Fault Finding – Com Surrogate Error

One of the many problems when dealing with proprietary Digital Video in all its guises is that just as one problem gets resolved, another rears it head.

Codec conflicts, corrupted files, badly encoded video….. they all cause instability in a system. I have a working system clone and when things start to go wrong,  if they can’t be fixed easily, I just reinstall the clone. For this I use Clonezilla.

One of the issues that can usually be fixed without having to revert to a clone is that of a Com Surrogate Error.


I have found that this little horror can be caused by a number of reasons but mainly a codec conflict or a badly encoded video seems the most common within the Video community.

The easiest way to find out what is going on when using Windows 7 is to go direct to the Action Center in the Control Panel or by clicking the little flag in your System Tray.


Halfway down the page, under Maintenance, is a link called “View Reliability History”.


The Reliability Monitor will open and you can see how reliable your PC is! As you can see, mine started to all go horribly wrong at 10.34 am!

I knew that I had not installed anything but I was working on some files. By double clicking the first error, more detailed information can be seen.


The fault was occurring with the msmpeg2vdec.dll. A Search within my system revealed that this was a system .dll and had not been installed recently. Sometimes when Video players install their own versions of dll’s these can cause errors. This led me to believe that it was a video within a folder and when I was opening that folder, windows was running a prescan and it was at this point that the error was occurring.

Through a bit of trial and error, I located the folder with a number of avi’s that were created whilst testing a proprietary video player and its video export option. They were badly encoded and this was causing the fault.

Hope this helps in your troubleshooting!


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