Hard drive becomes external, trauma ensues
August 30, 2005 9:33 PM   Subscribe

My work computer's motherboard crashed and fried itself. My IT guy was able to salvage the hard drive, which is now an external hard drive, but the major program that I need from it has not been running. Could the move into the external hard drive shell have damaged the program?

You can tell I know almost nothing about computers, and am, indeed, a little superstitious about them. IT guy is not full time here, a little hard to get ahold of, and to buy a new copy of the software is $1500+.
The program is the Scoring Assistant for the Wechsler, and now when I click on the logo to open the program I instead get a box that says "File Error" and "Cannot find VB40016.DLL" When I click the close button in that box I get an error notice that says "Can't run 16-bit windows program" and "Cannot find file J:\SAWS-A\SAWSA.EXE (or one of its components). Check to ensure the path and the filename are correct and that all required libraries are available."
When I search the now external drive for VB40016.DLL it pops up no problem. How can I get the program to recognize that it's there and to run? Do I need to transfer the program to the new main drive? How?
posted by Sara Anne to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
You'll need to reinstall the program on your new main drive (assuming you still have the installation file). Once that's done, you can move any data files you use over to the main drive.
posted by words1 at 9:44 PM on August 30, 2005

Or you could swap the old drive for the drive in your new computer, assuming the hardware is compatable. That would make the new machine effectively a reincarnation of your old computer. If you can't reinstall the software, this is probably the best choice, and swapping hard drives is usually not difficult. Would probably take the IT guy less than 30 mins.
posted by words1 at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2005

It sounds like what caused the problem is that you are now running on a different installation of windows, on your "new main drive", while the program was installed on an old installation on the old drive. It is usually easiest to reinstall the program on the new installation.

If that isn't possible (because you don't have the disks), you could try the following:
Copy the vb40016.dll file to each of the following locations, testing after each copy: c:\windows, c:\windows\system, c:\windows\system32, and the directory that the icon which runs the program points to (right click and select properties to see it). It might be looking for that dll in one of those locations.
posted by Manjusri at 9:51 PM on August 30, 2005

If the dll is already in the program directory, but that directory resides on the D: drive, you could also try copying the entire directory to the corresponding location on the C: drive. Also, I'm not sure if the path is ever used to locate dlls, but you might try adding the location of the dll to the path using the path command (might want someone to help ya with that).
posted by Manjusri at 9:55 PM on August 30, 2005

What brand of computer are we talking about? In many PCs you can go into setup (by pressing F2 as the system boots in many cases, but it's probably in your computer's Help files) and select the "first boot" device -- where the computer looks first for the operating system. If your external drive is connected via USB, you may be able to select USB as your boot device and boot directly from your old drive. It's not a long-term solution, but might work until the IT guy arrives, and doesn't involve messing around with DLLs.
posted by words1 at 10:22 PM on August 30, 2005

On top of copying across DLLs or other necessary files to the C: drive, (or, best of all, reinstalling the program from scratch)...

If (as seems likely) your scoring program is oldish code, the batchfile or icon file linking to the program itself may use the old drive letter and path. You can check this by right-clicking on the icon, viewing the 'Properties', and seeing whether it's using a different drive letter from the one on your new drive.
posted by holgate at 12:54 AM on August 31, 2005

posted by ed\26h at 4:28 AM on August 31, 2005

VB40016.dll is just a standard Visual Basic Runtime file. You can download it from the web, just google for it. dll-files.com has it, and I've used the site previously for other standard DLLs. Just download and copy the file to your system32 folder (usually c:\windows\system32) and you should be ok. Or at least the program will go further and give you another error.

The best solution, of course, is to just reinstall the program, but I guess you've lost the installation media if you're asking this question.
posted by splice at 6:53 AM on August 31, 2005

Ah, I missed that you could find the file no problem. Copy it to your system directory as manjusri said, and ignore me :).
posted by splice at 6:55 AM on August 31, 2005

Or you could swap the old drive for the drive in your new computer, assuming the hardware is compatable. That would make the new machine effectively a reincarnation of your old computer.

You can't do this on Windows newer then 98, sadly.
posted by delmoi at 8:14 AM on August 31, 2005

It sounds like you just need the DLL. Put it in the J:\SAWA-S\SAWA directory and then double click on the sawa.exe file in there. Let us know what happens after that.
posted by delmoi at 8:17 AM on August 31, 2005

You don't need to copy the SAWA-S folder to your C: drive. That won't do you any good without the DLL.
posted by delmoi at 8:18 AM on August 31, 2005

You may need to register the .dll as well by typing [regsvr32 "J:\SAWA-S\SAWA\VB40016.DLL"] , without the brackets on a command line. Substitute the actual path to the file inside the quotes.

Is your new machine the same operating system? If the old on was win ME/98/95 and the new is winXP then you may need to run the program in compatibility mode. If you're not having sucess at this point, post again and let us know.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:04 AM on August 31, 2005

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