Configuration system failed to initialize 0x84B10001 when installing SQL Server on Windows

This week we will discuss one of the most common error messages we get while we install SQL Server 2008 R2 on Windows systems. This is the fifth article of SQL Troubleshooting series we started few weeks ago. In the last couple of weeks, we discussed various error messages when installing SQL. This week we’ll discuss most of the common errors; “Configuration system failed to initialize 0x84B10001”.


Configuration system failed to initialize 0x84B10001

When I first received this error I had to do a lot of research to find out the reason. After a lot of searxhing found out that this error happens due to Microsoft .NET.

Under C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\CONFIG there is a machine.config file that is causing this error.

The Machine.config file, contains settings that apply to an entire computer. This file is located in the C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\CONFIG directory. Machine.config contains configuration settings for machine-wide assembly binding, built-in remoting channels, and ASP.NET. The configuration system first looks in the machine configuration file and other configuration sections when a developer might call. This file contains, among many other XML elements, a browserCaps element. Inside this element is a number of other elements that specify parse rules for the various User-Agents, and what properties each of these parsings supports.

In order to fix this error we have to modify the Machine.config file. We need to remove the configuration section that contains all the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) ServiceModel configuration elements. I’m still confused as to why we need to remove this section for this error message to go away.

There a two methods that you can try to resolve this problem.

Method One

In this method we will modify the Machine.config file.

  • Go to C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\CONFIG 
  • Look for Machine.config file and create a copy of that file somewhere as a backup
  • Right click on Machine.config and click on Edit (It’s best to use Notepad++ to modify this file)
  • Look for the following section (Search for  <system.serviceModel>)


  • Delete the entire configuration till <system.serviceModel> i.e. from <system.serviceModel> to <system.serviceModel>
  • Save the Machine.config file.

Now try to install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and see if you are getting the same error.

Method Two

In this method you can try to download Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 latest server pack and try to install it. Because according to Microsoft this error is fixed with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service pack 1. But I’m not sure how many cases it actually fixed the problem, that’s why I mentioned the Method one.

These methods should help you in resolving this error.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at