dll placement

This is a discussion on dll placement within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; What is the difference between placing a .dll in windows\system32 and windows\system? To my understanding if you put a .dll ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ~Kyo~'s Avatar
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    dll placement

    What is the difference between placing a .dll in windows\system32 and windows\system? To my understanding if you put a .dll in the root directory of a program it will use that one by default. I just got to thinking about this there must be some reason why windows has multiple directories for .dlls any ideas?

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    As far as I know windows\system is for old legacy 16-bit drivers and dlls. Windows32 is for 32-bit stuff and that got introduced with Windows NT 3.1. The separation is made I believe to support a 16-bit layer for legacy software that one wants to run on newer machines and not have their DLLs or drivers conflict with the 32-bit ones.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


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    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    And to make things even more confusing..
    On 64-bit windows system32 is used for 64-bit dlls, and 32-bit dlls are in syswow64.
    And a 32-bit application which tries to load a dll from system32 gets transparently redirected to syswow64, where as a 64-bit application gets access to the real system32 dir.

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