Repair News Articles from the Tech Industry
February 27, 2008
Understanding DLL Errors and How To Fix Them
Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) are code libraries that are used by Windows operating systems and various software and device drivers on it to perform various functions. These files can be shared across multiple programs and therefore, they help in reducing the size of an application by minimizing the need to incorporate the same code again and again in different applications.
From simple functions, such as incorporating search features in applications, DLL files can also be used to perform much more complicated tasks such as creating a new module in a programming language.
DLLs help in dividing a large application into smaller DLL files. So, when you load an application on your system, instead of loading the entire application in the memory, only required DLL files are loaded and the other DLL files stay on the hard disk. This helps in reducing the load on the system and helps maintain your PC at a high performance level.
DLL Errors: Causes
DLL errors usually occur due to damaged, missing, or incompatible DLL files. For example, Windows XP DLL errors may generate if a DLL file that is incompatible with the operating system is copied and registered on it.
Some of the common operations due to which these incompatible and corrupt DLL files may come on to your system are:
- DLL files are overwritten or deleted during program install or uninstall.
- Installation of buggy programs or device drivers that copy corrupt DLL files to the system.
- Virus or spyware infections
- Hardware damage and overheating of hardware components.
- Corrupt and damaged Windows Registry.
DLL Errors: Prevention and Fixes
You must be very careful while installing and uninstalling applications. Usually, when a new version of a DLL file is overwritten by an older version during installation of a a program, or when a shared DLL is removed when you uninstall a program, Windows prompts you on what action you need to take.
To prevent DLL errors in this case, it is recommended that you do not overwrite a more current version of a DLL file with an older version, and also while uninstalling do not delete a DLL file that is shared across multiple applications on the computer.
If you overwrite a required DLL file by mistake, you may search for it and try to update the program that you installed to update all obsolete files that it copied on your computer. In case you remove a required DLL file during a program uninstall, reinstall the program and run the uninstall process again. However, this time choose to retain the required DLL files.
If DLL problems prevent you from booting normally, start your PC is Safe mode. In Safe mode your computer starts with only essential services and features. This is the reason why several troubleshooting steps are more efficient in this mode. Some of the tasks that you can perform in Safe mode are:
- Run antivirus scan to detect and remove any virus files from the computer. You may also choose to run an antispyware scan because spyware programs are known to copy several processes and files on your computer that feed on your system resources and track your computer and Web browsing activity.
- Use a registry cleaner tool to scan and repair registry errors. Using an advanced registry tool, you can perform a customized search for DLL related problems and fix them to repair DLL errors caused by registry problems.
- Run the sfc /scannow command to ensure that all protected Windows files are intact.
- If none of the above operations help you resolve the error, you may run the System Restore utility to rollback your computer to the last known working condition.