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KB00085 - Error about side-by-side configuration being incorrect


When you try to install, or run a Zhorn Software app you get an error message:

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.


Download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)


My software, including Stickies and Caffeine are written in Visual Studio 2008, and they use MFC. The exe files which this compiler produces are reliant on some library files which can be found either already in Windows, or at the above link. If you're interested, they can be found at the path c:\windows\winsxs in these subdirectories:


Depending on the version of Windows you're using, the reason for their absence is different:

  • Windows 8/10 64-bit: The library files which Stickies relies on are present in a fresh install of all versions of Windows from XP SP3 onwards, except Windows 8 64-bit and Windows 10 64-bit. They're there in Windows 7 64-bit, and in Windows 8 32-bit and Windows 10 32-bit ... but not Windows 8 64-bit or WIndows 10 64-bit. If I ever got the chance, I'd like to ask someone at MS why this is.
  • Any other version: Something is (probably) wrong with your side-by-side configuration. All other versions of Windows have the above files installed by default - I know because I installed them all to check! Something has changed on your setup which has affected SXS. Luckily, the above download solves the issue.

There are a number of other resources on the web which further explain side by side - here's an article by Gaurav Patole on MSDN, and here's another explanation by David Lenihan.


Tom Revell, 27th April 2016
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