"This application has failed to start because the side-by-side configuration is incorrect..."

Matthew Yetter
Matthew Yetter
  • Updated

Upon first launching your software for the PC you may receive the following error:

"This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem."

This is not a ZBrush error.   It is a Windows error that affects ZBrush, ZBrushCore or the Pixologic License Manager.  The Microsoft Visual C++ components that our software makes use of are either missing or damaged. 

What it comes down to is that Microsoft recognizes that developers often have to do the same things as they write applications.  Rather than requiring developers to reinvent the wheel, they provide libraries of pre-built code that developers can then use.  It saves time and effort while also resulting in a higher level of standardization between apps.  However, as with any software, various things can cause these components to be damaged.  Sometimes it’s just normal system decay.  Sometimes it’s because a developer decided that the C++ libraries weren’t EXACTLY what they needed so they modified some of the .dll files – but instead of doing it to a copy of the files they overwrite the originals.  This works fine for their software but then it messes things up for any other software that might need the same files. 

Whatever the cause actually is on your machine, there is nothing wrong with your ZBrush or ZBrushCore installation.  It’s entirely a Windows issue.

There are several possible ways to fix this issue depending on exactly what is wrong.  We recommend that you try the following steps in order since they put the easiest solution first and each requires progressively more effort.  

Please keep in mind that as a Windows issue rather than a ZBrush issue, our ability to assist is limited.  What follows is the extent of our knowledge regarding how to resolve this error.  If this advice does not help, please consult with Microsoft for additional possibilities and support.

1) The quickest and easiest thing to check is to ensure that you have the right registry key.  Navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > SideBySide > Winners > x86_policy.9.0.microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_none_02d0010672fd8219 > 9.0

(The part in italics can vary from one computer to the next.)

Look on the right side for Default and compare it with the keys below it.  The value in the Data column for the Default row should match the highest number that you see in the Name column.  

So if the Default Data value is, for example but the highest number you see in the Name column is higher such as 9.0.30729.9177 then you need to edit the Default Data value.  Edit the Default Data value to be the same as the highest Name value.

Now save your changes and restart your machine.  This will most likely resolve your issue.


2) The first thing to do to try fixing the error is to go to your ZBrush or ZBrushCore installation's \Troubleshoot Help folder and run the vcredist installers found there.  We recommend installing the following three vcredist first:





If your software still does not run we recommend running the remaining three vcredist installers before trying to launch ZBrush or ZBrushCore again.  One or more of them will error out but install anything it lets you install.  Then try running the software.  You’ll probably still get the same error, but this is the easiest possible fix so it’s what we direct people to do first.


3) If this does work, go to the Windows Control Panel >> Uninstall a program.  Uninstall everything that is Microsoft Visual C++.  Then restart your computer and run the vcredist installers again.  Try ZBrush or ZBrushCore again.


4) If that doesn’t work, run some system checks to scan your computer and perform a repair.  Open a Command window (in Run as Administrator mode), then type sfc /scannow and press Enter.  Wait for that to complete, then try ZBrush or ZBrushCore again.


5) If that doesn’t work, open the Command window again (in Run as Administrator mode) but this time type DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press enter.  Wait until it completes, then try ZBrush or ZBrushCore again.


6) If that doesn’t fix the issue, see this answer from Microsoft: 


It applies to any program giving this issue.


7) One of those should fix the issue.  If it doesn’t, then the only way you’ll be able to get your Pixologic software running on that machine is to reset your system.  You’ll need to back up all of your files of course because this will remove everything from your system and put you back to when Windows was first installed. 

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