I'm using a 64-bit Acer laptop running Windows 8.1.

When I try to start certain desktop apps, I get the error message (translated:)

This application could not be started because the Side-by-Side Configuration is invalid. You can find further information in the Application Event Log. More details can be shown with the command-line tool sxstrace.exe.

For example, Chrome, Firefox, Skype, Word, LibreOffice, and my CLISP GUI give me this message. Internet Explorer for desktop just opens very briefly and then closes without an error message. Internet Explorer in Metro mode works fine. My R GUI, any C++ executables that I made myself, and the command line can start up just fine.

The two ways that I've tried fixing this are (1) uninstalling and reinstalling the troubled programs, and (2) uninstalling and reinstalling my MS VC++ distributables. Neither way worked, however, because I cannot seem to uninstall anything -- when I click "deinstall", I get the error message

Error 1719. The Windows Installer Service could not be acessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.

I think that Control Panel lists MS VC++ 2008 x86, 2010 x86, and 2010 x64 as installed; however, I tried to reinstall them from the internet with vcredist_x64.exe anyhow. This executable fails with the Side-by-Side Configuration message. I've also tried running the Microsoft Fixit program from the internet, to remedy the Windows Installer issue, but with the same error message.

I've tried using the sxstrace tool, but I can't get it to do anything. I'll type sxstrace trace -logfile:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe", but it just says

Error with "StartTrace". Errormessage:
Connection refused.

I've also tried using sfc to handle the Windows Installer issue; I'll type sfc /scannow and wait for it to do its scanning things, but no luck. It finds damaged files, but cannot repair them. The CBS log is a huge mess that I cannot read, but I could post it here.

Shortly before all this started happening, I had tried to run the automatic-updater on my computer to install the most recent Windows updates. This is the only thing that I can think of that might have caused the problem, but I'm not at all sure.

Thank you very much for any advice you may have!

  • Use dism to repair. – Karan May 20 '15 at 20:16
  • Did you check the Application Event Log as suggested? – JosefZ May 20 '15 at 20:26
  • I'm afraid that I do not know how to check the Application Even Log, but I will try to figure it out soon . . . – Jordan May 20 '15 at 20:40
  • Running Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth now. The CheckHealth version said that everything was repairable, so hopefully . . . – Jordan May 20 '15 at 20:46
  • are you running sxstrace trace from elevated prompt? If not, try to run it from cmd with "run as administrator" – user996142 May 20 '15 at 21:53

Using DISM (Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management) to fix Component Store corruption in Windows 8 essentially boils down to the following commands run from an elevated (admin) command prompt:

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth (optional) - Checks the logs for pre-existing unfixed component store corruption and reports the results. Does not fix anything or create any logs.

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth (optional) - Checks for component store corruption and logs it. Does not fix anything.

  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth - Checks for component store corruption, logs it and fixes the corruption using Windows Update.

sfc /scannow should also be used after DISM to finish repairing corrupted system files.

The logs for both tools are available at Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log and Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log respectively.


  • The dism log is actually also in the CBS.log file. I know that's not intuitive, but, hey, it's Microsoft. – john v kumpf May 11 '17 at 2:41

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