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

Posted on 2011-02-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi. I'm trying to learn DirectX by following this tutorial, http://www.directxtutorial.com/Tutorial11/A-A/AA2.aspx, 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;

Open in new window

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 ==========

Open in new window

How do I make this work? Thanks!
Question by:rationalboss
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 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 2000 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".

Featured Post


Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Written by John Humphreys C++ Threading and the POSIX Library This article will cover the basic information that you need to know in order to make use of the POSIX threading library available for C and C++ on UNIX and most Linux systems.   [s…
Basic understanding on "OO- Object Orientation" is needed for designing a logical solution to solve a problem. Basic OOAD is a prerequisite for a coder to ensure that they follow the basic design of OO. This would help developers to understand the b…
The viewer will learn how to clear a vector as well as how to detect empty vectors in C++.
The viewer will be introduced to the member functions push_back and pop_back of the vector class. The video will teach the difference between the two as well as how to use each one along with its functionality.
Suggested Courses

752 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question