INFO: Windows NT/2000/XP Uses KnownDLLs Registry Entry to Find DLLs (Q164501)

Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP uses the KnownDLLs registry entries to search for either 32-bit or 16-bit DLLs when loading the DLL. For 32-bit DLLs the KnownDLLs registry entry only affects the search for implicitly loaded DLLs. For 16-bit DLLs the KnownDLLs registry entry affects the search for both implicitly and explicitly loaded DLLs. If you incorrectly include a DLL name in the KnownDLLs registry entry, the LoadLibrary in Windows NT/2000/XP WOW fails to load a DLL located in the application’s current directory.

Windows NT/2000/XP uses the KnownDLLs registry entry to determine which DLL an application will use. There are two different KnownDLLs registry entries: one that affects the loading of 32-bit DLLs, and one that affects the loading of 16-bit DLLs. A DLL listed in the KnownDLLs registry entry is sometimes referred to as a “KnownDLL” in this article.

Click here for the kb article from Microsoft.