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  1. #1
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    Question DCOM Server Process stopped unexpectedly

    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, for the past 3 days, has been getting a dialog which indicates that DCOM has stopped...

    DCOM_Stopped.jpg

    This is one of many screen snapshots relating to this problem.

    For example, it is accompanied by the Power service and Plug & Play getting the same dialog. DCOM is the one presenting an issue since very little works without DCOM running (cannot run File Explorer, get to the control panel, etc.)

    As a first stab at this, has onyone hit this issue. The web is replete with hits from years back but none recently. In particular, the Microsoft site is devoid of meaningful postings for this.

    I will post additional information after others get a chance to respond.

    In advance, thanks to anyone that can help.

  2. #2
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    An example two weeks ago was fixed by running an anti-malware scan: DCOM server process Launcher service terminated unexpectedly, forced restarts

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceR For This Useful Post:

    oldITguy (2015-09-04)

  4. #3
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    Bruce:

    Thanks for the reference in your post. I looked at the web page and was overwhelmed. The Farbar Recovery Scan tool seems to provide lots to work with but almost no indication as to what is causing the problem and little insight into how to fix it.

    It appears the authors of that tool provided the fixit script that got the user back on the air. Ouch! How am I going to do that?

    I have intalled the tool and produced the scan output. The tutorial for the tool provides no clear indication of what entries to use for the fixit script and in some of the situations, it seems there are possibly confusing exceptions.

    I found a Microsoft entry which indicated the problem exhibited registry issues. However, when I installed the Microsoft tool, it did nothing. The behavior was to start and exit, without messages, in less than a second. This tool was supposed to clean up potential registry issues. I have run CCleaner and have no registry issues. The Microsoft tool is called RegCureProSetup.

    Still looking for being able to identify the root cause and a workable solution. I have another 32-bit Win7 system that does not have this issue (plus a couple of 64-bit Win7 systems).

    Some of the web pages I found made assumptions about doing things that depend on DCOM. File Explorer depends on DCOM. The control panel plus install/remove programs depends on DCOM. I can boot into Safe Mode and many of those things work (including DCOM), so among the stuff NOT running in Safe Mode, is somthing that is the root cause of the issue. That probably includes drivers.
    Last edited by oldITguy; 2015-09-04 at 19:30.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Give Tweaking.com's Windows Repair All in One a shot:
    http://www.tweaking.com/content/page...ll_in_one.html

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldITguy View Post
    I found a Microsoft entry which indicated the problem exhibited registry issues. However, when I installed the Microsoft tool, it did nothing. The behavior was to start and exit, without messages, in less than a second. This tool was supposed to clean up potential registry issues. I have run CCleaner and have no registry issues. The Microsoft tool is called RegCureProSetup.
    RegCurePro is most definitely NOT a Microsoft tool.

    It gets very mixed reviews (and that's putting it mildly).

  7. #6
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    Bruce: the reference to RegCurePro was on a Microsoft web page. I agree when it comes to any review (it has been removed from by system).

    jwitalka: my bad...I indicated CCleaner when I should have said Tweeking All In One. It took hours to clean up many entries but I left 4 that I am familiar with, and when I ran CCleaner later, there were no issues of warrant.

    At this point, I am running a full scan with MSE (yeah, slow, but this is to cover all bases).

    I did invoke Repair Your Computer from the Win7 install disk. Chkdsk /F /R took a long time but all files were clear and no back sectors found. That is what chkdsk does. I then rant sfc /scannow (with appropriate parameters to point to the offending partition). If found files whose checksums did not match those in the store (backup storage that is uses), so those were consider corrupt and not replaced (in all likelihood, the files are probably fine; they are the 4 files supplied with the group policy editor download for Win7 Home Premium). I might download that again and reinstall it. Twice.

  8. #7
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    Update:

    At this point, it seems I have a Win7 system that boots without the DCOM issue. To make a long story short (this has consumed the last 4 days of my life), I have found no root cause for the problem and no solution has been determined for fixing the issue. Some changes have been made but yet there has been no direct association with the base problem.

    I un-installed the group policy editor to remove those 4 files from consideration of issues that might be found by sfc /scannow. At this point, the disk is clean, no corrupt files, no sector issues.

    I have switched from my former internet security suite to MSE and Windows Firewall. That has high potential. A new version of the security suite has been obtained and will be tried. (the security suite will remain unnamed unless I am convinced it is the problem; I am working with the vendor to address this)

    Backing to Tweaking All In One cleanup: it may have cleared the issue since it did so much in that long run. However, there is no indication of which item may have been the root cause, if in fact it did clear the root cause.

    By the way, base on Google search results, this is not an uncommon problem. It seems to have a long history, but recent incantations seem to be rare. In many of those, not root cause was found thought some indicate a malwre based issue. Following up on multiple scans of my system with different tools, I did use the MalwareBytes Anti-root scanner and it found nothing.

    Hmmm. Maybe I am good to go.

  9. #8
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    And the beat goes on...

    After some success yesterday, where my Win7 system was able to boot multiple times without the DCOM problem, today the DCOM failure returns. I am now at a position to believe that something in the computer is failing somewhere, and it may never be found.

