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The strange case of the incorrect side-by-side configuration

📅 2012-Nov-05 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ error, virtualbox, winsxs ⬩ 📚 Archive

Side-by-side configuration error
Side-by-side configuration error

A week ago VirtualBox informed that a new version was available and that I should update to it. I proceeded to get the latest version using Chrome, which downloaded as the file VirtualBox-4.2.4-81684-Win.exe. On executing the file, I got this error:

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.

This error was a bit troubling to me because I have not seen any DLL or SxS problems with Windows 7 and recent versions of software. Those happen mostly with older versions of Windows and older software.

Searching online for this error leads to suggestions that one should install a particular version of the Visual C++ Redistributable package. None of those solved the problem however.

I finally suspected the file itself. File downloads rarely get corrupted these days, but it can still happen. So, I downloaded the file again and it installed without any complaint! 😊

Just to confirm I opened up the two files in WinMerge and found that there were a few bytes at the end of the second file missing from the first downloaded file.

Tried with: VirtualBox 4.2.4 and Windows 7 Enterprise