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  Home > Visual Basic Runtime Libraries & Other Essential Files


Visual Basic Runtime Files

Many programs are created in Visual Basic, a programming language. They require common Visual Basic runtime files (usually DLLs) which are not always included in the download because they are shared by many programs. You can access the VB runtime libraries below.


  1. VB runtime libraries marked as being for Windows 3.x are also suitable for Windows 95/98/ME/XP (needed for some 16-bit programs).
    Windows ME/XP/Vista/Win7 users need only download the first three Win 3.1 files (VBRun 100, 200 & 300 files) to maintain compatibility with some older (16-bit) programs.
    Windows 95 and 98 users should load all six VB runtime files below (starting from version 1 so that any files of the same name are updated by later versions).
    Windows 3.0 & 3.1 users should just load the four Win 3.x runtime library files.
  2. Some of these runtime library files do not have an install feature associated with them (including the VBRun 100, 200 & 300 files). In these instances, copy the unzipped files across to the C:\Windows\System directory where the program(s) which require them will look.
  3. In most cases, programs created with VB4 (32-bit) and VB5 can be run under VB6 so those two older versions are usually not necessary. However VBRun 100, 200 & 300 files files are required separately and all three should be downloaded to ensure full compatibility with older programs. VB4 16-bit may also be required and, to get that those files, you must download the combined 16- & 32-bit version.
Visual Basic Files for Windows 3.0, 3.1 & 3.11 (and for Win95 or later if running old programs)

Visual Basic v1.0 Runtimes – VBrun100 169kB vbrun100.exe
Visual Basic v2.0 Runtimes – VBrun200 216kB vbrun200.exe
Visual Basic v3.0 Runtimes – VBrun300 242kB vbrun300.exe
Visual Basic v4.0 Runtimes (16 & 32 bit) 860kB vb4run.exe

Visual Basic Files for Windows 95 & 98 (VB6 is included with later versions)

Visual Basic v4.0 Runtimes (16 &32 bit) 860kB vb4run.exe
Visual Basic v5.0 Runtimes 969kB Msvbvm50.exe
Visual Basic v6.0 Runtimes 1.0MB vbrun60sp5.exe

DLL & OCX Files

Missing DLL & OCX Files

Sometimes a program reports that a particular file is missing or not registered (specially an OCX file). If the file which is missing is a VB300 or VB40016/32 DLL (or a file which is associated with one of these libraries) you can visit Visual Basic Instinct and select just the file that you want to download. More information on VB runtime files can be found at VBI’s main page (if you can’t see which section you want just check out their site map).

Registering DLL & OCX Files

If a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) or an OCX (ActiveX) file is reported as not being registered with Windows, even though you know you have a copy in your C:\Windows/System32 folder, get regunreg.exe, a 32kB utility which can register, or unregister, both DLL and OCX system files. This utility requires that the VB6 runtime files (see above) are pre-installed on your computer

Using a graphical user interface (GUI), it is virtually fool-proof to use Reg-Unreg-OCX-DLL-EXE. Select the OCX or DLL file you wish from the Explorer-style menu and it will give you the option to ‘Register’ or ‘Unregister’ that file. Simple!

(click on the image to view the CFS Program Review of this utility)

If you just have an OCX file to register, you can download (7kB) and amend the file “install_ocx_files.bat” to include the name of the OCX file you want registered. The format is: regocx32.exe tabctl32.ocx where ‘tabctl32.ocx’ is the name of the OCX file you want to register. Look at the BAT file with NotePad and you will see the syntax.

The contents of this ZIP file, plus the OCX file, must be in the Windows\System directory (usually on the C: drive) and you can ‘run’ the BAT file by double-clicking on it in Explorer.


Some programs require RICHED20.DLL (246kB zipped), version 1 of which was called RICHED32.DLL in Windows 95. The link here is to version 3 which was included with Windows 98 and Windows ME.

Unzip this file and move the DLL file to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder. If your program still can’t find it, or it is reported as being ‘unregistered’, use the regunreg.exe utility above to register this file with Windows.


This file is the Dynamic Link Library for Direct3D Retained Mode, an older DirectX display technology that was not included with Vista or Windows 7. Direct3D is used to render three dimensional images in applications where performance is important – most commonly in games, graphics editing software and CAD drawing programs.

Download the file (170kB), unpack it, and copy the D3DRM.DLL file into your C:\Windows/System32 folder (or C:/Windows/sysWOW64 if you are using a 64-bit version). Instructions are included within the ZIP package.

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Audio & Visual Codecs

Many multimedia players require additional codecs to support the various file formats available.

One of the better, all-in-one packs of codecs is the K-Lite Codec Pack.

It is available is a number of different combinations starting with the Basic pack (contains everything you need to play all popular video file formats, including AVI, MKV, MP4, FLV, OGM, MPEG, MOV, HDMOV, TS, M2TS & OGG files); Standard (contains everything in the Basic package plus Media Player Classic Homecinema, and also includes an MPEG-2 decoder for DVD playback, and the playback of FLAC and WavPack audio files – this package should be enough for the average user); up to Mega (contains even more codecs – for power users). Download sizes range from 5.47MB to 25.3MB. The Standard version is 10.4MB

The K-Lite Codec Pack works on all version of Windows later than Win98. There is a 64 bit version available, but it is recommended that the 32-bit version is also downloaded. K-Lite says:

    For an optimal user experience it is highly recommended to also install one of the 32-bit variants, because most software that runs on 64-bit versions of Windows is still 32-bit.

