Expression Web 3 Setup crashes immediately after launching (not the fonts issue)

crash1Please Note: This particular Expression Web 3 setup/install crash is very specific to the problem listed in the blog – a WMI service that won’t start, giving an error 127, which causes the Expression Web 3 install not to succeed. Please do not attempt the fix mentioned in this article unless you are experiencing the “Error 127” trying to start the WMI service.

This problem manifests itself in two separate ways:

1. When you run Expression Web 3 setup, the install fails immediately with a dialog box that reads something to the effect of “Expression Web 3 setup has stopped working and needs to close”.

You can bypass the error by running the WEB_EN.MSI file from the setup sub-directory. This will actually Install Expression Web 3 without the pretty Expression Web 3 dialogs. But wait – when you try to run Expression Web 3, guess what…

2. Running Expression Web 3 produces an error saying “Microsoft Expression Web 3 has stopped working and needs to close.”

Bummer, huh?

In the case of the setup error, because the install crashes immediately there is no log generated. And in the case of launching Expression Web 3 and having it crash, there is no install log file generated because you aren’t doing an install. The event viewer may show the following for either the install or trying to run the application:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_32\PresentationCore\\PresentationCore.dll". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC80.CRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",
type="win32", version="8.0.50727.1830" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis.

This may lead you to believe the problem is with the .NET Framework 3.0. If you were to go down the road of uninstalling and reinstalling Framework 3.0, you would find that the problem still exists. Actually, the problem still exists if you uninstall and reinstall Framework 3.5.

If you’re encountering this problem with Expression Web 3, chances are you have noticed a couple of other oddities as well:

  • Your Windows Updates may not be installing successfully
  • If you’ve been using Expression Web 2, it still works fine. That’s because the user interface for Expression Web 2 is based off MSO, Microsoft Office 2007. The interface for Expression Web 3 was re-built using Windows Presentation Foundation in .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • There may be other side effects that I’ve not encountered, probably related to the setup of applications or usage of built-in Windows features.

So what’s the dealio? The problem here is with the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service. By default, that service is supposed to start automatically when Windows starts. To check, go to START start , RUN and type SERVICES.MSC and hit ENTER.

But this time it doesn’t and that’s causing a problem for Expression Web 3. If you try to start the WMI manually you may receive an error 127 - “The Specified Procedure Could Not Be Found”.

WMI_picOkay, so what’s causing THAT error to happen? Check inside the C:\Windows\System32\WBEM folder – if you have a file called WBEMCOMN.DLL then THAT is the problem. This file should not be located in this folder. There should be a copy of WBEMCOMN.DLL in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, but not the WBEM sub-folder off of System32. If you don’t have a copy of that file in System32 then copy the file there and delete the one from the WBEM folder. If you are prompted that another file with the same name already exists, check the dates of both. More than likely you have a newer version in System32 and you do not want to overwrite it with the one from the WBEM folder. But the key to resolving this problem is deleting the WMEBCOMN.DLL file from the WBEM folder.

After deleting that file, you should be able to start the WMI service.

After the WMI Service is started I would HIGHLY recommend you proceed to Windows update and install the critical and recommended updates, especially if you are offered an update for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 when you already have .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 installed.

After checking for and installing the latest updates you should be able to run the install of Expression Web 3 or run the application itself.

- Will Buffington

Comments (3)

  1. j hesworth says:

    I keep trying to delete the .DLL file (once copied into the main folder) and it keeps reappearing once its been deleted…! Help…!

  2. j hesworth says:


    also, cannot remove software through control panel route – same crash occurs.

  3. Andy at says:

    Expressions Web 3 won't open. I keep getting  "…error and has to close". Running REPAIR from the software went for 48 hours and crahed the computer — not fixed!! Any suggestions??…

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