Kim Wood kim.wood at
Mon Jul 19 00:46:58 EDT 2010

Dear Dev's,

THE ENVIRONMENT: Windows Vista, recent GnuCash Windows nightly build
(particular build does not seem to be important).

THE PROBLEM: From time to time in the forums someone will post the "GnuCash
will not get past the splash screen" issue.  It seems to come up with some
replies signalling some sort of DLL or software conflict issue.  Well, I
came across it myself recently, and no amount of searching the forums,
reinstalling, copying a range or related directories, and anything else I
could think of solved the problem.  Even a WinPenPack portable GnuCash
installation in C:\Programs could not get me a working GnuCash environment. 
However, my USB key portable WinPenPack version still ran happily (up to and
including the most recent nightly build).

THE ISSUE: I don't really know, except to say that I frequently install and
uninstall a variety of open source & freeware software.  I religiously use
Glary Utilities and CCleaner to keep the registry clean & defragged.  I have
good anti virus software.  I have run GnuCash for a long time, but must have
"broken" it recently by leaving some incompatible DLL's somewhere on the PC
that GnuCash picks up before the good, clean stuff it installs itself.  I do
not take RegShots every time I install something new, nor do I install trial
software into a VM - perhaps I should.  I do not run GnuCash after every new
software installation to check it still runs.  It should not be that

THE QUESTION: Has anyone had a good look at how a good GnuCash installation
can go bad?  I am happy to attempt to break a GnuCash installation on one of
my PC's to see if there is anything we can learn that may make future
versions more robust.  Is anyone able to suggest where there may be some
weaknesses in the the current Windows implementation, or where there is a
liklihood that GnuCash DLL's may be substituted by DLL's in other
directories on the PC?

THE WORK AROUND:  Scorched earth!  I formatted my PC and installed Windows 7
on my Visa box.  Extreme? Yes.  I just could not get GnuCash to work any
other way.  I have not had to do this to get any other important application
(for me) to run in years, if ever.  GnuCash is running fine now on Windows
7.  I will be vigilant to try to identify how it breaks, should I have the
same situation sometime in the future.

Does anyone have any suggestions of areas to investigate?  I know I should
be more careful with my PC environment if I don't want to break it in


Kim Wood

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