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intermittent error at runtime "Unable to load function: RegQueryValueExA (ADVAPI32.dll)"


My app works fine otherwise. On some machines the error happens almost always, on others only rarely.

My target platform is Windows 10 and I get the same behavior with Windows 8.1 or either of two windows 10 SDKs.

It seems to stop if I run the app in Windows 8 compatibility mode (even when using a windows 10 SDK).

The error always happens when running the release app in the MS VS 2017 debugger, until I enabled mixed mode debugging, then I don't see the error (so far).

The app is C/C++ CLI with some windows functions. The code is not managed.

Google searching turns up nothing?

Any ideas? Seems like a compiler/linker or OS problem?

System Studio 19 latest with Intelc++, IPP and TBB. MS VS2017.

The registry reading code is from an MS example. 

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But it is intermittent for the same user. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, on the same PC in subsiquent runs with identical inputs.