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DLL - Demystifying Loader Lapses

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DLL hell isn't just the name given to managing monstrous dependency chains. It's also the name given to the phenomenon of pulling your hair out because LoadLibrary is returning NULL or because your dotNet app is throwing lots of System.DllNotFoundExceptions. The usual statement Windows gives as witness to these crimes is 'Module not found' as if it were some blind referee or umpire giving a call against the local sports team, while you swear blind at the injustice and can point at the exact file you wanted in an Explorer window.

On the surface of things it may seem like a hard luck story. Sure you can go hook this and that in effort to figure out why appending the filename to the dll search path resulted in failure, but like Bud Selig calling the 2002 All-Star game a tie, Windows levels the playing field by housing a certain tool you can leverage no matter which language you're coding in. All without having to write any more code in investigative anger nor download anything neither.

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