debugging a wine problem

I recently spent one and a half days trying to get a Windows application to run on an Arch Linux PC. The strange part: I had the application running for years without any trouble, and then…

After a wine update, I got some runtime errors. Thus, I decided to just reinstall the app – installing had always worked just fine. But no success. The runtime errors kept popping up.

OK, I thought – just go back to the previous wine version… Did that, same errors! Tried a really old version (1.2.something), same errors!

After many many attempts and many many Google searches, I found a solution by pure chance: I installed the application on a different PC, and transferred the WINEPREFIX directory – Success!

Why did this work? Well, both machines run Arch Linux, and both are up-to-date…

Turns out the only real difference was the locale setting: The machine that finally did the job uses an English user interface as opposed to a German one. Investigation showed winetricks failed to properly install one of mdac28, jet40 or mfc40 when a non-English locale was in use.