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The Basics of Windows XP Troubleshooting

Do you panic each time your computer screen starts flashing an error message telling you that you have either a DLL or DLL-related Windows XP error? Are you convinced that unless you take measures to fix the problem immediately your computer will very shortly become your reversibly damaged? Would you love to know how to find the source of the error, and eliminate it?

If you answered yes to those questions, take a deep breath and relax. With a few simple windows XP repair skills, you should be able both to locate and repair the cause of your difficulty. First, however, you'll be much better off if you understand exactly what a DLL file is, and the role it plays in your PC's functioning.

DLL files are incorporated into each program or software application on your PC, and contain a portion of those applications' or programs' instructions without which they would be unable to function. DLL files are simply easily updatable or replaceable components which can be altered without requiring the replacement of the entire application or program. They are essential for Windows operating systems.

How, then, can you fix DLL errors when they occur?

Begin by taking a screen snapshot (hit your”Prt Scr”key) to copy a picture of your screens content to your clipboard so that you can save it either in MS Word or in Paint for printing. If you prefer, you can simply write down the error message.

Then use the to perform a Google search, and see if anyone else has reported the same problem. Many DLL error messages are quite similar, so look for the one which most closely matches the one you received.

With some luck, you'll be able to find both the identical problem and its solution reported on the Internet. The odds are astronomical that you are the only person who has ever encountered your particular DLL error message. If you don't find a possible solution with your first search, you may have to refine your search terms to better pinpoint the problem.

Most of the time the solution is to simply update or reinstall the software which is having a problem. Alternatively, you may find that Microsoft has released a patch to fix it if a Windows application is responsible.

Every now and again, however, you'll get a DLL error because installing one application will overwrite a DLL file which the new program shares with an older program. It's common for several programs to share the same DLL files. But sometimes the overridden version of the file installed with the new program is not compatible with the programs were using the older version.

If that happens to you, welcome to "DLL Hell." Perhaps you can replace the correct

version of the DLL file in the older applications. It's possible, however’ that the conflicting DLL file is the result of spyware or adware being loaded onto your PC without your knowledge. There are free online scanner is available to check for spyware, viruses or malware. If any are discovered, you should remove them as quickly as possible and see if that eliminates your DLL problem.

We've compiled a list of tools which may assist you in your troubles:

With Windows Event viewer, which is built into your XP OS, you can look at your system event log and see any error messages which are visible on your screen. This is a great help when you are searching for the source of your problem.

The Microsoft Dependency Walker is a downloadable free tool which lets you collect the names of all the DLLs used by any specific program or other DLL.

Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D are two great little programs for ferreting out and removing malware.

You can use the Windows XP "emergency repair" procedure when your problems are approaching a critical stage.

The Windows XP Recovery Console will allow you to restore specific files right off the XP installation disk, but doing so requires considerable technical savvy!

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