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How do I stop Win7 from breaking my software? Ole32.dll and "Power" service suspected culprits. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello and thanks for any help with this.

    I built a new computer for my aunt and her one major request is that she still be able to use her card maker software Creatacard (yes misspelled just like that) by American Greetings. I thought this would be no issue, I could give her a much faster machine and get her off (the no longer supported) WindowsXP all at the same time by moving her to Windows7 and copying all her files over from the old PC to the new one.

    I tested the software first on a test PC of mine and found it would not install in a 64bit environment (error message saying use 32bit during install) which I solved by using Windows7 32bit. It worked perfectly so I proceeded to build her machine thinking that issue resolved. Problem is after the new rig was built and SP1 plus all windows updates were installed the Creatacard software would not load. I get an instant popup message saying "Creatacard Application File has stopped working" with the options to "Check online for a solution..." and "Close the Program."

    Checking online does nothing noticeable and close program doesn't help as every time you reload it fails immediately with the same message. Clicking on the "view problem details" drop menu reveals that this is an APPCRASH with the following clues

    Fault Module Name  ole32.dll

    Fault Module Version 6.1.7601.17514

    I have researched and tried everything I could find online about this crash and none of it (up to and including completely re-installing Windows, systematically loading a few Win-updates and trying the app after each batch, editing the registry multiple times, trying alt versions of ole32.dll, and using a Linux live CD to alter windows settings) has fixed the problem.  I have learned the following though:

    When windows is first installed the card maker software (CMS from here on) works fine.

    After windows updates itself and a few device drivers auto load (like when you first plug in a USB mouse or Flash drive) CMS breaks.

    Loading windows normally after it is up to date always causes CMS to crash and give the above message.

    When I perform a "clean boot" CMS works fine once again.

    When I boot into safe mode CMS works fine.

    Someone online suggested a service could be the actual problem and there being 140 of them I used the 50% method to quickly narrow the list and found that yes indeed windows services do appear to be related because if I don't allow the "Power" service to run the CMS works perfectly. With a bit of testing to see what it does I found that it controlled wake/sleep settings, delay until your monitor goes dark etc and that if the Power service is disabled it remembers the last settings entered and I thought GREAT! Finally after many days of frustration and being balked by nonsense I have a solution. My aunt will never use/miss the power settings I will set them up for her once and then kill that service and all is well for a Happy Holiday... (from my research online some may already guess where this is headed)  until I went to play a video............ and there was no sound.

    A little red X had appeared next to the speaker icon down in the system tray next to the clock and hovering over it gave a popup with "The Audio Service is not running." This is where the BS gets deep. I had of course NOT disabled the sound (Windows Audio) service and a quick check showed it and all the services it depended on were in fact on and running. The Windows trouble shooter offered to fix the issue and so I let it run but it comes back with "one or more Audio service is not running" and attempting to restart the service on its own came back with a "Not fixed" result. Now if I go to check dependencies for the "Power" it claims that no other services depend on it and it depends on nothing but that is an outright lie. Further digging shows me the Power service's "path to executable" as...  C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k DcomLauncher and many other services show they depend on DcomLauncher to run.

    Long extra trouble shooting session short here is where I am at. I can have the sound working or the CMS but not both.

    Uninstalling and re-installing the sound card drivers didn't help (since sound is being stopped at the windows OS level) either.

    As soon as I turn on the Power service and reboot the CMS breaks. As soon as I disable the Power service and reboot the CMS works perfectly but all audio breaks. Both of these are a deal breaker as she will not leave her old slow XP machine without her CMS and I cannot give her a new machine that has no sound. Reboots take 30 seconds on this new PC so were it mine I could just live with it as the CMS has no sound and I don't need music playing when I am designing a Christmas card. Use the sound/power on 99% of the time and disable them and reboot whenever I make a card and then enable and reboot when I am done. This would be over her head though I fear as she is a senior and not very tech savvy. My question then is...

    Is there any way to have the CMS work while still keeping the Windows Audio service (and all the other not listed but still existing dependent services) running? Or alternatively is there something else I can do to the ole32.dll to make it stop the crash/error?

    To be clear I would happily accept a system without the Power service running if (like it actually says under dependencies) nothing else other than the "Power Options" in Control Panel ceased to function.

    Saturday, December 27, 2014 2:32 AM

All replies

  • Creatacard is not compatible with Windows 7.  It could be run in an XP virtual machine, though replacing it with a newer card program might make more sense.
    Saturday, December 27, 2014 3:13 AM
  • Hi TheRealChristopherRobin,

    I am currently checking on this issue and doing the test by the moment.

