IIS7.x: A Common Mistake when reinstalling IIS 7.x – errors 0x80070490 and 0x80070002

Problem and Symptoms:

There is a trick to reinstalling IIS7x that is not well known.  For those familiar with IIS 6.0, it is natural to try to uninstall IIS 7.0 (or 7.5), reboot, and expect it to reinstall fine.  If it doesn’t, it is somewhat natural, thinking still in terms of IIS 6.0 here, to go try to delete the metabase.xml file (which for IIS 7.x translates mostly to the three config files stored at c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\config).  Having deleted his config files, the IIS administrator attempts to install IIS, sees the installation seem to hang for an extended period of time, and then fail with a very vague error message such as:

installation failed”


the server needs to be restarted to undo the changes.”

Unfortunately there is no hint given at this point to check the c:\windows\iis7.log file.  If there were the relevant errors would be:

< WARNING! > Failed to detect if config redirection is enabled. result=0x80070490.Assuming config is not redirected and continuing.


< !!FAIL!! > LaunchCommand result=0x80070002


Root cause:

The WAS (Windows Activation Service or Windows Process Activation Service) needs to be uninstalled after IIS is uninstalled to properly remove the config files IIS uses for storing metadata and to properly remove IIS’ dependency on the old config files.   Manually deleting the applicationHost.config file and redirection.config files after uninstalling IIS will produce this error.



Uninstall IIS  (from server roles)

Uninstall Windows Process Activation Service  (from server features)


Install IIS again

Comments (12)

  1. Some Young Guy says:

    You are a GOD! thanks so much for this

  2. another frustrated user says:

    You are GOD!! – Can't believe that this answer is still relevant! (2 years after this post)

  3. I'm glad it was helpful! And I appreciate the compliment in the spirit in which it was intended.  But let me be the first to say that I am so not a god in any way. I'm just a blade of grass. Or maybe just a grasshopper.

    "All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. . . Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint…"    (Isaiah 40)

  4. Doug Rudder says:


  5. Steve C says:

    I'm getting these symptoms and that exact error in the log, but I don't HAVE the WPAS installed! So frustrating.

  6. Perhaps consider trying the following steps and let us know if it works please. (1) Uninstalling IIS. (2) Install WPAS by its self. (3) Remove the three config files at c:windowssystem32inetsrv. (4) install IIS again.  Good luck!   (This suggestion given with no guarantees of any kind.  Standard caveats and disclaimers apply.)

  7. Someone says:

    Nope… doesn't work…

  8. Garfield S says:

    Very useful tip. Strong IIS knowledge is the third leg of the stool on which all great SharePoint professionals stand.

  9. Lance says:

    Thank you a ZILLION!! You are a god-sent to me. Spent 8 hours on this already, before finding your post. I'll share this with others.

  10. Bruce Mitcheson says:

    Many thanks grasshopper – You may leave the monastery – worked brilliantly for me!

  11. Charles Cavanaugh PhD says:

    Thank you for this tip as I did exactly the things that produced the error. It is as relevant today as when you first posted it.

  12. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm a little surprised that it's still relevant five years later! Glad it is helping some.

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