Using HDF5 lib with Visual Studio

During October last year, my work involved using HDF library with FORTRAN and C and use them to store mounds of data other systems were generating.

The first step was to use the library with visual studio 2008 in windows. Companywide HDF5 had many users in Linux cluster but no formal implementation was available to use in visual studio. While that made the library available but building, a program using them in visual studio was a different matter. I faced couple of issues and with much googling and stack overflowing, solved them, here is the running note I took for one of the issue, just in case someone else is in the same situation.

Hope this helps.

1>libhdf5.lib(H5I.c.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _forceCRTManifestCUR

1>libhdf5.lib(H5.c.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _forceCRTManifestCUR

1>libhdf5.lib(H5D.c.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _forceCRTManifestCUR

1>libhdf5.lib(H5F.c.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _forceCRTManifestCUR

1>libhdf5.lib(H5S.c.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _forceCRTManifestCUR


  • The various header files associated with the visual C++ runtime embed a number of directives into the compiled code. This power used to be used for good: appropriate #pragma’s could ensure that the resulting .lib file automatically had a dependency on the correct runtime libraries.

    However, a kind of dependency ____ comes about when one tries to mix projects built with different build settings in the same version of dev studio, and becomes even worse when pre-built libs made by another version of Dev Studio are used.

    The best thing to do, frankly, would be to rebuild your .libs in the same version of Dev Studio. There are some project settings that can be used when building a .lib that can ‘sanitize it’ a bit and make it’s use more compatible with different versions of dev studio – libraries should generally be built with the multi threaded runtime selected (NOT the DLL runtime) and the option “Omit Default Library Names” selected.

    In this case, __forceCRTManifestCUR, is a result of a #pragma comment(linker, “/INCLUDE=__forceCRTManifestCUR”) directive in one of the c-runtime header files.

    You can work around this by simply including a like like this in your main.cpp file:

    int __forceCRTManifestCUR=0;

    Doing this will “defeat” an attempt by the headers to get a manifest dependency to the “current” version of the CRT dlls embedded – but don’t worry – the correct CRT manifest is already specified correctly using a different mechanism, so you can generally quite safely define this symbol (by declaring it as an int or anything really) without causing any problems for the project.

5 thoughts on “Using HDF5 lib with Visual Studio

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience! I have a plan to use hdf5 for creating and reading the input file from the subroutine in MSC Marc. May I ask you that is this possible to read hdf5 using fortran 77 or it must be with fortran 90? Thank you!

    Tuan Nguyen


  2. Dear Sukkhbinder

    I started the project yesterday. So far I get the trouble with linking obj file with hdf5 library. I’m using VS2013 and setup the link as following:
    /OUT:”x64\Release\Console1.exe” /INCREMENTAL:NO /NOLOGO /LIBPATH:”c:\Program Files\HDF_Group\HDF5\HDF5-1.10.1-win64\lib\libhdf5.lib” /LIBPATH:”c:\Program Files\HDF_Group\HDF5\HDF5-1.10.1-win64\lib\libhdf5_hl_fortran.lib” /LIBPATH:”c:\Program Files\HDF_Group\HDF5\HDF5-1.10.1-win64\lib\libhdf5_fortran.lib” /MANIFEST /MANIFESTFILE:”x64\Release\Console1.exe.intermediate.manifest” /MANIFESTUAC:”level=’asInvoker’ uiAccess=’false'” /SUBSYSTEM:CONSOLE /IMPLIB:”d:\OneDrive\Temp\CutHalfLoop\Newway_move_brackets\Change_dynamic_material\HDF5\Console1\Console1\x64\Release\Console1.lib”

    Error appeared as
    Error 5 error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol H5D_mp_H5DCLOSE_F referenced in function MAIN__ Source1.obj

    Do you know what is the problem? My thanks
    P/S: I compile the HDF5 binary files from the source since the the Pre-built Binary doesn’t include Fortran libs


    • Sorry Nguyen for the late reply. Looks like the compiler options were different in compiling hdf5 and your main program. Please use dumpbin.exe to see what symbols are being exported in the hdf5 lib. That might be one of the cause.

      For me I had the Pre built fortran binary.

      Hope this helps.


  3. Dear Sukhbinder
    Thank you very much! I’m losing my temper with this linking. Dumpbin showed nothing of export symbols by /exports option.

    May I ask if you could send me the pre built fortran binary for windows or just show me how to get the proper one.
    Just my email address :
    I’m really appreciated!


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