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Dependency Walker


For a number of years I've been using a tool called Dependency Walker that

was bundled in with Visual Studio. A useful utility, it will show all the

dependencies of an executable, pretty handy when you're trying to get something

to run that won't - usually because of DLL hell.

Here is the display using our favorite exe:

As you can see, it shows the dll name, time stamp, file version, etc. For

trouble shooting I'd run this on a machine where it works, then run it on the

machine where it doesn't work, start comparing the two. Still a little tedious,

but you at least have a list to work from.

Recently I was working one of these issues I just could not figure out, so I

went next door to talk to my friend Leon,

got him to help me look. Turns out, he had a different version of Dependency

Walker! This much nicer version has some features, the most important being that

it can trace a running process to look for runtime dependencies.

If you use this, it will report any problems with any dll that the

application references. Sometimes the errors are false and/or not quite what

they seem - on the site listed below there is a list of the common problems

you'll see in the trace, read it before you start troubleshooting!

You can download the latest version from http://www.dependencywalker.com/.

You can also visit the authors home page at http://stevemiller.net/apps/.

Steve mentioned that the latest version would be in the VS.Net 2003 install and

on MSDN.

You may not run into dll issues often, but when you do, it's a handy tool to

have in the toolbox!


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