How to repair a side-by-side configuration error

Updated February 21, 2017

While using the Windows operating system, you may encounter an error that states: "This application has failed to start because its side by side configuration is incorrect." Side by side configuration refers to a collection of resources -- such as Dynamic Link Libraries and interfaces -- that are always provided to applications together. Side by side errors can occur when one of these resources is missing. Repairing these errors is a technical process and inexperienced users should consider consulting an expert.

Login to the Windows operating system using your administrator name and password.

Click "Start," "Control Panel," "System and Security," and "Administrative Tools."

Double-click "Event Viewer." The Event Viewer opens.

Click the arrow next to "Windows Logs," then click "Application" in the left pane of the Event Viewer.

Double-click the "Side by Side" error located under the "Source" heading of the Event Viewer. Note that you can click the "Source" heading to view the error list in alphabetical order. The Event Properties window opens.

Click the "General" tab of the Event Properties window and read the information to determine what resource you are missing. For example, if the information states that "Microsoft.VC90.MFC, processorArchitecture="x86", publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b", type="win32", version="9.0.21022.8" could not be found," it means you are missing "9.0.21022.8 version of Microsoft.VC90.MFC" and you must download it. If you are a less experienced user, click "Event Log Online Help." This will take you to a page that provides step by step instructions for how to fix your specific error.

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About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.