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I'm trying to understand a problem I have encountered several times now (i have a workaround but it bugs the hell out of me).

Basic problem is that a given .exe file runs fine or not depending on how its started:

  • works if you do it graphically (click to folder, dubbelclick the .exe)

  • does not work if you do it from dos (cd to folder, execute the exe)

  • works from dos if you create a shortcut to the exe and execute the lnk file. When the program doesnt run it complains about not being able to find dll's.

  • works if you run it with the path to the exe from the runas dialog

I've seen this same problem before with different programs on windows-xp, but the one I currently ran into it with is 'smart response' downloaded from http://www.smarttech.com/us/Support/Browse+Support/Download+Admin+Software/Software/SMART+Response+Software/SMART+Response+Software/SMART+Response+2010+software+SP1+for+Windows

Is anyone able to shed a light on the root cause of this?

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Does it work if you change into the applications directory on the command prompt before starting it?

The program probably tries to load some additional modules (DLLs) without specifying where to look for them. So they have to be somewhere windows can find them automatically: in the system PATH or in the current directory.

When you start by double clicking the exe (or starting a shortcut) the system usually sets the current directory to the folder the lives in...

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No, changing the directory to the application folder, and then executing the .exe does not work. –  cobaco May 2 '11 at 9:52
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