How To Fix DLL Errors

by Rod Dunne on July 27, 2010

in Articles, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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Dynamic link libraries (DLL) are a type of utility application used in Windows. Unfortunately, a common computer error that users see is when these shared DLL file are removed or become corrupted. Here, we’ll show how to fix DLL errors by examining where the issue lies (application/operating system).

DLL errors can arise due to a number of events:

  • Uninstalling applications can remove a shared DLL.
  • Installing new software introduces an out-of-date DLL.
  • A software installation fails mid-way leaving corrupt files.
  • The file is deleted by accident/maliciously.
  • Virus damage to the DLL/registry. Note that the first DLL fix approach worth  considering is to run an anti-virus scan.
  • Hardware faults (e.g. disk sector damage).

Fixing DLL Errors Manually – Initial Steps

If the DLL errors stop your computer from starting then try booting up in safe-mode (hit F8 as the PC starts) to reduce the number of services running on Windows and then try fixing DLL errors using the steps below.

Your first check should be to run a full malware/anti-virus scan on your PC. Malware can damage DLL files and overwrite related registry keys. Isolate the bugs and retest for DLL errors. Some viruses can actually impede the anti-virus application from running see may have to repair DLL issues by running your anti-virus application with Windows in safe-mode.

Application Related DLL Errors

Knowing how to fix DLL errors without using software can be a trivial issue if the issues only impact one single application:

  • If the DLL error only occurs after uninstalling software then this may have removed a shared DLL. Reinstall the software to reinstate the DLL. You can remove it afterward; just be sure to select ‘No To All’ when prompted if you wish to remove shared system files.
  • If the DLL error only occurs after adding new software either (i) check for software updates, (ii) reinstall the application or (iii) remove the software.

Don’t discount the possibility that new software may have faulty/old DLL files that will have to be shared with other applications. Using software updates from product websites may fix PC errors of this type.

Operating System Related DLL Errors

Working out how to fix DLL errors relating to the operating system can be a trickier task. One approach to pursue, especially if your computer locks up,  is to attempt using Window’s own System Restore application. This keeps a checkpoint of system files and configurations that you can roll back to. This may fix DLL errors but the downside to using it is that any new/upgraded applications since the checkpoint may be unusable and need to be reinstalled (which is a minor inconvenience for getting your computer working again).

  • Windows 7/Vista: Find can find the tool by entering System Restore into the Start menu search box.
  • Windows XP: Find the tool under Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

To fix DLL errors that are more severe, for example where you are attempting to use one of Windows own tool, then the resolution is less easy to find. One error repair suggestion is to download and install the latest DLL. However, this can be dangerous, or simply ineffective if the fault has impacted a number of files.

Your real options are to call in a PC Technician to repair your computer, reinstall Windows (as a last resort) or try computer repair software.

Related posts:
- System Security virus removal approaches.

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