The other day about 1/2 way into the day I get a call from a client saying “we haven’t received any emails all day”. I automatically go to the exchange server to look at the services. I noticed most of the exchange services were running. IIS and two Exchange services weren’t running however. What made this a bit tricky was all the client computers said that exchange was up and running. They just couldn’t send or receive emails.
The next thing I did was to go look in the Error Event Log on the server. When I went to open the MMC for the server manager it came back with the error: 18ea3f92-d6aa–41d9-a205-2023400c8fbb. I tried a few other things that used MMC’s and almost all of them came back with that same error: 18ea3f92-d6aa–41d9-a205-2023400c8fbb.
After doing some searches most people gave up and redid their servers if they got this error. Some of the things they had suggested I tried. Still nothing.
I thought, I wonder if I remotely opened up the event viewer. I entered the server name.Voila! I could see all the errors.
After further inspections I found what seemed to be the error that started them all. It was Event 5173 – WAS. The error read:
- The Windows Process Activation Service encountered an error trying to read configuration data for config section ‘system.applicationHost/webLimits’ from file ‘\\?\C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\CONFIG\machine.config’, line number ‘146’. The error message is: ‘The configuration section ‘system.serviceModel’ cannot be read because it is missing a section declaration
‘. The data field contains the error number.
I went to that folder and opened the machine.config file. It’s an XML file that contains a bunch of configuration information about the machine for .net. When I saw that file I figured that there was going to be some crazy ASCII characters in it. Everything seemed to be fine.
According to this Microsoft KB the server supposedly backs up files in another location. Don’t even bother. No dice.
I did notice in the C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\CONFIG folder that there was a machine.config.default file. It was from several years ago and it was 2kb smaller then the current file which was 22kb. I renamed the current machine.config file and called it machine.config.old and made a copy of the “default” file. I renamed it to machine.config.
I went into services and started World Wide Web service. It took a few seconds but it started! I then proceeded to go and start the rest of the services that should have auto started with the machine. They all started! I went and checked my Outlook client. The emails in the outbox had already left. Within about 20 minutes the mail was flowing again like it should have been.
Hopefully this helps anyone who had the same issues I had.