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sxstrace.exe not working

May 11, 2014

DLL ToolDLL Tool downloads and repairs sxstrace exe not working problems for computers installed with Microsoft Windows 8.1/8/7/XP/Vista operating systems, both 32 and 64 bits.

What you have to know about Sxstrace.exe

Sxstrace stands for side by side (SxS) trace, and Sxstrace.exe contains the functions of applying Side-by-side technology for tracing something in programs.

Side-by-side technology, also known as WinSxS or SxS, is a standard for executable files in Windows that attempts to alleviate problems that arise from the use of DLLS in Microsoft Windows. Such problems include version conflicts, missing DLLs, duplicate DLLs, and incorrect or missing registration.

Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 and 2008 employ SxS with all C runtime libraries. Every application that relies on the redistributable packages may require a specific version of the C++ runtime. An application that employs SxS must have a manifest. If there is no manifest, the DLL loader loads a default version of all DLL dependencies. If the DLL is a COM server, it must have a manifest of its own for registration-free activation to succeed.

Error of sxstrace.exe not working

After installing or updating a program, you may get a popup that says the following:

"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 is being caused by a missing C++ redistributable, vcredrist_x86.exe, for example. SideBySide errors are typically caused by the current Microsoft Visual C++ version not being backward compatible with the application that failed.

The Event ID 33 error message is typically: Activation context generation failed for “program name”. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis. There are other similar SideBySide errors with the same problem of backward compatibility.


If the software works OK then you don't have to fix it but if it does not or you want to get rid of this error here are two Fixes:

1) Reinstall or Repair (preferred if an option) the application. Often the installation package will have the version of Microsoft Visual C++ that it uses and will install it.

2) Try to figure out what Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package version (available versions are: 2003, 2005, 2008, & 2010) the application needs. These are available through Microsoft's Downloads.

Worse comes to worse you can just try installing a previous version to see if it works, if not then try the one before that. You can have multiple versions of Microsoft on your computer and most people do because various install programs will install the one that they like.

This kind of error can also occur when a DLL file has been corrupted or deleted, or if it simply does not yet exist on the machine. This may be a symptom of a virus trying to access DLLs and subsequently corrupting them, an imminent HD failure, bad update, or any number of other causes.


Trying to use DLL TOOL to scan your registry for any invalid entries and have them fixed. Besides, DLL TOOL has a built-in list of virus, Trojan and spyware, which can be used to check your system for infection.