‘The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect’ error related to MMC.EXE programs and weird cause & simple solution


 

I publish this error as its cause was really weird:

I was getting an error when trying to start any Management Console related program (mmc.exe based admin tool), like Certificates, Event Viewer, etc.

The error was:

“The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail”

Something like the following Message-box, but showing the specific path file I was trying to execute (and always based on the MMC.EXE).

image

But because of I couldn’t open the Event Viewer, I couldn’t see its related error…

I searched in the internet for similar errors, and that error is very common when you don’t have the right Visual C++ Redistributable Package (x86 or x64), etc.

I installed all 2008 & 2010 versions of the Visual C++ Redistributable Package, but I still was getting the same error…

Then I tried using the sxstrace.exe tool.

For running sxstrace.exe, go to Visual Studio command prompt and type sxstrace.exe.

Usage is as follows:

  1. Before running your application, run sxstrace in trace mode:

 sxstrace.exe Trace -logfile:C:\MySxSTrace.log

  1. Reproduce the error by starting your application
  2. Now stop the trace by using the below command

 sxstrace.exe Parse -logfile:C:\MySxSTrace.log -outfile:C:\MySxSTrace.txt

  1. Open output file from C:\MySxSTrace.txt

Then I could see the trace file, and at the end there was an error:

INFO: Parsing Application Config File C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe.Config.
    ERROR: Line 0: XML Syntax error.
ERROR: Activation Context generation failed.
End Activation Context Generation.

Mmmm, weird, it seems a problem regarding the XML configuration file for the mmc.exe…, but I didn’t touch that config-file, still…, I opened and saw the following content…:

configuration>
   <runtime>
      <assemblyBinding xmlns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1″>
       <dependentAssembly>
         <assemblyIdentity name=”Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient”
                           publicKeyToken=”31bf3856ad364e35″
                           culture=”neutral” />
         <bindingRedirect oldVersion=”1.0.0.0″
                          newVersion=”1.1.0.0″/>
       </dependentAssembly>
       <dependentAssembly>
         <assemblyIdentity name=”Microsoft.WindowsAzure.StorageClient”
                           publicKeyToken=”31bf3856ad364e35″
                           culture=”neutral” />
          <publisherPolicy apply=”no” />
       </dependentAssembly>
 
      </assemblyBinding>
   </runtime>
</configuration>

Hey!, the first ‘<’ character is missing!!…, why?

Anyway, I just went ahead and put the right ‘<’ before “configuration>”

And there we go!, I can now start the mmc.exe or any other program based on the mmc.exe!!

It is strange…, why did that config file lose that character?. Maybe because of any program installation, but it was really weird.  Smile

BTW, this post regarding ‘Diagnosing SideBySide failures’ seems quite detailed. If my cause/problem is different than yours, try the following procedure:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/04/14/576314.aspx

Comments (22)

  1. SEBY says:

    HI I HAD THE SAME TROUBLE  WITH YAHOO MESSENGER AND IT HAPENNED BECAUSE OF INSTALATION OF NERO 8 OR 10 I JUST INSTALLED NERO 10 AND WANT TO RUN YAHOO MESSENGER AND CAME THE MESSAGE THE APPLICATION…. UNINSTALL NERO AND YAHOO REINSTALL YAHOO,WORKED,AFTER THAT I INSTALLED  NERO 8 THINKING THAT NERO 10 WAS THE PROBLEM AND NOW THE SAME BUT THIS TIME I WILL REINSTALL YAHOO AND THAT S IT.THANKS

  2. roneil racho says:

    yahoomessenger.exe this application has failed to start because side by side configuration is incorrect..how can i fix this application? please help me what i can do? thank you

  3. nima says:

    i had the same trouble with yahoo and i fixed it : uninstal the program and re install in another address

  4. ms says:

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Running VC++ 2005, VC++2008, VC+++2010 redistributable pakages, uninstalling and installing them…nothing worked. But this sxstrace.exe tool was just enough to trace the error.

