C++ - Basic Windows Can't Compile at MS Visual C++

Posted on 2011-02-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi. I'm trying to learn DirectX by following this tutorial,, but I can't pass its prerequisite, creating a Basic Window in MS Visual C++.
Here is the code.

// include the basic windows header file
#include <Windows.h>
#include <WindowsX.h>

// the entry point for any Windows program
int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                   HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                   LPSTR lpCmdLine,
                   int nShowCmd)
    // create a "Hello World" message box using MessageBox()
               L"Hello World!",
               L"Just another Hello World program!",
               MB_ICONEXCLAMATION | MB_OK);

    // return 0 to Windows
    return 0;

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When I press F5 (build), I get these errrors..

------ Build started: Project: Project1, Configuration: Debug Win32 ------
main.obj : error LNK2028: unresolved token (0A000044) "extern "C" int __stdcall MessageBoxW(struct HWND__ *,wchar_t const *,wchar_t const *,unsigned int)" (?MessageBoxW@@$$J216YGHPAUHWND__@@PB_W1I@Z) referenced in function "extern "C" int __cdecl MessageBox(struct HWND__ *,wchar_t const *,wchar_t const *,unsigned int)" (?MessageBox@@$$J0YAHPAUHWND__@@PB_W1I@Z)
main.obj : error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol "extern "C" int __stdcall MessageBoxW(struct HWND__ *,wchar_t const *,wchar_t const *,unsigned int)" (?MessageBoxW@@$$J216YGHPAUHWND__@@PB_W1I@Z) referenced in function "extern "C" int __cdecl MessageBox(struct HWND__ *,wchar_t const *,wchar_t const *,unsigned int)" (?MessageBox@@$$J0YAHPAUHWND__@@PB_W1I@Z)
C:\Users\Johnny\documents\visual studio 2010\Projects\Project1\Debug\Project1.exe : fatal error LNK1120: 2 unresolved externals
========== Build: 0 succeeded, 1 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========

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How do I make this work? Thanks!
Question by:rationalboss
  • 2
LVL 86

Expert Comment

ID: 34963155
That is a linker error, the compilation seems to run OK. Somehow the default libraries (in your case 'user32.lib') seem not to be included in your build. Try to either add that library to your project via Visual Studio or add the line

#pragma comment(lib,"user32.lib")

to your code (which basically achieves the same).

Author Comment

ID: 34963237
Thanks. Adding #pragma comment(lib,"user32.lib") at the top of my code works. but I would also like to know, how do I add that library in my project via Visual Studio? In what directory can I find user32.lib? Can you give me more specific directions (a real noob here)? Thanks!
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

jkr earned 500 total points
ID: 34963331
All these libraries usually reside in the directories that are listed under "Tools|Options|Projects and Solutions|VC++ Directories" (Set "Show Directories for:" to "Library Files").

To add libs using VS, open your project's properties (ALT+F7), go to "Configuration Properties|Linker|Input" and enter the lib(s) under "Additional Dependencies". If the lib you want to use does not reside in one of the standard directories or your project's build directory (Debug or Release), you can set that dirctory under "Configuration Properties|Linker|General" as "Additional Library Directories".

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