04, 03, 02, 01, 00… Blast off!

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Nothing to say, really, just noting one of those interesting date/time combinations that occur occasionally.

Quick work story: About a week ago, a client informed us that they were unable to run one of our applications. When they clicked on the button to launch it, nothing would happen. My first suggestion was that they were missing one of our DLL files. When that didn’t fix it, I dialed in to their computer and tried running the program from the command line. I got this error:

The ordinal 6880 could not be located in the dynamic link library MFC42.DLL.

A search of Google discovered that this can occur when mfc42.dll (a Microsoft file) is old/missing/damaged. All the user needed to do was go to Microsoft and get the latest version of the file. Case closed, right?

Wrong. Our contact at the client company told us that couldn’t possibly be the problem — there’s no way that file could be corrupted on 15 different machines. He knew that DLL very well — if it were corrupted, he’d see problems in other programs.

So, we spent a week trying things we knew wouldn’t solve the problem, all because the user refused to accept the advice we gave him. We even tried replacing the DLL over the dial-in connection. It didn’t fix the problem — but, replacing a DLL that was is not always successful, so that wasn’t a real test. But it made me start thinking that maybe the guy was right.

Then, one of our VPs suggested putting the DLL in the folder with the program, so that the program would load that version instead of the user’s version. It was strange getting a good suggestion from an executive, but we tried it — and it worked. So, the problem was the mfc42.dll file after all. Who would have thought…

I like being right… :-)