Unresolved external symbol __vsnprintf .... (in dxerr.lib)?

I am running a DirectX 11 application on windows 7 and visual studio community 2015 RC. I'm still using functions from the DX SDK. It worked fine on VS2013 but when I switched over I get only the following error:

Error   LNK2019 unresolved external symbol __vsnprintf referenced in function "long __stdcall StringVPrintfWorkerA(char *,unsigned int,unsigned int *,char const *,char *)" (?StringVPrintfWorkerA@@YGJPADIPAIPBD0@Z)   Ancora  D:\Moody\Moody\Projects\Projects\Ancora\Ancora\dxerr.lib(dxerra.obj)    1

I only use the DXGetErrorDescriptionA function from the dxerr library and when I comment it out, the program compiles fine. I have no idea what's wrong but it can't be from the DX SDK or otherwise the other functions would fail right?


I experienced the same problem using DXGetErrorMessage() with Dx9 and found out that MS have provided an additional library to include in the Additional Dependencies properties page to address this problem. The library name is: legacy_stdio_definitions.lib

Adding this resolved the issue for me.

Instead of hacking dxerr.lib manually, you could add

#include <Windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
int (WINAPIV * __vsnprintf)(char *, size_t, const char*, va_list) = _vsnprintf;

somewhere in your code

just add

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


The DirectX libraries you are using are compiled with an older version of Visual Studio than you are using. Microsoft sometimes makes changes to their C runtime, creating incompatibilities between libraries compiled with different versions. __vsnprintf was an internal symbol in older versions of their C runtime, it does not exist in the 2015 RC version.

Unfortunately, dxerr.lib (along with d3dx11.lib) have been deprecated. You have two options - you can switch back to VS2013 or you can stop using functionality from dxerr.lib. The latter is probably better, because you can duplicate its functionality by using FormatMessage now (more info in the linked article).

The legacy DirectX SDK is quite old, and dxerr.lib in the DXSDK is not compatible with VS 2015's C Runtime as you have encountered.

In general static libraries with code in them don't mix well from different versions of the compiler. Most of the .libs in the legacy DirectX SDK work with VS 2015 because they are import libraries for dlls or all data libraries and therefore contain no code at all. The DXSDK has not been updated since VS 2010.

Be sure to read the instructions on MSDN on the proper way to mix the legacy DirectX SDK with the Windows 8.x SDK used by VS 2015. You are presumably using something else from the legacy DirectX SDK in this project besides dxerr.

I have implemented a version of DXERR that you can build from source in your project to remove this dependacy of the legacy DirectX SDK. See this post for details. That said, I purposely only supported Unicode (the W version). You can work out how to make the ANSI (the A version) easily enough, but it would be best if updated your app to use Unicode.

See Where is the DirectX SDK (2015 Edition)? and DXUT for Direct3D 11.

UPDATE: As noted in another answer linking with legacy_stdio_definitions.lib should make the old legacy DirectX SDK version of dxerr.lib link again with VS 2015/2017. That said, you should work on removing dependencies on the legacy DirectX SDK as much as possible and DXERR is easily replaced by your own module. See Living without D3DX.

HACKY but you could patch dxerr.lib.

Replace __vsnprintf with _vsnprintf (with a null at the end to account for the removed underscore at the beginning)

You can change the Platform Toolset from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2013 and then it compiles. The Platform Toolset is found on the General tab of the Project Properties.

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