There is this old Windows application I've been using for more than a decade now: DesktopEarth. It got its last update in 2015 and the author's website is offline now, but it's been running fine on Windows 10. Recently, I upgraded to Windows 11 and now it won't start anymore, it crashes instantly. Compatibility mode doesn't fix the issue. I really like this application, it shows you the face of the earth with the correct day/night cycle, seasons, clouds, city lights at night, etc. - I don't feel at home on my Desktop without this background. And I can't find an adequate replacement for this app. So I want to try and fix it.
Here's what the Windows application log is saying (sorry, couldn't figure out how to change the language, it's in German):
Name der fehlerhaften Anwendung: DesktopEarth.exe, Version: 220.127.116.11, Zeitstempel: 0x553f6b3b
Name des fehlerhaften Moduls: ntdll.dll, Version: 10.0.22621.755, Zeitstempel: 0x42b70e75
ID des fehlerhaften Prozesses: 0x0x435C
Startzeit der fehlerhaften Anwendung: 0x0x1D90E747D1A2A1D
Pfad der fehlerhaften Anwendung: C:\Program Files (x86)\DesktopEarth\DesktopEarth.exe
Pfad des fehlerhaften Moduls: C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll
Vollständiger Name des fehlerhaften Pakets:
Anwendungs-ID, die relativ zum fehlerhaften Paket ist:
Looks like it crashes in
ntdll.dll... maybe if I revert that to an older version, it will work again? So I downloaded an older version of
ntdll.dll from the internet (hopefully not some randomware), placed it next to
DesktopEarth.exe and... same error. It's still using
C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll. So I added
C:\Program Files (x86)\DesktopEarth to my PATH, hoping that this would make
DesktopEarth.exe prefer my custom
ntdll.dll but still nothing. Is the path to the dll hardcoded in the exe? I was kinda getting my hopes up, because someone on the internet had a similar issue and placing an old version of
ntdll.dll seemed to have helped. But I don't want to replace
C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\ntdll.dll, it will probably break some other stuff on my system...
How can I make
DesktopEarth.exe use my custom
ntdll.dll? I heard there's a thing called dll hijacking that may help here? Does anyone know how to do that?