Where Did It Go? Finding That Missing DLL
Missing DLL Files Occurring After a Program Installation
Sometimes a program installation does not take place properly or completely in which case certain files required by the program may be incomplete (in other words: corrupted) or altogether missing.
In this case, you may find when trying to run the program that the following error message appears on your screen:
• “Unable To Locate Component: This application has failed to start because FILENAME.dll was not found
Missing DLL Files Occurring After A Program Uninstall
By the same token, because so often many programs rely on the same DLL files, when you uninstall one particular program and all its related components, you may find that you unintentionally deleted or unregistered a DLL file that a different program on your system requires.
In such a case, you may find when trying to run a program seemingly unrelated to the one you’d just uninstalled that the following error message appears:
• “ERROR: Missing or Corrupted .dll file”
How to Recover a Missing DLL Occurring After An Installation
If you see the above error message, here is what to do:
First, make sure you have a hard copy of the program you were trying to install on hand (the original is preferred, but a backup is better than nothing).
Next, search your PC for every instance of the corrupted or missing DLL file in question. It’s important to realize the same corrupted or missing DLL file may exist in more than one location on your system, so don’t just stop after you find the first one.
Wherever you find the corrupted or missing DDL file, rename it as follows:
• From: “FILENAME.dll”
• To: “FILENAME_old.dll”
Once you’ve done that, and only after you’ve first done that, reboot your system so as to ensure the full removal of any resident memory files. Then reinstall the program in question. If the missing DLL error was caused by a faulty installation then hopefully, this will fix it.
How to Recover a Missing DLL Occurring After An Uninstall
The first and easiest solution to try is to reinstall the program you had just uninstalled. Then check to find out whether or not that resolved the issue.
Of course, you may have uninstalled said program for a very good reason and not wish to reinstall it. In that case, read on…
Fixing Missing DLL Files Without Reinstalling A Program
Type the filename of the missing DLL (as indicated by the error message) into your web browser search box and you’ll invariably find a website offering a free download of the DLL file you need.
Just be sure to put it in the right place on your system, or Windows won’t be able to find it and the DLL file will wind up being just more clutter on your machine. Oftentimes the DLL will belong in the Program Files folder associated with the application it deals with. If, however, the DLL file is linked to multiple applications, then it probably goes in one of the following places:
• On Windows 98 and Windows XP – “C:\Windows\System\”
• On Windows 2000 – ” C:\WINNT\System\”
• On Windows Vista – ” C:\Windows\System32\”
Since you can’t harm your computer by adding a DLL file to the wrong place, if you don’t know where it belongs, put it where you think it should then try to perform the action that gave you the Missing DLL error.
If you get no Missing DLL error message then you’ve probably put it in the right place. If you still get such an error message then simply move the file to your second best guess. If this doesn’t work, you may need to contact a tech support expert to help you further.
ActiveX and Missing DLLs
Malware, such as spyware and viruses, often hide out inside ActiveX web components, like toolbars. Sometimes you may “OK” the download and installation of an ActiveX component without even realizing or requesting it, as the prompt automatically appear on your screen, having been triggered by the simple act of you visiting a particular URL. Such malware may very well overwrite or delete DLL files vital to your system. In such cases, the best advice would be to perform a Google search for the ActiveX component n question to research whether or not it may have any adverse affect on your DLL files.