even diagnose before. I will definitely be backing things up better from now on.

    The current issues are still most commonly dll-based it seems, if that makes sense. Anything that uses that generic "wrapper" seems to crash. My Garmin and GoPro startups are still crashing every time the PC starts up (I think a reinstall would fix them, but I've left them in case it may help diagnose things as I don't use them as often). I still get a DllHost.exe crash from trying to load photos, and the grey screen and slow startup even came back >_< Should I start looking into registry repair? Most of the issues are easy to reproduce and happen every time (which is maybe the only solace). Is there anything from the crash reports that might help narrow things down?

  4. #4
    plodr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Sorry but I'm not the person who reads and understands crash reports.
    I'll ask if someone here does. Post your crash report and I'll point them to this thread.

    As far as "registry repair", unless you are an expert, you'd cause more problems than would be solved. There are too many programs claiming to work miracles on a computer and probably let it worse than it was. Personally, if I'm going to change something in the registry, I back it up, then when I make changes, I write down what I did. If I notice anything weird, I put back the backup registry.

    I uninstalled Malwarebytes quickly
    Have you tried to use the method I linked to above in step 1? If not, try that because there might still be remnants of the program on the computer.

    As far as the Office updates, if they were from February Security updates, they should be okay. There is only 1 Security update for Office 2010 in March and that came out a day after all those installs.
    March 2018 Office non-security updates have been released @ AskWoody

    Looking over all those Office updates, some of them just say update and not Security update. I tend to install only Security updates.

    At this point, I'm not sure what to tell you to do. I expected the clean removal of malwarebytes and the clean removal of Avast would have solved quite a few issues.

  5. #5
    BSOD Kernel Dump Analyst
    Windows Update Senior Analyst
    softwaremaniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    • specs System Specs
      • Motherboard:
      • CPU:
        Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7GHz
      • Memory:
        Crucial 2x8GB DDR4 2666 MHz
      • Graphics:
        Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8 GB
      • Sound Card:
        Asus Xonar DSX
      • Hard Drives:
        WD Caviar Black 1TB SATA III 7200rpm, WD Caviar Black 6TB SATA III 7200rpm
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      • Operating System:
        Windows 10 Pro 1803 x64

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Regarding COM surrogate:

    Try running the following from an elevated command prompt.
    regsvr32 vbscript.dll
    regsvr32 jscript.dll

    If I haven't replied to your thread within 48 hours, please send me a Personal Message.

  6. #6

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Definitely a good idea to have a map/backup setup to follow in regards to registry editing, I just don't see many options at the moment

    I did use the MWB clean removal tool, nothing is different unfortunately

    Yeah, I don't know what else it could be but borked registry files at this point. But that's just a guesstimate

    As far as the crash report goes, I hope this is the correct information: Faulting application name: DllHost.exe, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bca54Faulting module name: ntdll.dll, version: 6.1.7601.24024, time stamp: 0x5a58e571
    Exception code: 0xc0000374
    Fault offset: 0x00000000000bf6b2
    Faulting process id: 0x2894
    Faulting application start time: 0x01d3bf1fa695d556
    Faulting application path: C:\Windows\system32\DllHost.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
    Report Id: e4a21d76-2b12-11e8-bef6-9cb70d9c8410

  7. #7

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    I've tried re-registering the files multiple times, from both elevated and un-elevated commands. Nothing even remotely changed
    Thank you for the suggestion, though!

  8. #8
    Moderator, Windows Update
    Security Analyst
    Windows Update Senior Analyst
    SleepyDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!


    Can you generate and post the following log please

    Minitoolbox log
    Download MiniToolBox and save the file to the Desktop.
    Close the browser and run the tool, check the following options:
    • Report IE Proxy Settings
    • Report FF Proxy Settings
    • List content of Hosts
    • List last 10 Event Viewer log
    • List Installed Programs
    • List Devices (Only Problems)
    • List Users, Partitions and Memory size
    • List Minidump Files
    • List Restore Points

    Click on Go.

    Post the resulting log in your next reply.

  9. #9

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!


    Hopefully this is helpful. I'll be honest--I don't know what half the programs/games even are. Likely random Steam stuff. Thank you for looking into it for me.

  10. #10

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Still no luck? I might have to bite the bullet. Is there a way to reinstall windows but to first save a list of settings etc. so you can go through and reconfigure everything after a fresh install? I'm also a bit unsure of how to retrieve my copy of Win 7 for the reinstall?

  11. #11
    Moderator, Windows Update
    Security Analyst
    Windows Update Senior Analyst
    SleepyDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuffy View Post
    Hopefully this is helpful. I'll be honest--I don't know what half the programs/games even are. Likely random Steam stuff
    In that case I would start fresh for sure.

  12. #12

    Re: Multiple Issues-Possibly from Malwarebytes install? Please Help!

    I didn't mean that in the sense that they have the ability to cause this, so much as I can't remember ever playing half of them.

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