Tracking down DLL load errors in Windows ?

Fred P xnews2 at
Thu Oct 15 22:31:52 CEST 2009

Hi, a bit of platform-specific advice sought here... I'm trying to diagnose 
one of those mysteries Windows is so fond of...

Say that I have code that imports some binary Python module from site-
packages (in this case, libpyexiv2.pyd through, could be anythng 

On three Windows boxes I've tried it (XP Pro or Home, Python 2.5) 
everything works fine. On a fourth, importing the module fails with a 
traceback like this :

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "c:\python\lib\site-packages\", line 60, in <module>
    import libpyexiv2
ImportError: DLL load failed: This application could not start
because its configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling it might solve
the problem.

I have tried long and hard to spot a meaningful difference between the 
first three systems and the last, without success.

Is there any tool and/or methodology I could use to at least pinpoint the 
exact DLL that libpyexiv2 is failing to load, and ideally also the reason 
why ?...


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