"TestExec.ini is not a configuration file" Error When Launch TestStand

Updated May 15, 2023

Reported In


  • TestStand

Issue Details

Why do I receive the following error when I launch the sequence editor: 

The TestStand Engine cannot be initialized.
File format error. The file 'C:\TestStand\Cfg\TestExec.ini' is not a configuration file.


This error is seen when the <TestStand>\Cfg\TestExec.ini file has an incorrect format. The incorrect format might be the result of choosing to perform a custom installation of TestStand and choosing not to install the TestStand Development components. Since the configuration files are part of these development components, choosing not to install them will result in missing .ini files including the TestExec.ini file. Therefore, the sequence editor fails to launch and gives this error. Alternatively, if the TestExec.ini file has been manually edited, mistakes in how new elements were added or how old elements were deleted could cause this error.

To resolve this error, do one of the following:
  1. Replace the TestExec.ini file with a copy from a computer where the Sequence Editor runs correctly. The installation directories on both computers must have the same absolute path.
  2. When you select a custom TestStand installation, choose to install the TestStand Development components.

Additional Information

In TestStand 2016, the TestExec.ini file was divided into several smaller files. The problem and solution described in this KB are still applicable to newer configuration files.