Tracking down DLL load errors in Windows ?

Fred Pacquier xnews2 at
Sun Oct 18 18:11:59 CEST 2009

Fred P <xnews2 at> said :
> 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 else).
> 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 ?...

Thanks to Mark and Christian : dependency-walker confirmed the VC++ 

After installing the MS redistributable DLL package -- actually I had to 
install *three* before hitting the right one (2005SP1) -- libpyexiv2 
finally loads all its dependencies.

Of course I've still no idea why/how it ran on the first three systems 
(and most others, from the look of it) without doing anything, and not on 
this one... but at least now it works :-)

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