PRB: LINK Fatal Error LNK1104 Cannot Open File

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Article ID: 166470 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q166470
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When compiling an ActiveX component with binary compatibility set to the same file the compile is attempting to overwrite, the following error occurs:
LINK fatal error LNK1104 cannot open file.


To work around this problem, copy the ActiveX executable or DLL to a separate directory. Set binary compatibility to the copied file, and compile to the original directory. This procedure is described in Microsoft Visual Basic Books Online.


Microsoft is researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


While this behavior is not always encountered when compiling, you should follow the procedures in the RESOLUTION section above in all projects where you set binary compatibility.

Steps to Reproduce Behavior

  1. Start Visual Basic 5.0 and open the \samples\CompTool\ActvComp\coffee\xtimers.vbp sample.
  2. Select "Make XTimer.dll" from the File menu to compile the project.
  3. Select "Open Project" from the File menu.
  4. Save the changes to the XTimer project if prompted.
  5. Open the \samples\CompTool\ActvComp\coffee\coffee2.vbp sample.
  6. Bring up the Project\References dialog box and make sure that the XTimer server compiled previously is referenced.
  7. Select "Make Coffe2.exe" from the file menu to compile the project.
  8. Bring up the "Coffee2 Properties" dialog box from the Project menu.
  9. On the Compile tab, make sure "Native Code" is selected.
  10. On the Component tab, make sure "Binary Compatibility" is set and the compatible server is pointing at the previously compiled version of Coffe2.EXE.
  11. Save the changes to the project.
  12. Select "Make Coffe2.exe" from the file menu to compile the project.
You receive a dialog box with the following message:
Microsoft Visual Basic: Unexpected error occurred in code generator or linker. -View error messages?
If you click "Yes," the following error message appears:
LINK fatal error LNK1104 cannot open file.
To fix this problem:

  1. Copy the executable to another directory. If you make ActiveX components frequently, you may want to create a directory just for compatible files.
  2. Re-set binary compatibility to the file you just pasted into the "Compatibility" directory.
  3. Recompile the executable into the project directory.


Microsoft Visual Basic Books Online, Component Tools Guide, Using Binary Version Compatibility.


Article ID: 166470 - Last Review: October 30, 2003 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
kbprb KB166470
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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