can anyone answer an urgent question about MinGW?

Greetings all --
I say urgent because I know it is late in the day, but I needed to have this 
working long ago and I'm annoyed that it is still failing.

First the scenario:
I am building some libraries on windows, both 32 and 64 bit.  I am using 
MinGW as a mock linux environment as this software was developed on linux.

2 out of the 3 libraries configure and build fine, but the last library 
fails because of a missing command called pkg-config.
I downloaded and installed the pkg-config binaries for 32 and 64 bit. I also 
downloaded and installed glib, another bit of software due to a dependency 
in the software.

Note, when I say install, I mean I unzipped the binaries to their rightful 
places in the MinGW tree.  I didn't start any processes running, just 
exported an environment variable so configure could find pkg-config.

But configure is failing when it tries to run pkg-config.  It dies saying it 
can't find a runtime, which I assume is a dll.
It does find pkg-config, but can't execute it.

I have tried everything short of diving into whatever docs I can find, which 
I don't have as the zip only came with binaries.

So can someone please enlighten me on how this can be made to work?

I have posted queries on the mingw users list but they haven't answered my 
latest queries.

Thanks and happy hacking.
(My hacking is haphazard...*smile*)
--le

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