I am having a similar problem. I was trying to install a new piece of software (Journeyx Timesheet), and after the installation and upon rebooting, the following entries appear in my SQL Server Log:
Failed to Initialize COM (CoInitializeEx returned 80010106)
Heterogeneous Queries and Remote RPC will be disabled.
Using 'xpstar.dll' version '2000.80.760' to execute extended stored procedure 'sp_MSgetversion'.
And at this point, certain functions have stopped working. For example,
SELECT * FROM ::fn_helpcollations()
returns the following error message:
Server: Msg 7404, Level 16, State 2, Procedure fn_helpcollations, Line 9
The server could not load DCOM.
Likewise, attempting to add a new database prompts with "The server could not load DCOM" (which I suspect is because the New Database dialog box also displays the list of Collations in a drop-down box).
Prior logs do not show this error, and uninstalling the software and rebooting has not cleared up the problem.
Anyone have any ideas?