0xc000007b "The application was unable to start correctly" error?


I've written a C++ console application in Visual Studio 2019 and am trying to deploy it to another windows laptop. Both laptops are up-to-date with 64 bit Windows 10, and my target laptop has installed/up-to-date .NET Framework, vc_redist.x64.exe, and DirectX.

In terms of deployment method, I followed this Microsoft walkthrough word for word, with the added step of ensuring that my newly created "setup" project was also targeting x64 platform, since some of the external libraries in my code required x64. The resulting "setup" .exe/.msi pair work as planned on the source laptop - installs and runs with no frills required.

Installation goes fine on the target laptop, but launching the program gives the error mentioned in the title of this post. After a few hours of trying to figure it out, I think I have an idea where the problem is coming from, but first, I'll share what I've tried, which is basically every recommendation found by googling this error code:

  • clean boot
  • SFC scan
  • chkdsk c: /f /r
  • repairing/fresh installing all of the frameworks mentioned in the first paragraph
  • running both the application installer and the installed application as administrator
  • restarting laptop and reinstalling application after all of those changes

What I think is the root of the problem:

In the setup/deployment project in VS, three of the "detected dependencies" (MSVCP140D.dll, ucrtbased.dll, VCRUNTIME140D.dll) have filepaths through …\System32\ rather than the identical dependencies that could be found in …\SysWOW64. The other two detected dependencies are external 64-bit DLLs (which is why I specified my entire project to x64). When I run my application through Dependency Walker, it agrees that the three formerly mentioned dependencies are "wrong CPU type", while the two latter ones are fine. This scenario does not, however, explain to me why install/run (outside of VS) works fine on the source laptop (shouldn't it not work if VS is packaging a mix of 32 and 64 bit dependencies?). In fact, running the application through Dependency Walker on the source laptop reveals the exact same thing as on the target laptop - the same 3 dependencies are "wrong CPU type", yet the application runs here.

I do not see an option in VS to change the "setup" project to read the 64 bit filepath. I have tried manually swapping in the 64-bit DLLs at various stages (including restarting the computer between DLL swap and application run), which did not seem to have any effect. In fact, I tried replacing the 3 relevant DLLs in the System32 folder with the DLLs from the SysWOW64 folder (my idea of a cheap workaround for not being able to change the filepath - just change the file) and this just caused me to get the same error on my source laptop as I had been getting on my target laptop.

All of this stuff is relatively new to me, so please let me know if I'm foolishly overlooking some fundamental detail with my process/project - at this point it would be nice if that were the case and this is easy to fix.

asked on Stack Overflow Jan 27, 2020 by SeanStephensen

1 Answer


Wrote this before I noticed the above comment had already answered. Just leaving it in.

Debug Binary: Looks like you have deployed a debug version of your binary (The D in the file name: MSVCP140D.dll). Try to compile in Release mode and deploy the new binary.

Cause: Debug binaries generally need the debug-versions of the VCRedist binaries to exist on the box you try to run the binary - they are only available on developer PCs with the SDK (and / or Visual Studio) installed. That error message: 0xc000007b means "STATUS_INVALID_IMAGE_FORMAT".

Tips: There are some resource links here and some tips on how to debug deployment problems.

answered on Stack Overflow Jan 28, 2020 by Stein Åsmul

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