    I ran the sxxstrace.exe file and found this at the end of the output file (this is just a great tip, else I wouldn't know where to look in that file)

    INFO: Parsing Manifest File C:WindowsWinSxSmanifestsx86_microsoft.vc80.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.6195_none_d09154e044272b9a.manifest.

    INFO: Manifest Definition Identity is (null).
    
    ERROR: Line 0: XML Syntax error.
    

    ERROR: Activation Context generation failed.

    End Activation Context Generation.

    (Windows 7) Opened that manifest file and saw that it was not as others, and was corrupted.

    So, got a replacement file for that and just replaced it. And everything is just back to normal and Great!

    Thanks again.

  5. KrisRaps says:

    Thanks Huys, I Will Try To Replace The Exe And Try Then

    I Will Be Back On Any Luck !

  6. Yo says:

    Had the same problem, builded solution with debug… rebuild with release configuration.

    Cheers.

  7. Kevin says:

    Go here this site having clear guide to fix this.

    codeketchup.blogspot.sg/…/how-to-correct-side-by-side.html

  8. Judy says:

    My Yahoo Messenger & my Yahoo Mail will not come up..Says Configuration side by side! I never touched anything to delete either…HELP!!! Please…

  9. Yogesh says:

    Amazing. VS2010 stopped working suddently and was showing above error. I followed the sxstrace steps. I found the error mentioned in the log. thanks

  10. Lawrence says:

    What can i do if i do not have the file "MMC.exe.config" in my system32 file?

  11. Apollon says:

    Im trying to run a game (Just cause 2 for this case) and it says the same error and i tried downloading RegCure pro but it says i need to register and all that stuff can someone please help me? im a PC noob i tried contacting support and im still waiting for an email

  12. apollon says:

    btw i cant run sxstrace.exe i dont know why but CMD appears and it closes right off

  13. Iran (Amin.J) ! says:

    hey dudes!

    you don't have to solve it  hardly, there is an easier solution for it !

    just follow these steps :

    1- uninstall all versions of Microsoft C++ Redistributable (e.g 2005,2010,2012,2013)

    2- install the both versions of Microsoft C++ Redistributable "2008" (I mean both x86 and x64)

    notice that none of the other versions will solve this damned problem!

    you must only install the 2008 version.

    ♥ viva IRAN ♥

  14. Dada says:

    Hello All,

    I have similar problem as Apollon. When i try to run Sxstrace.exe, the CMD appears and closes. Any suggestions how to solve it ?

    Thank you

  15. me says:

    where do you find the "output file from C:MySxSTrace.txt"

  16. Pulkit says:

    hi. This same thing happened to me when i took an installed BULLY game when start it , it shows the same message so plzz help me. THANKS.

  17. Sarvaddnya says:

    I am unable to open my sxstrace. it just apperrs for 1 sec then goes of. Because of this I m unable to play bully scholarship edition

  18. mahdi says:

    Hi Guys

    i mixed up!!!!!

    i did what ever you said but i got this what should i do

    "

    ERROR: Cannot resolve reference Microsoft.FlightSimulator.SimConnect,processorArchitecture=&quot;x86&quot;,publicKeyToken=&quot;67c7c14424d61b5b&quot;,type=&quot;win32&quot;,version=&quot;10.0.61259.0&quot;.
    

    ERROR: Activation Context generation failed.

    "

    help me plz

    E-mail: Mahdikarami74@yahoo.com

  19. mahdi says:

    The exactly ERROR Is THis:

    ERROR: Cannot resolve reference Microsoft.FlightSimulator.SimConnect,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="67c7c14424d61b5b",type="win32",version="10.0.61259.0".

    ERROR: Activation Context generation failed.

  20. Faiz says:

    hi ! i also had the same problem and i tried to run command prompt

    and run sxstrace.exe and notified the problem that it runs in compabiliy

    settings must be  change ,it did not work. after that  i  uninstalled the

    program and re installed and it works

  21. madi says:

    win 7 repair faulty anyone alone with

  22. vito says:

    non sono rius cito ad aprire alcuni programmi