Prevent "The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect..." error starting Access

Applies to: Access 2010Microsoft Office Access 2007

Symptom


When trying to start Microsoft Office Access 2010 you may receive the following error message:  

The application has failed to start because the side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more details.
When you check the application event log you will see an entry similar to:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\MSACCESS.EXE.Manifest". Error in manifest or policy file "" on line. A component version required by the application conflicts with another component version already active. Conflicting components are:
Component 1: C:\Windows\WinSxS\manifests\x86_microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_9.0.30304.0_none_d9c474bda3593bfa.manifest.

Component 2: C:\Windows\WinSxS\manifests\x86_microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_9.0.30729.1_none_e163563597edeada.manifest.
You may also see the following error message before you get the error message about the side-by-side configuration:

This file association does not have a program associated with if for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Association control panel.

Cause


This issue is caused by a conflict with some of the files in the 2008 version of the C run-time libraries. These libraries are part of the Visual Studio 2008 release, the version numbers start with 9.0. These libraries may be installed with several different Microsoft and third party products.

Resolution


The steps below resolve the issue by setting the default version of the C run-time libraries to the highest version number you have installed on your computer. To set the default version, you will need to modify the registry.

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.


Windows Vista
  1. To open the Registry Editor, click the Start button and type “regedit.exe” (without the quotation marks) and press the ENTER key. If you see the User Account Control dialog box appear, click Continue.
  2. On the left side, expand the tree structure until you find the registry key that starts with "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS\Winners\x86_policy.9.0.microsoft.vc90.crt_".
  3. Expand the key above.
  4. Below that key, you should see a 9.0 key. Select the 9.0 registry key.
  5. In the right pane, make note of the number you see in the Data column for the row where the Name is set to (Default), in case you need to revert to this number later.
  6. Look through the list of numbers in the Name column and find the highest number.
  7. Double-click the (Default) string value to open the Edit String dialog box.
  8. Replace the number in the "Value data" box with the highest number you saw in step #6. Click OK.
  9. On the File menu, click Exit to close the Registry Editor.
  10. After completing step #8 the issue may be resolved. If you continue to see the same problem restart the computer. You may also need to follow the steps below to correct the file association error message.
After making this change to the registry you may still see file association error message. To correct that part of the problem, follow the remaining steps:

10. Locate the Access executable file (msaccess.exe). By default, on a 32-bit version of Windows this is located in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\ folder. On a 64-bit version of Windows this is located in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\ folder.

11. Rename msaccess.exe to msaccess.old.

12. Start the installer to create a version of msaccess.exe. To do this, start Access using the Start Button, All Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Access 2010.

Other versions of Windows

This problem is typically reported for computers running Vista. If you encounter the error message within a different Windows environment, you can use the same steps listed in the Windows Vista section. The only difference is the registry key path listed in step number 2 may be different. On other versions of Windows, the key path will start with "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide\Winners\x86_policy.9.0.microsoft.vc90.crt_".

Microsoft Office Access 2007

If you encounter the error message with Microsoft Office Access 2007, it will related to the 2005 version of the C run-time libraries. The version numbers of these libraries start with 8.0. You can still use the steps listed in the Windows Vista section; however, there will be two differences:
  • In step number 2, the registry path will have x86_policy.8.0.microsoft.vc80.crt instead of x86_policy.9.0.microsoft.vc90.crt.
  • In step number 3, you will need to select the 8.0 registry key.

More Information


To view the application event log in Vista, follow the steps below:
  1. Click the Start button and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Maintenance.
  3. Click Administrative Tools.
  4. Double-click Event Viewer.
  5. In the Console Tree on the left side, expand Windows Logs, and then click Application.