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Purchasing and assembling a PC is no easy task in today’s climate. Prices are at an all-time high, and technology is advancing at a rapid pace, threatening to make the latest and greatest obsolete in a matter of months. In such a scenario, it becomes even more essential to maintain your system and have a working knowledge about its inner workings, such as DLL files, anti-malware software, and disk defragmentation.
One has to spend a lot of money to assemble the system of their dreams. However, that is just an explicit cost. Today’s massive market size filled with tons of manufacturers marketing the same product adds the implicit cost of the time and research you put in to assemble your PC. One must browse through pages and pages of products to get the best one.
As is evident from consumer behaviour that we witness with our friends and peers today, the chase to get the latest hardware never ends. This is not a case limited to just computers only. The same goes for phones as well. People tend to chase the latest and greatest in technology at any given time. But we must maintain our software as well, and know-how things tick inside our shiny new device.
For computers, the two easiest things to tackle is managing system files properly. A good thumb rule is to be very wary of software that wants to be installed directly in your Windows directory in C drive. It may hook into any DLL files located in your system folder to infect your PC. DLL files are sub-functions called upon by any host software to execute a wider variety of functions without extra work. The word itself is an abbreviation of Dynamic Link Library. These files provide hooks where other software can utilize it to harness and access the power of various features of your PC.
Some basic examples are the DirectX API that has its own set of these Dynamic Link Library files. In this scenario, they help any application installed on the computer to harness the power of any Graphical Processing Units installed in the system, or as they are usually referred to today, “Graphic Cards”. Similarly, the Xinput API in Windows provides an easy subfunction that can be leveraged by various programs to easily interface with any input devices such as controllers, joysticks, or any other peripherals that may be plugged into the system at hand. These APIs, or Application Processing Interface, function as layers for interfacing with other pieces of software or hardware, and they are composed of these Dynamic Link Library files.
Due to their importance and criticality of function, it is important not to blindly copy-paste any untrusted software on your Windows directory at any cost. Considering how DLL files hook into critical applications and functions of the system, any malicious file can easily infect the system by entering essential system functions by hooking into all the system-critical programs utilizing that executable and the linked dynamic link library files. If there is a need for any such file for, say, leveraging an older DirectX library, or peripheral compatibility, then make sure they are from a reputable website. Beware of viruses and any malware masquerading as legitimate system files; if anything on the Internet is too good to be true, it probably is!