    In addition to disable the power service, please take a try to set both of the Turn off the display and the Put the computer to sleep to Never, under Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings. Then check the results.

    If I have any results or helpful information, I will update here.

    Best regards


    Michael Shao
    TechNet Community Support


    • Edited by Michael_LS Wednesday, December 31, 2014 2:50 AM
    Wednesday, December 31, 2014 2:50 AM
  • Thanks for your reply, sorry for the slow reply I got blitzed with work for the holiday season then family showed up etc etc...

    Um except that it does work with Windows 7 just fine when it's a fresh install or if it's a clean boot. I.E. if I take my test box and install a fresh copy of Win7 on it and then install creatacard the software loads right up and works perfectly. It's only after all Win7 updates complete that the software stops working... roll back to clean install and it works perfect again but I can't really give her a machine that cannot ever get updates or she will get more and more vulnerable as time goes on and that is one of the big reasons I was trying to get her off XP in the first place.

    I tried XP compatibility mode (and every other option under the compatibility tab for that matter) with no luck.

    I have no experience with virtual machines but I suppose I could try a Win7 fresh install as a virtual machine and leave that with no Winupdates while her main install gets all new updates. Would that work? How does the virtual machine interact with the rest of the machine and would she a novice end user notice any difference? Would there be any problems importing images from the web to use with her cards.

    Yes that would make more sense but she is set in her ways a bit and doesn't want any other card maker she wants what she is familiar with so that is not a viable option alas. 

    Saturday, January 10, 2015 2:30 AM
  • Thanks Michael. Apologies for the slow reply I was away for a bit (holiday blitz at work and visiting family madness etc.etc.) back now, I set both options you requested to "never " and retried the CMS software with no change. 

    I do have progress of a sort though, as a test I took a separate test PC and put a clean install of Win7 on and loaded up the CMS software (it worked perfectly) and then took the version of ole32.dll off that machine and put it onto the computer I had built for her (using Linux) and...

    got a new error code. Darn I was so sure I had found a clever solution this time lol.

    Anyway now when the CMS fails it gives me a similar error but the offending module is "ntdll.dll" sooo... I tried taking the "working" version of ntdll.dll from the test box and moving it over (making sure to back up the existing ones first so I could put them back if needed) to her new PC and the PC would not boot. 

    It seems to want the original versions of a few Dynamic Link Libraries and if I could somehow give it those while not breaking Win7 it should theoretically work seeing as it no longer errors with ole32.dll. 

    ntdll.dll however seems necessary for Win7 to boot.

    So what I am wondering now is:

    Is there some way to have both versions of the DLL file in the system32 folder (bypassing the "cannot have two files with the exact same name in the same folder" thing) or rename the original DLL's something else and somehow make the CMS look for the new named versions so the system has the updated DLL's it needs to boot/run and the CMS has the old ones it wants to run or is there someway to have a self contained install of the CMS, say on a USB flash drive and give it it's own E:/windows/system32/needed dll's  path to the files it needs? 

    Willing to try any other options or settings you may have come up with as well.

    Thanks again for your reply and my apologies for not answering sooner.

    Saturday, January 10, 2015 2:57 AM
  • It is compatible though...

    as long as I don't use winupdate on a fresh install of Win7 32bit the CMS works great. :p

    I did try WinXP compatibility mode (as admin) and all the other modes under the compatibility tab with no success though.

    No experience with virtualization myself, how does the virtual machine interact with the main OS install? Would it be unnoticeable to a novice end user? Would she be able to say import images from the web to incorporate into her cards easily if the CMS is in a virtual instance? Would I need to purchase a 2nd Windows license? Thoughts?

    Replacing it makes a lot of sense to me as well but alas she knows this program forwards and backwards, loves it and does not want any other card maker so that is a no go I'm afraid.

    Thanks for the response and apologies for the slow reply (the holidays were crazy!).

    Saturday, January 10, 2015 3:06 AM
  • Hi,

    Running different DLL files is not possible.

    You could consider the second plan: to install Windows Virtual PC and configure a Windows 7 Virtual Machine.

    Here is a Technet blog talking about it:

    Windows Virtual PC

    For more resources regarding Windows Virtual PC, please check: Windows Virtual PC;

    Windows Virtual PC Help

    For download: Windows Virtual PC

    Happy holidays.

    Best regards


    Michael Shao
    TechNet Community Support

    • Proposed as answer by Michael_LS Tuesday, January 20, 2015 2:44 AM
    Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:35 AM