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Anand Baumunk

DLL problems

4 posts in this topic

Hey,
I got this awkward problem with all my programms, and I was pretty suprised that there are so few posts on it.
Everytime I complie any of my programms and hand them to other people, they can't run them because dlls are missing, e.g msvcr90 or d3dx11_43. If they download them from certain sites with an installer, it runs fine. But of course I want to hand them with the programm, and I need to know what they are missing.
So, how can I see what dlls my programm uses and what is the usual method to deal with this?

Thanks a lot!
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In an ideal world you already know exactly which DLLs are required: if you compile your program with the /MD switch you need the runtime DLLs (like msvcr90.dll). If you link to DirectX they need the relevant DirectX DLLs. In both these cases manually moving DLLs around is highly discouraged (or plain impossible), so the relevant installers are required.

If you link to other 3rd party libraries you need to install whichever DLLs they require. That depends entire on the library. For example GLEW can be linked both dynamically (then glew32.dll will be needed to be placed next to your executable) or statically.

You can also use the tool depends (comes with some versions of MSVC, needs to be downloaded separately otherwise) to analyze the dependencies of an executable. There will be quite a lot of dependencies though and knowing which ones always come with a Windows installation and which ones need to be installed by you requires quite a bit of experience.

For a serious release I would also strongly recommend testing on a virgin installation of all targeted Windows versions. Edited by BitMaster
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Thanks for your fast answer.
How can I do this in practice? Should I write an installer for those dlls myself or are the ones one can download fine enough?
Have the dlls simply need to be in the same folder as the exe, or is some further stuff required?
Can I include the dlls into the exe somehow?

According to msdn linking the .lib should link the dll also. But I'm linking to the correct directx lib and still get this error. Edited by gnomgrol
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Both the runtime and DirectX need to be installed by their respective installers. There are several techniques to transparently install them from your own installer, which exactly depends on the Installer creator utility you will be using.

3rd party libraries of your own choosing should generally be placed next to your executable.

You cannot just include DLLs into an executable. Well, you could burn them into the executable as binary data, extract them before starting the actual program and then start the program. But that would be a huge mess and will most likely require a lot of care to work on Vista/7. For all practical purposes the answer is "no".

If you do not want DLLs, don't link to them. Compile your program with /MT. All libraries you are statically linking need to be compiled with /MT as well then. You cannot avoid the DirectX installer as far as I know, but shouldn't Vista/7 come with DirectX 10/11 preinstalled anyway? Otherwise you could use OpenGL. opengl32.dll is guaranteed to be installed already.

Link 3rd party libraries you are using statically. That might require a lot of work because you need to generally compile them yourself and often implement building them with /MT in the first place. If you cannot link the library statically (for example because it is LGPL or closed source), then you must have at least that DLL next to your executable.
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Thanks again. That was what I wanted to know.
I am a little confused by the d3dx11_43 dll missing on the system too. After installing directx, the error keeps present. Only downloading the dll helped.
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