Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Scan Initialization Failed error with WebInspect

This error is an oldie and a goldie.  It generally appears when a WebInspect user attempts to run a new scan, and it then prevents that.  Technically, this is a SQL Express issue with corrupted cache, and the user would be prevented from any database-related activity within WebInspect including starting new scans, opening existing scans, generating reports, or importing scans.

The fix of deleting the SQL Express cache folder takes under one minute, but it took SPI Dynamics support many months to investigate and verify this fact.  Enjoy!


  • Windows7 & Vista:  C:\Users\%CURRENTUSER%\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data\SQLEXPRESS\      (or ..\MSSQLEXPRESS\)
      • UAC may prevent browsing to this folder, but this can be bypassed by having the user open it by Running "%APPDATA%" from  the Windows Start Menu or the Windows Explorer Path field. This command short-cut will open Windows Explorer into their \Local\ folder, and they will need to go up one folder to locate the \Roaming\ folder path.

  • Windows XP:  C:\Documents and Settings\%CURRENTUSER%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server Data\SQLEXPRESS\   (or ..\MSSQLEXPRESS\)


To delete the SQL Express Cache folder, it is generally necessary to perform these additional steps:

  1. Exit WebInspect.
  2. Stop these Windows services, if running:
    • "SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS)"   [or "SQL Server (MSSQLEXPRESS)"]
    • "WebInspect Scheduler Service"
    • "AMP Sensor for WebInspect"
  3. Open the Task Manager and locate and "End Process" for any sqlservr.exe processes listed.
  4. Close the "HP Application Security Monitor" found in the System Tray, if present.
  5. Delete the SQL Express cache folder.
  6. Restart SQL Express service.
    • If desired, restart the other "WebInspect" named services.
  7. Restart WebInspect and verify functioning (new scan, import, or report generation).
    • If desired, restart the HP Application Security Monitor process from the Windows Start Menu.


  1. Delete the cache folder again, but do not restart the services yet.
  2. Verify the user is logged on as a Local Administrator account.
  3. Delete the Scans.XML file (will be rebuilt) from WebInspect's ScanData directory:
    • C:\Users\%CURRENTUSER%\AppData\Local\HP\HP WebInspect\ScanData\   (Windows 7 64-bit)
    • Or, C:\Documents and Settings\%CURRENTUSER%\Local Settings\Application Data\SPI Dynamics\WebInspect\7.0\ScanData\
  4. Verify the existence of a "version.txt" file accompanying the Scans.xml file in that same ScanData directory.
    • It can be created by hand by copying the current file contents from another up-to-date WebInspect installation.
  5. Verify that the SQLEXPRESS service is being run by the default service name, "NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService", or one with more permissions.
  6. This error can occur when  a user attempts to "Run As" a limited-use administrative domain user account that is not a Local Administrator such as "Domain\SQLServer2005SQLBrowserUser".
  7. Restart the services for SQL Express and WebInspect and verify the fix.

I even put together and attached a rudimentary BATCH file that does the basic Fix for you, although you can check its logic and update as needed.  This script, FixScanInitFailed.bat, was based on a Windows 7 x64 installation of WebInspect 10.x.


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2 Replies
l9lxe4i1oyu1 Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Scan Initialization Failed error with WebInspect

Thank you so much for posting this.  It resolved an issue that was becoming very vexing.  I had to go to the "Advanced fix" method.  version.txt was not present and since I didn't have another working install, I figured I might have to reinstall to get a good copy of it.  But after searching c:\ for version.txt, I found one in \Program Files (x86)\HP\HP WebInspect\dat\Extensions\RRE\content

I can't verify that it matches the right version, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.  WebInspect was able to load a past scan and generate a report.

The version of WebInspect is reported as 10.30.507.10.  Is that what should be in the version.txt?  The copy that I found reads "12.0.1709.0".  Like I said, it works, but I'd like to avoid further problems in case it matters.

Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Scan Initialization Failed error with WebInspect

That is new to me, that the Version.txt file is no longer in the ScanData folder.  It has been quite some time since I have had to use or investigate it to that degree.  I cannot verify is the Version.txt found elsewhere is related or not.  In my own WI 10.30 installation, the contents show the same as yours, "12.0.1709.0".

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