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Windows® via C/C++, Fifth Edition by Christophe Nasarre, Jeffrey Richter

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DLL Redirection

When Windows was first developed, RAM and disk space were at a premium. So Windows was designed to share as many resources as possible to conserve these precious resources. To this end, Microsoft recommended that any modules shared by multiple applications, such as the C/C++ run-time library and the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) DLLs, be placed in the Windows system directory. This allowed the system to locate the shared files easily.

As time went on, this became a serious problem because setup programs would overwrite files in this directory with older files or newer files that were not completely backward compatible. This prevented the user’s other applications from running properly. Today, hard disks are big and cheap and ...

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