Solution to Microsoft Flight Simulator X “side-by-side” Error

This is a mini-guide for those struggling with trying to get Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) Deluxe, and the Acceleration Expansion pack working on Windows 7 x64. The two big issues which I will cover are the “side-by-side” configuration error message, and frequent crashing while in the game.

side-by-side configuration error

This error message typically manifests itself and reads along the lines of: “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more detail.”

The application event log might look something similar to the following.

Flight Simulator is looking for an x86 Vicual C++ redistributable library. Download and install: vcredist_x86.exe. Once you have this needed library installed, the side-by-side error for FSX and the Acceleration Expansion Pack should disappear.

The above solution was found by lvl99hp on fsxhelp.wetpaint.com

Frequent crashes in game

Once you’ve finally made it into the game and start flying around, you might notice frequent crashes, particularly after doing anything with the menu. The errors that appear in the event log might look similar to the following and list uiautomationcore.dll as the culprit.

Apparently, using the Visa version of uiautomationcore.dll will do the trick.

  1. Download version 6.0.5840.16386 of uiautomationcore.dll
  2. Place this file in the Flight Simulator X application folder. For example, if you’re running Windows 7 x64, this folder would be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator X.

The above solution was found by Bill_KA350 on avsim.net

Final Remarks

These two tricks got me up and running and back in flight simulation heaven. It took several hours for me to track down this information, and the correct solutions are not easily found by Google. My hope is that this blog post brings them to the surface for others.

This article is officially complete at this point. What follows is a personal rant on the universal truth that ALL products made, or touched, by Microsoft become pure rubbish. Feel free to move along to more productive things if you wish [such as getting some flying time in].

Rant

I spent several hours tracking down solutions to these problems. Every minute of which further reinforces my poor opinion of Microsoft products. I admit that their concepts aren’t always bad, but their implementations have historically been proven to be plain awful.

Let’s start with the side-by-side error message: “. . . this application failed to start because side-by-side configuration is incorrect.” !@#$!@##% what does this message even mean? It adds absolutely no value towards resolving the problem. Searching Google for help yields very little useful information. No, finally after extensive digging, information comes to the surface from the Microsoft developer Web site. Well, what is the user supposed to do with developer information I have to ask? It’s so vague that it doesn’t even help me [a developer] resolve the problem.

All I know now is that the application is expecting some kind of library on the system, but can’t find it. Absolutely no mention about how to find it. Theoretically there’s a command line logging tool that can assist you here: sxstrace.exe, but there is little information on how to use it. The help documentation is (un)surprisingly unhelpful. After even more digging, I found the link I attributed above for this problem with a solution that worked.

I won’t even get into the crashing problem in detail. I swear that every time I use Windows I spend more time trying to just get things to work than getting actual work [or play] done. Even on a clean slate, there are errors and problems left and right that have to be fixed. If I want to sit around and do that, then I might as well use GNU/Linux! At least, in the case of a GNU/Linux distribution it’s not fixing undecipherable problems so much as simply wasting time endlessly tweaking.

It reminds me of my Zune incident. Back when the Zune was the new device on the block, and before I was sucked into the Apple iWorld, I had purchased a nice new Zune. However, the Zune refused to sync or be recognized by my computer. I called Zune support for assistance and spent many hours on the phone to no avail. I finally completely wiped my hard drive and performed a fresh clean installation of Windows XP, and again tried loading the Zune software. Nope. Nothing. Fresh out of the box on both counts and the damn stuff doesn’t even work. I exchanged the Zune for a replacement to see if that was the problem. It wasn’t. I even borrowed a friends old computer and used one of my spare hard drives and performed a fresh clean installation of Windows on it, just to make sure it wasn’t something fishy with my computer. Still, no love making between Windows and the Zune.

That was one of the incidents [among several others] that soured my view of Microsoft to the point of nausea. There is no excuse for this nonsense. I got my money back from the Zune purchase, but Microsoft should have paid me for the time wasted trying to get their advertised product working on unmodified systems.

Sigh — I guess what I mean to say is that I’m disappointed and tired of dealing with Microsoft related manure. And yet, I love the Flight Simulator experience and am stuck in a love/hate relationship between the concept and the implementation. Fin. Enough tilting at windmills for the time being. You gain extra karma if you’re still reading this.

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