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Vista Side-by-side configuration is incorrect


A laptop is running Vista Business 32bit and suddenly most applications stopped working.
They all come up with the same error: "failed to start because Side-by-side configuration is incorrect"

Tried manaully starting services same error when service about to start. Can't install any updates or programs or service packs they all fail.

I am about to give up and wipe it clean.

Any help will be appreciated.

1 Solution
There are DLL's in the OS which are screwed up, you can do a repair on the OS but a clean install would be the best way to fix it if you can... It would eliminate the problem all together, a repair may or may not work....
CompTroubAuthor Commented:
how do you do a repair on Vista???
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CompTroubAuthor Commented:
that;s not an OS repair it's a Startup repair that never works:)
Ah bad URL after I read what they were talking about... try this one


Download details: Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package (x86)

Just for giggles, see if this one will install....
You can also use Process Monitor to see what SXS library is shot/missing.....
Process Monitor

Let it run in the background, and then use the filter at the top to "Highlight" for 'NOT FOUND', and look through those, and you should see something along the path of C:\Windows\SXS and then maybe you can get them from another PC......
Takes some playing around with Process Monitor though, if you arent used to it.....

If you have any anti-virus program on your computer. Try un-installing them. Since you have already posted that you have tried installing updates & service packs which fail too.

Those were tried from windows updates?? If so tried to download the service packs manually and install them and same for the windows updates. Because, this problem is with the incorrect manifest on your system files.

IF you dont want to lose your installed programs, try to perform Inplace upgrade. This installation is just performing an another instance on the installed OS. The advantage is that it just copies all the system files to your system. No work required to re-install your programs or backing up the data.

If your system is install windows service packs try to use the same disc which has service packs in it for inplace upgrade.

Steps for Inplace upgrade:

Launch the Windows vista setup from desktop.
Click Upgrade and choose the installed OS during setup and proceed with the setup.

Note - Version of windows files installed should be the same as the files in the windows vista installation disc.

I mean, if your system has windows vista SP2 in it then the disc used to perform the installation should be of Windows Vista with SP2 integrated.

Same if the case is SP1 too.

All the best!!!

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