    Windows Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64 use a 32-bit version of Windows Media Player by default. Windows Media Center and Windows Explorer are 64-bit applications. That is why you need both 32-bit and 64-bit codecs.

MP3 encoders

Converting an audio file to MP3 often requires the addition of an MP3 encoder, a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file. Probably the most famous is LAME (a 431kB download). Another is BladeEnc DLL for Windows (a 96kB download). In most cases you can simply copy the DLL file to the program's main folder, so the program can find it, and you will have an internal MP3 encoder.


    Two companies (Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson Consumer Electronics) have been granted patents on MP3 encoding in some countries. They demand royalties for every distributed MP3 encoder, no matter if it is distributed for free or as a commercial package. Their claims are in many cases questionable since the legislation in many countries (including the whole of Europe) clearly states that (1) patents only covers commercial use of the patented technology and (2) software-only implementations are excempt from patents.

    Therefore we have to warn you that ... it might be illegal for you to download and/or use [MP3 encoders].

    (adapted from Binary Distribution Point – see also Wikipedia)


DirectX End-User Runtimes (June 2010) for Windows XP and later

The latest version of DirectX is 9.29.1974. You can access the DirectX page to get this version. The full redistributable version is 95.6MB

Microsoft says:

  • The DirectX redist installation includes all the latest and previous released DirectX runtime. This includes D3DX, XInput, and Managed DirectX components.
  • The DirectX runtime cannot be uninstalled.
  • This update is recommended for users that do not have internet connection during installation.
  • If you would like the websetup version of the runtime package, please click here.
  • Starting with the December 2006 SDK release, the redist no longer supports Win9x.
  • Starting with the June 2010 SDK release, the redist no longer supports Windows 2000.

    DirectX v8.0a (for Windows 95 & 98)

    Users of Windows 95 cannot use later versions of DirectX and must use DirectX 8.0a (dx80eng.exe – 10.9MB).

    Microsoft says:

    If you have an earlier version of DirectX installed on your system, you will see little difference in used space on your hard drive following installation of DirectX 8.0a. DirectX 8.0a will overwrite the earlier versions.
    NOTICE: After installation, the DirectX 8.0a run time cannot be uninstalled. The installation process changes core components and makes numerous registry changes within your operating system.

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    Windows Media Player

    Windows Media Player v11 (for Windows XP & later)

    Windows Media Player is a handy tool for playing all types of multimedia files. Download version 11 (wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe – 24.5MB) for Windows XP & Vista operating systems. More information from Microsoft.

    Microsoft says:

    Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP offers great new ways to store and enjoy all your digital media. It's easier than ever to access all of your music, videos, pictures, and recorded TV on your computer. Play it, view it, organize it, or sync it to a portable device for enjoying on the go, or share with devices around your home – all from one place. Windows Media Player 11 is designed to work with all editions of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and can also be used to restore Windows Media Player and related technologies to N and KN editions of Windows Vista.

    Windows Media Player v7.1 (for Windows 98 & later)

    Windows Media Player is a handy tool for playing all types of multimedia files. Download version 7.1 (mp71.exe – 9.95MB) for Windows 98 & Windows ME operating systems. More information from Microsoft.

    Note: some later versions cannot be downloaded as a single file and you must first download a small helper file which will then download all necessary files – visit the Microsoft site to access these versions.

    Windows Media Player v6.4 (for Windows 95)

    You can get version 6.4 (mpfull.exe – 3.43MB) for the Windows 95 operating system. More information from Microsoft.

    Windows Media Player v5.2 beta (for Windows 3.x)

    CFS Members can also download the 16-bit version 5.2 beta (mpsetup.exe – 5.42MB) for Windows 3.x. This version is similar to the 32-bit version 6.4 for Windows 95 (above).

    Windows Installer Redistributable

    Windows Installer Redistributable v2.0 (for Windows 95, 98 & ME)

    Microsoft’s Windows Installer Redistributable (InstMsi.exe – 1.62MB) for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME, a program installer which works with MSI files. Get more information from Microsoft. Note: this program is included with XP and later.

    Unzipping Files

    If you need a program to unzip these or any other zipped files (files which have a ZIP extension), we suggest Smith Micro Software's Stuffit Expander for users of Windows XP and later, and the earlier 16-bit Aladdin's Stuffit Expander v1.0 for Win 3.x users (supports only the older 8.3 filename system). Neither program will zip files (create a ZIP archive). Note: for Smith Micro Software's Expander you will be downloading the full shareware version which includes archiving as well as unzipping – after the trial period, the archiving functions will cease to work but the free unzipping tools will continue indefinitely.

    If you are after a full archiving program (zipping and unzipping) we suggest 7-Zip. This archive manager supports 7z, ZIP, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR & WIM formats (both packing and unpacking) and features full integration to the Windows shell, plus FAR Manager & commandline support. It can also unpack ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z formats. It is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and requires Windows 98 or later.

    For more help, visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages.

    Firefox is our browser of preference!

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