    I do have the followng to add:

    In many of the posts where this is discussed, there are references to making sure that DCOM is enabled to start, and other such things. When I check my Win7 systems, DCOM properties can not be set in any way, shape, or form (setup type is grayed out).

    DCOM_PlugPlayProperties.jpg

    Below, notice the lack of Start/Stop/Restart:

    DCOM_Properties2.jpg

    Below, notice that all recovery options are grayed out (only restart the computer is allowed):

    DCOM_Properties3.jpg

    The following is from the help file link:

    "To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Account Operators group, the Domain Admins group, the Enterprise Admins group, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure."

    It would seem prudent to set the first recovery to simple restart DCOM, but since it lacks those options, and without the above noted authorties, that can't be done.

    For PlugAndPlay & Power services, the failure option can be configured. DCOM is the critical component and little can be done if it fails.
    Last edited by oldITguy; 2015-09-06 at 03:24. Reason: make additions

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    You can normally tell if a problem is caused by an AV program when the problem doesn't occur in Safe Mode etc. but does in a clean boot, as an AV program will reinstate itself in a clean boot even when its box is unchecked.

    If the problem doesn't occur in a clean boot then it won't be your AV program but at least then, you will have something more to eliminate in finding the cause.

    Does this error come straight up when you boot up or when you are performing a particular task ?

    I haven't enabled the hidden admin account on my Win 7 to see if any of DCOM's Properties can be changed, but perhaps that is something you may care to try, although as long as it is set to Started and Auto, I'm not sure what else you could with it as it doesn't have any Dependencies that could be trouble shooted.

  11. #10
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    Sudo:

    You point out a couple of good items. Thanks.

    I never hit this DCOM issue in Safe Mode. This gives me a list (the differences) to pursue for issues.

    The DCOM fail comes up immediately after booting (within 100 seconds). If I don't logon to my account (which has admin privileges), then behind the scenes, it reboots with 2.5-3 minutes.

    I have the hidden admin account enabled. I should try it and see if any DCOM properties can be changed.

    By the way, DCOM is NOT set to Started or Auto. It is set somewhere in its behind the scenes boot time configuration to always automatically start. Plug & Play is that way also.

    I have two Win7 systems available. One is my normal use and the other is a clean install for recovery purposes. In the recovery system, DCOM shows a LONG list of dependents. In my normal use system, it show NO dependents when there is a DCOM failure, but shows a long list of RPC dependents when the system is functioning. That is a flaw to investigate. It may point out that the failure is in determining the list of dependents that use RPC (if so, that may be a bunch of crap having nothing to do with its actual function).

  12. #11
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    Your pic of Services shows that it is set to Started and Auto, so like all other services that are set that way, it should start on boot.

    DCOM is listed as not having any Dependencies in my Win 7 x64 HP but RPC is dependent on DCOM, so if DCOM fails to start then that is going to cause a whole range of problems because quite a lot of other stuff is dependent upon RPC.

    As the problem has been on going for just three days, you should have restore points that will take you back to before that, so have you tried those - clicking on Scan for affected programs for each.

    We've had a couple of out of cycle Windows Updates recently and if you've had and installed those - they could just as easily be the conflict, although not sure if anything they would affect would be neutralised in Safe Mode.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-09-06 at 07:40.

  13. #12
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    The problem started Sep 1 and yesterday being Sep 5, this makes 5 full days, plus several reboots this morning to get to the same point as before. Sep 3 was my 1st post and that indicated 3 days of problems (now approaching 6 days).

    I did go back to a restore point. The 1st boot after that recovery was successful. Since then, about half of the boot attempts failed.

    I have been unable to determine any pattern of what caused DCOM to fail soon after booting, or what was done to produce a successful boot later. In fact, I am now down to just the following pattern - boot, fail, boot, fail, ..., boot, succeed, LEAVE IT UP!

    I have done 3 full sweeps for malware with different products. This includes scanning from a different booted partition on the same computer. Chkdsk and sfc /scannow have been run numerous times. I think I have put more busy hours on the disk drives this past week than in the previous couple of months total.

    I do appreciate feedback from the Windows Secrets community. Thank you. But for now, I suspect this is unsolvable, and I will be moving my stuff to the (former) clean install partition, and abandoning this partition to the lost and hopeless.

    When I pulled the help information from the links in the properties page on DCOM, one item indicated that I could specify a different hardware configuration, and then use that configuration to run through various services stopped/running to determine if a faulty one can be found. However, since I can take the same configuration and have it produce a successful boot AND failed boot, the error is likely not in any service.

    And yes, the list of functions dependent on DCOM is long. I will attempt to produce that list here (it can't be copy/pasted from the properties so that is a "one at a time" operation).

  14. #13
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    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  15. #14
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    It is annoying why something does work only now and again without being able to nail down the cause, but you're probably taking the best course of action which could stave off the ulcers and grey hairs.

  16. #15
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    wavy:

    On Windows7 you cannot disable DCOM. Your reference was for systems other than Windows 7. DCOM is used to communicate for information on the same computer. The list of functions that depend on DCOM is very long. I am working to create that list.

    Sudo:

    Too late on the grey hairs. That happened years ago.

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