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Windows Process Activation service error

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  • Windows Process Activation service error


    I ran into this error today. Its a tricky one and had me bugged for a while. When ever I went to start the IIS services it would return with this generic error,

    Windows Process Activation service (WAS) could not start - Error 13.

    I checked the event viewer logs and I had to go through 2 days worth of system logs and found this in the logs,

    Windows Process Activation service (WAS) could not start - Error 13 The data is invalid.

    It made me think there was something not right with the IIS Metabase and I started to look for changes made in IIS configurations.

    While Looking at the IIS configuration files at c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\config specifically the applicationHost.config file I saw the size at 0 bytes. This was not correct on a live production server. So I went into the backup files for IIS which are created at c:\inetpub\history and saw the last backup file there and saw the size at 117 KB. IIS creates a backup of the applicationHost.config file in c:\inetpub\history. All you need to do is copy a good copy from the history and put it into c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\config folder.

    Restart IIS and all services and errors should be resolved. Hope this helps.

    The error was probably caused by an attempt to edit the IIS Metabase.