I was about to grab some lunch when a client called in frantically that they had a COM Surrogate warning message that popped up on their screen.
Since I setup their Windows 8.1 Professional machine for them years ago when the Operating System got released from Microsoft, I knew they should not have any codec problems as being mentioned on the Internet or viruses as well as I have also install the Barracuda Malware Tool on their system for added protection.
When I arrived at their location, I saw the COM Surrogate message that they mentioned (coming from Windows Photo Viewer) stating that COM Surrogate is not responding and if you close the program, you might lose information.
To make matters worse, the client could not get the COM Surrogate warning message off the screen because clicking the “Close the program” option or “X” on the windows did not work. After taking a screenshot to add to their support ticket, I was able to get rid of the warning by finally hitting the Esc key that is located on the top row of their keyboard.
A Q&A Chat with the client led me to find out that the client was trying to view and delete photos through the delete option in Windows Photo Viewer that was being stored on their USB Flash Drive and was also still compressed in the .zip file that was shared with them through a public folder on DropBox.
If you have a .zip file with photos as my client and need to remove some of the photos or files, you must first unzip the compressed file, delete the unneeded files and then compress it once again when you are done so that you can share the edited version. Failure to do this will let you get the same COM Surrogate error message as well.
Note: I have not tested this situation but if you receive the files on a CD, DVD that is not rewritable, please assume that you will have a similar issue unless you export the files to your computer for editing.