Diagnose side-by-side (SxS) problems. The logfile produced can identify any missing run time components.

      SXSTRACE [trace -logfile:filename [-nostop]
      SXSTRACE [parse -logfile:filename -outfile:parsedfile  [-filter:appname]
      SXSTRACE stoptrace

    trace     Enable tracing for side-by-side.
   -logfile 	The raw log file.
    filename 	Save tracing log to filename.
   -nostop    Do not prompt to stop tracing.

    parse     Translate the raw trace file into a human readable format and save the result into parsedfile.
   -outfile parsedfile  The output filename.
   -filter appname      Filter the output by the name of an application.
    stoptrace           Stop the trace, if it wasn't stopped before.
   -?                   Help.

Sxstrace requires elevation

Sxstrace can be used to diagnose the error message "The application has failed to start because the side by side configuration is incorrect"

Start the trace and then reproduce the error by starting the application.

Side by side assembly (also known as WinSxS or SxS) is a technique for versioning files. Multiple versions of a file are installed on a single machine and an assembly manifest keeps track of the files and versions available. This may include DLLs, Windows classes, COM servers, type libraries, and interfaces.

Some runtime libraries in no longer use this technology; instead, they include the version number of a DLL in its file name. e.g. Visual C++

Side by Side files are stored in the \windows\winsxs directory.

The size of the SxS system folders displayed in Windows Explorer does not necessarily match the actual disk space because of hard links to existing files. The command Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore will display the disk space used by the WinSxS folder. See also: ways to reduce the size of the WinSxS folder.


Enable tracing and to save the trace file to ss64.etl:

C:\> sxstrace trace -logfile:ss64.etl

Translate the raw trace file into a human readable format ss64.txt:

C:\> sxstrace parse -logfile:ss64.etl -outfile:C:\demo\ss64.txt

“Droplets of water would roll around the surface of a lotus leaf and not leave any trace” ~ Zhou Qunfei

Related commands

SFC /scannow - System File Checker.
Visual Studio downloads - latest supported Visual C++ redistributable downloads.

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