Bitbucket Server service (64-bit) fails to start - not a valid Win32 application

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After upgrading to Bitbucket Server or updating the JVM, the  Bitbucket Server service will no longer start. Trying to run "NET START BITBUCKET" gives the following:

The Atlassian Bitbucket Server service could not be started.

A service specific error occured: 1.

The System event log has the following message:

The Atlassian Bitbucket Server service terminated with service-specific error Incorrect function.

The following appears in the log:  <Bitbucket Server install directory>/logs/commons-daemon.YYYY-MM-DD.log

[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [info]  Commons Daemon procrun ( 64-bit) started
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [info]  Running 'bitbucket' Service...
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [info]  Starting service...
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [error] %1 is not a valid Win32 application.
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [error] Failed creating java C:\devTools\Java\x32\jdk1.6.0_33\jre\bin\server\jvm.dll
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [error] %1 is not a valid Win32 application.
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [error] ServiceStart returned 1
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [error] %1 is not a valid Win32 application.
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [info]  Run service finished.
[2013-02-19 20:51:42] [info]  Commons Daemon procrun finished

However, Bitbucket Server will be up and running if you run it directly, as in executing the start-bitbucket.bat file. Tomcat comes up running and everything will work.


  1. You have a 64-bit OS and you skipped the custom changes that have to be done to your new installation.
  2. There is a mismatch between the Java JVM (32-bit) and the Bitbucket Server binary (64-bit).


1. Skipped custom changes

If you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, first ensure that Bitbucket Server uses a 64-bit JVM (check by running java -version  in a Command Prompt, and ensure that the  JAVA_HOME system environment variable points to the 64-bit JVM), and then replace the 32-bit Tomcat binaries with their 64-bit counterparts  in the  <Bitbucket Server installation directory>/bin directory:

cd <BSERV-INST/bin>
rename tomcat7.exe tomcat7.exe.x86
rename tcnative-1.dll tcnative-1.dll.x86
rename tomcat7.exe.x64 tomcat7.exe
rename tcnative-1.dll.x64 tcnative-1.dll

2. JVM mismatch

  1. Remove the existing service, e.g. <Bitbucket Server install directory>/bin/service remove
  2. Install a 64-bit Java JDK.
  3. Open a shell window and ensure JAVA_HOME points to the root install folder of the Java version, e.g. C:\devTools\Java\x64\jdk1.7.0_10
  4. Install the service, e.g. <Bitbucket Server install directory>/bin/service install

The value of JAVA_HOME is set upon service creation (either via the system or local variable). Changing the value of the system variable after the service has been installed will have no affect on the service.

3. Your Windows service is pointing to the incorrect JVM

 Sometimes you could be

Service Name

If you don't know the exact name of your old Stash service, you can find out what they are by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to 'Control Panel' > 'Administrative Tools' > 'Services'.
  2. The 'Services' window should appear.
  3. Right-click on the service you wish to find out the name of, and select 'Properties' from the popup menu.
  4. The 'Service name' should appear in the 'General' tab.
    • Use this parameter as a substitute for <ServiceName here> on the command below.
  • Open the command window from Start >> Run >> type in 'cmd' >> Enter
  • cd to the bin directory the Stash Installation (<Stash Installation dir>/bin).
  • Run from there:

    tomcat8w //ES//<ServiceName here>
  • A window will pop up. Click on the Java tab. On the field "Java Virtual Machine" check the value that is input.

  • It will be %JAVA_HOME%\bin\server\jvm.dll. For example, there was a situation that the customer had:

    • C:\program files\java\jre1.8.0_45\bin\server\jvm.dll
    • But we pointed his service to a different JRE: C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_60\bin\server\jvm.dll

Last modified on Aug 19, 2019

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