How does one get from "ImportError: DLL load failed:..." to a culprit .dll and symbol?

John Machin sjmachin at
Mon Feb 23 14:05:49 CET 2009

On Feb 23, 11:41 pm, Chris Cormie <ccor... at> wrote:
> > If that not-very-technical description [all I've ever needed] doesn't
> > help, you'll need to read the DW help file (HTFF1K) or wait till
> > someone who knows what they are doing comes along :-)
> LOL, I am that person :p

It wasn't apparent, and still isn't.

> Your technique works well and it does provide the information and it is
> a (roundabout) solution to this class of problems:  thank you very much.
> It doesn't answer the original question so I'll restate it:
> How do you get *Python* to tell you the dll and the problem symbol? Not
> external tools, Python. Python at a low level is calling LoadLibrary and
> GetProcAddress to resolve symbols and the call fails. At that point it
> has the name of the dll and the problem symbol to hand and yet strangely
> only gives an opaque error message. How does one get Python to print out
> the faulty DLL and symbol?

If you know all that, then the answer is to submit a patch, isn't it??

> (Even if it means a debug build of Python and adding the printf
> yourself,

printf? Maybe you shouldn't submit a patch after all.

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