April 19, 2011:

How I fixed the dread 'AWC.dll load failed.' error.

So, today I installed Dragon Age II. It went reasonably straightforwardly; I took the obligatory cheap shot at the file extensions; I looked confusedly at eulas in tiny boxes, then blinked in slight surprise at seeing the LGPL in there. Good, I can cite that as precedent if anyone's ever complaining that they don't want to distribute LGPL-containing games.

Then came the moment of truth, to see if the box I cobbled together is actually good enough or if I need to run out and buy video cards (or build a whole new box). With trepidation, I entered the regcode and clicked The Button...

A window popped up: Exe Loader: AWC.dll load failed.

(Note: There is an answer at the end of the maundering!)

So, I searched the Internet. And the Internet gave me many solutions. Unfortunately, most of these were for Mass Effect 2, and (unsurprisingly), none of them worked on Dragon Age 2. One commenter observed that eir friend's pirate copy (I think e was talking about DA2) worked fine, but eir legal copy was useless. While I wouldn't feel guilty about warezing a usable copy to replace a useless legal copy, the notion of downloading a DVD and then having to spend a few days reverse-engineering the hacks to make sure that the only security they broke was EA's does not really appeal to me.

So, internet unhelpful. Hm. Well, this is a virgin XP install... so I installed a pile of updates. No luck; however, the service packs did make the configuration utility crash (just like Origins' configuration utility crashed.).

Much arghing later, I remembered something. The event viewer. It's Windows' version of syslog, and IT IS YOUR FRIEND. Control Panel (assuming classic view): Administrative Tools: Event Viewer.

Event Viewer told me that there were errors loading an assembly. Microsoft.VC80.CRT, to be specific. So I searched the Internet again, but installing the relevant runtimes also didn't help.

But searching my computer for the files DID help.


In Dragon Age 2\bin_ship\Core\imageformats\, there are a handful of DLLs and a manifest. After copying those into the bin_ship\core\ (not overwriting anything that was already there), the game now gets as far as asking me to sign in to my EA account.

... of course, this isn't MY computer I'm working on, and it being well after dawn Greenwich time, the accountholder is now asleep.

(postscript: ... on the bright side, I don't feel quite so worried about the possibility that I might wind up burning a run of installers that don't actually work right anymore.)


Harlock on 0x7DC March 0x1E:

15 years has been a long time. Your time is near. I will see you soon.

Demi Monde once wrote there were bisexual demons riding the Eigenvector. I know this for a fact to be untrue.

Harlock, forever in my 20's.

Message ID: 'comment-0x7DC_March_0x1E-0x0'; spamfilter sequence: {%turing_match%}-{%turing_response%}


{ Add Comment }