Today I came across a very useful in-built tool on Windows 7 called SxSTrace that displays dependencies for an application. As an example, an application called sunshine.exe is dependent upon noclouds.dll and heat.dll but when you run the app, you receive an error message saying that :

“The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail.”

SxSTrace can be used as part of a process in tracking down these missing dependencies in one single trace.

One example of using this, is if you’ve ever used Cygwin to create executables on Windows or run other people’s Cygwin applications and run into problems with missing DLL files being reported, then you’ll see how useful this tool can be.

You need to run SxsTrace from an elevated Command Prompt.

This article goes into detail of the process to use, in resolving this problem.

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