.exe has stopped working

For nearly half of the .exe files I attempt to open, I get this stupid "---.exe has stopped working" (where --- represents the name of the file). The files I'm trying to open are not video game files, but rather program files.

I am currently working on a 64-bit system. I have only had this machine for 2.5 weeks.

Somebody please help me! I cannot proceed with my research until this problem is fixed!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If you say only 1/2 are not working, can you break out the similarities between the ones that do not run? How are you starting them? If you know for sure what they are, have you tried running them with Admin privileges?

Thanks for the reply.

lets see if I can give an example.

I downloaded a program called MolMol which is in the from of 3 .exe files. I was able to execute those. Those files extracted to several files and one .exe (molmol.exe). When I click on molmol.exe it begins to open then immediately says "molmol.exe has stopped working".

another example:

I downloaded a program called Chimera which installed with no problem, I even compiled with the installer. When I go to open it, it begins to open, then it says "pythonw.exe has stopped working". The pythonw.exe is part of the Chimera package.

I have tried opening these .exe files by clicking them and by trying to open an applicable file with the programs.

I am also the administrator on my system.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Since I have not heard of those files before, I could only guess as to why they would not run. My first thought would be security. Could an anti-virus, or even something in Win 7 be keeping them from running? Have you done a virus check on them?

If these are older programs, you might want to trying installing and running in compatibility mode.

I haven't tried a virus check, but I can assure you that these programs do not have viruses. I'm sorry, but I don't know what exactly Win 7 is.

I have tried running them in compatibility mode, and that didn't help. Also, both programs work perfectly on my computer at home (also windows 7)


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Win 7 is Windows 7 ;)

If they work on one windows system, and other types of programs work normally on both systems, then perhaps you could check for any differences in the two systems.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.