dwm.exe Has Ceased to Work... RRS feed

  • Question

  • Added a StarTech 4 Port 3.0 PCI Express Adapter Card to my PC yesterday to allow me to use USB 3.0 speeds with a new external harddrive.  The USB card appears to work fine whilst the machien is running.  However, the computer blue-screens when I switch it off (restarts, have to shut down via Safe Mode to actually switch the machine off) and d3d11.dll spontaneously stopped working.  I don't know what a display/DirectX-related .dll would have to do with a USB card, but since then anything that requires the .dll has stopped working.  I replaced the .dll file, which has fixed most of the problems, but when restarting dwm.exe fails to start (0xc000007b)

    I don't understand:

    1) why .dlls relating to display would have been affected by the introduction of a USB 3.0 card.  I can and will remove the card, but this is frustrating, because the card works!  All 4 of its ports (2 front, 2 back) work fine, but attempting to uninstall/disable the card causes the computer to crash.  When the card is removed, the blue screen is no longer shown, but the device still shows in the device manager, with the same effect if it is uninstalled (crashes)

    2) how to replace dwm.exe.  Even with the USB 3.0 card removed, this problem persists.  I attempted to repair from the original windows disk, but the only advice I have been given is that I should do an entirely fresh install of Windows to fix the problem(s).  I don't mind doing that, but there are a lot of other programmes I would have to install again afterwards, and I don't want to waste all that time if it isn't going to fix the problems.

    [Windows 7 Professional 64 bit]

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:29 PM


  • Hi,

    .dll is a library that contains code and data that can be used by more than one program at the same time. So maybe it be invoked by USB card drive.

    “d3d11.dll spontaneously stopped working”

    Is there any exact error message about it?

    You can try to stop dwm.exe following the below steps:

    1. Type “Service” into the search box
    2. Select the “Service” link
    3. Right click on “Desktop Windows Manager Session”
    4. Select “Stop” to stop it from running

    Note: Don’t remove dwm.exe. Remember, removing dwm.exe van cause further problems and your system will not work properly.

    Also,  you could run sfc /scannow command to repair:

    1. right cmd.exe and run as Administrator;

    2. type sfc /scannow and press enter, this may take a little bit time to finish;

    3. when the scan is complete, you will see some message;

    4. when done, close the command prompt.

    5. restart the computer.

    6. check and confirm the problem.

    If the issue persists, help us to collect information to analyze the crash reasons. Please follow these steps below to collect Minidump file:

    Collect Minidump Files


    1. Click "Start", input "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) in the “Search” bar and press “Enter”.

    2. Switch to the "Advanced" tab and click the "Settings" button under "Startup and Recovery".

    3. Under "Write debugging information" section, make sure the "Small memory dump (128KB)" option is selected.

    4. Make sure "%SystemRoot%\Minidump" is in the "Small dump directory" open box and click “OK”.


    If the system crash again, please refer to the following steps to collect memory dump files:


    1. Click “Start”, type “%SystemRoot%\Minidump" (without quotation marks) in “Search” bar and press “Enter”.

    2. Go to your Desktop, right-click on it and create a new folder named "Dump".

    3. Copy all the memory dump files (looks like [Mini092008-01.dmp]) in Minidump to this folder.

    4. Right-click on the Dump folder, click "Send To", and click "Compressed (zipped) Folder".

    5. Upload to SkyDrive.

    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:44 PM
    Monday, September 2, 2013 1:13 AM