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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:53 am 
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´╗┐Question: What is the exact role of the 16-bit TWUNK_16.EXE for 32-bit Windows TWAIN scanning? Is it possible to disable it?

Answer: Under MS Windows there are two TWAIN Data Source Manager modules, the 16-bit TWAIN.DLL and the 32-bit TWAIN_32.DLL. Each one when loaded will attempt to start the other one through one of the TWAIN Thunker modules (TWUNK_16.EXE or TWUNK_32.EXE) so it could enumerate all the TWAIN Data Sources installed on the system, both 16 and 32-bit. Without TWUNK_16.EXE TWAIN_32.DLL (and the application that loaded TWAIN_32.DLL) would be unable to see any 16-bit Data Sources. And without TWUNK_32.EXE TWAIN.DLL would be not able to see 32-bit Data Sources.

One problem usually reported about TWUNK_16.EXE is seeing it being loaded in memory when a 32-bit TWAIN Application loads TWAIN_32.DLL, even tough there are absolutely no 16-bit TWAIN Data Sources installed.

The TWAIN Thunker could be disabled manually under Windows 9x or NT by removing TWUNK_16.EXE and TWUNK_32.EXE from the %System% directory (e.g. the "Windows" or "WinNT" directory, the directory where Windows is installed). Without TWUNK_16.EXE 32-bit TWAIN Applications could still load TWAIN_32.DLL and use 32-bit Data Sources. Same thing is true for TWUNK_32.EXE and 16-bit TWAIN Applications and 16-bit Data Sources.

Under newer versions of Windows such as Windows 2000 and XP the TWUNK_16.EXE and TWUNK_32.EXE files (along with TWAIN_32.DLL and TWAIN.DLL) are considered system protected files and if they are removed Windows will attempt to restore them immediately from the original installation files.

A second problem often reported about TWUNK_16.EXE is have it remaining loaded in memory after a 32-bit TWAIN application is closed or crashes. The explanation for this would be that a 32-bit TWAIN Application (such as Imaging under Windows 2000) would always cause the 16-bit TWAIN thunker to be loaded (even if no 16-bit Data Sources are installed the 32-bit TWAIN Data Source Manager - TWAIN_32.DLL - needs to search for 16-bit sources; again, TWUNK_16.EXE is a 16-bit program that communicates with the TWAIN_32.DLL over DDEML and allows a 32-bit TWAIN Application to access transparently 16-bit Data Sources together with 32-bit ones). If the application crashes, TWUNK_16.EXE could be left running in background (the system won't shut it down automatically) along with any 16-bit Data Source DLLs that could be loaded with it. The solution would be to manually shut down TWUNK_16.EXE after an application crash, before to restart the application. From Windows 2000 or NT go to the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), see the list of running processes and kill the TWUNK_16.EXE one (also WOWEXEC.EXE if you there are not other 16-bit applications running at that time).


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