An application may crash with the following error message "The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is in correct. Please see the application event log for more detail."

In the Application Event Viewer log:

Activation context generation failed for "C:\.....\App.exe". Dependent Assembly Microsoft.VC80.DebugCRT,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="8.0.50608.0" could not be found. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnose.

In order to diagnose side-by-side errors, start SxSTracing using the below command:

SxsTrace Trace -logfile:SxsTrace.etl

Then run your application that is causing the problem (reproduce the issue). Once it is done, press Enter to stop the tracing and use the below command to generated a text formatted file of the output.

sxstrace Parse -logfile:SxSTrace.etl -outfile:SxSTrace.txt

Reviewing the generated text file should give details of each of the loaded modules and the bindings.

For example:
ERROR: Cannot resolve reference Microsoft.VC90.ATL,processorArchitecture="x86",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",type="win32",version="9.0.21022.8". ERROR: Activation Context generation failed. End Activation Context Generation.

In this scenario, I installed VC runtime (x86) version="9.0.21022.8" on the system to resolve the issue. The package Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Service Pack 1 Redistributable Package ATL Security Update is available at

N.B. Sxstrace.exe is shipped with Windows Vista/higher Operating Systems and it resides in %windir%\system32.