How to Fix DLLs After a Windows 98 Install

When you install Windows 98, it automatically replaces the DLLs with its own version.  Typically, this version should be the latest and greatest, however, this may not be true.  Such as the TWAIN.DLL driver on the Windows 98 install replaced a newer version of TWAIN that comes with other packages such as Paintshop Pro v5.  The TWAIN.DLL from Windows 98 replaced this driver with v1.6.0.1 and the latest TWAIN.DLL  was version Windows 98 does provide a utility called Version Conflict Manager or VCM to help correct this situation and assist in fixing DLLs. VCM allows you to swap the DLLs with the newer versions, however, VCM does not tell you what applications use a particular file or which version of the file would be "better." Follow this procedure to help you recover from an over written DLL:

flowerStep 1: After installing Windows 98 (Win98), start VCM by clicking Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information, Tools, Version Conflict Manager.

flowerStep 2: If VCM shows files that have two different version numbers, your original file or files will have been moved to the C:\WINDOWS\VCM folder. Rather than trying to tinker with files manually, it is better to use VCM to swap them, if you determine in Step 6 that swapping is desirable.

flowerStep 3: To determine whether any of your applications are dependent upon one of the files listed in VCM, obtain a copy of the Barry Press Utilities. This is a $20 set of shareware utilities by the author of the The PC Upgrade and Repair Bible (IDG Books). The utilities are available on the Windows 95 Secrets or Windows 98 Secrets CD, or by download from

flowerStep 4: After installing the Barry Press utilities, run the DLLMan program. Click File, Open, then select a file that is listed in VCM. For example, try C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\MAPI32.DLL. You will then see a window showing other resources that MAPI32.DLL is dependent upon.

flowerStep 5: To see other programs that are dependent upon the DLL you have selected, click Search, Set Search Root, then select a drive to search (normally C:). Then click Search, Locate Usage.DLLMan will take a few moments while it searches your hard drive for programs with dependencies on your chosen DLL. Please note that DLLMan cannot see some dependencies on some programs such as Visual Basic programs. If you see a message that a program file is in use, simply click OK and DLLMan will continue.

flowerStep 6: If DLLMan lists an application that uses a file changed by Win98, test the application carefully. If it crashes, use VCM to swap the two file versions. When you do this, VCM saves the swapped-out file in the C:\WINDOWS\VCM folder with the file extension changed to .000. You can use VCM to change back at any time.

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Last Revision Date: 2 January 2002
Extracted from InfoWorld July 20, 1998.