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The application, M:\WINDOWS\system32\odbcad32.exe, generated an application error

aparfitt asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We have 3 ODBC connections all linking to the same oracle backend they work perfectly for a while and then crunch they all pack up.

Configuring the connection in the ODBC setup and selecting Test causes the ODBC setup app to shut down.

The following error message is reported

"The application, M:\WINDOWS\system32\odbcad32.exe, generated an application error "

anyone got any ideas what is causing this?

Watch Question

ODBC 3.0 drivers require the 3.0 version of the ODBC Driver
        Manager (ODBC32.DLL and ODBCCP32.DLL). Because the ODBC 3.0
        Driver Manager is compatible with 2.x compliant drivers, all 2.x
        versions of the Driver Manager should be removed from your access
        path to ensure application stability.  Failing to remove older
        versions of the Driver Manager may result in application errors
        and abnormal terminations.
Mark GeerlingsDatabase Administrator

Trying to prevent or troubleshoot "application errors" in Windows is one of the most frustrating parts of supporting applications that run on Windows.  The problem is, these errors usually happen at a level that we don't have direct access to, or control over.  They happen in the interaction between the executables from Oracle (or whichever ODBC driver you are using) and the Windows operating system (which doesn't do a good job of managing memory).

One thing that you may be able to try is a complete reformat, then a re-install of Windows, then a re-install of just the  ODBC driver and the application that uses the ODBC connection to an Oracle database.  If the application works that way, then one of the other applications on the computer now has something (probably a *.dll file) that conflicts with the ODBC driver.  Sometimes then you can get around the problem by putting the particular *.dll files for each product in the directory where each program is installed, instead of having them all in C:\Windows\system32.
MOST of the Oracle supplied ODBC drivers have bugs that cause Windows to Crash under a variety of circumstances. It is very frustrating. The application I spend most of my time providing support for has been using the driver for a long time... this version is very reliable.  Unfortunately, it doesn't support many of the newer database features (like full BLOB support). We've had to upgraded, which isn't a bad thing since the 8.1.7 driver isn't supported anymore. Depending on what the application requires, you are going to run into memory leak problems, and just outright bugs in the drivers. For the 9.xxx drivers, we had reasonable success with ODBC driver. But has been really bad. We are deploying this week, it is very solid for us. We've really run it through the ringer... it doesn't appear to be leaking memory and we can have numerous cursors open and working at the same time without problems... one of our testers easily got the driver to fail by launching 8 crystal reports at the same time... seems to be working.

We don't have any experience with the 10g ODBC clients yet...

What you are describing
>>they work perfectly for a while and then crunch they all pack up.
sounds exactly like the problems we were having. Mostly it seems to be attributable to memory leaks, then finally - blam.
If you are able to try the (latest 9i ODBC driver), I encourage you to try that one if it is a step up in versions (you aren't using 10).  The install is very finicky so be extremely careful to follow the instructions exactly. We had the best luck with running the upgrade right after a fresh boot, immediatelly, without doing anything else, then rebooting again after completion. I believe we had to install the, then upgrade that to I think is only available as a patch to

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We have no 2.x drivers on the server.

We have rebuilt the server from scratch several times and the error always rears it's ugly head again after a while.

We are using v 9.2.00 so we will try upgrading to .07 and see if that helps.

In addition we have noticed that the SQLPlusw.exe utility does not work anymore, anybody know why that would happen?

Many thanks.

It will help upgrading.  Just take care in applying the patch as it took us a lot of work to actually get it installed correctly. Many of the people applying it weren't letting it complete, or they had Oracle running when they tried to apply it, etc.

As far as sqlplusw, check to see that any shortcuts are still pointing to the right home. Also, you might use the Oracle home utility and make sure you are pointing at the right home if you have more than one.  It would help to know what error you are getting...


Hi Guys

We've not yet been able to install the latest driver however I have noticed the following and wondered if it rings any bells.

In the odbc driver configuration the drop down list for TNS Service name contains corrupted names.  I can send a screen shot if anyone would like to see it.


I don't get a drop-down for service names in the ODBC configuratore at all. Maybe looking in different places though. I use Microsoft's ODBC Management tool and pick Oracle's Client.  It may be that you have something else going on, but I know for fact that using the older driver produces crashes like you've been experiencing.

hi ,

i had the same sort of problem. I uninstalled all kinds of sql products like oracle , MS sql server etc and went for MS updates.
Then checked it's working fine now

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