Solution for event id 5172, 5036 and 5005 (Windows Process Activation) redirection.config missing error

Wow, what an ugly problem tonight. And a whole bunch of FUD I found on Google that produced no help whatsoever.



Here’s the inventory of systems I had here (yours may differ)

  • Windows Server 2008
  • IIS 7
  • WSS 3.0



  • Event ID 7023, 7036, 5172, 5036 and 5005
  • Error text included things like:
Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) is stopping because it encountered an error. The data field contains the error number.
The configuration manager for Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) did not initialize. The data field contains the error number.
The Windows Process Activation Service encountered an error trying to read configuration data from file 'redirection.config', line number '0'.  The error message is: 'Cannot read configuration file
'.  The data field contains the error number.
The Windows Process Activation Service service terminated with the following error: 
The system cannot find the file specified.
The Windows Process Activation Service service entered the stopped state.


The Problem

  • Besides the crappy errors above, this also meant IIS7 stopped responding totally. Dead, Nada, Nothing.  I thought I was going to be able to depend on restoring using the APPCMD, but it doesn’t backup the redirection.config file, which is what it was complaining about (nice, huh?).  The good news is that the other two files that got whacked (still to be determined ‘why’), which are administration.config and applicationHost.config, I was able to find copies of these (older but workable) in C:inetpubhistory (a whole series of folders were available to me in there, named like this… CFGHISTORY_0000000009, etc.), and I put those into the C:WindowsSystem32inetsrvconfig folder, to replace those (as they were whacked as well).



The Solution

  • Well, it turned out Backup Exec (gawd I hate Symantec, every product they touch… ugh, don’t get me started…) didn’t back up this file either.  The file should be located in (unless you have moved it) C:WindowsSystem32inetsrvconfig.
  • Luckily, I had another Windows Server 2008 machine running IIS 7, that had a working redirection.config file on it (and it doesn’t contain much) and hopefully the contents of it below might help someone who needs it (use at your own risk, yours may not be meant to be like this after customization!)


Contents of my redirection.config file, (your results may vary), in case it proves helpful…

        <section name="configurationRedirection" />
            <add name="IISRsaProvider" type="" description="Uses RsaCryptoServiceProvider to encrypt and decrypt" keyContainerName="iisConfigurationKey" cspProviderName="" useMachineContainer="true" useOAEP="false" />
    <configurationRedirection />


An IISRESET was the last step for me, though I did give it a reboot after too, and for one Web Application (Trend Micro OfficeScan Console, I had to restart its application pool).

10 responses to “Solution for event id 5172, 5036 and 5005 (Windows Process Activation) redirection.config missing error

  1. Thanks for this post Sean, it helped solve a Dev server issue that was driving us crazy.  Same situation, IIS files were not backed up and these particular slices weren’t snapped by VMWare SW.

  2. Hi!
    In my case the applicationhost.config file was blank.

    I dont have backup, but went to another IIS and copy the file value.

    Thanks a lot

  3. In my case the %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationhost.config file was blank. So i replaced this with a copy from c:\inetpub\history but this did not solve the problem. Some strange error pointing to file “NetFx40_IIS_schema_update” occured. I had a similar server from which i copied the “c:\inetpub\config\schema” map. Command “IISreset /noforce” did the trick, i was able to start the w3svc service.

    1. Additional: cause unknown but problems began when the recommended update KB3186497 ( 4.7) was installed.

      1. Hi! I was wondering if the solution could be elaborated. As per the article, the files for me were already correct and not corrupt or blank. I’m stuck with this issue and reinstalling IIS is not working for me. I’m developing on .Net v4.7.1. I also was not able to understand what to do with the “NetFx40_IIS_schema_update.xml”. Hoping to hear from you soon.

  4. A big THANK YOU!!! After hours of search your post solved the issue for me (Thankfully I had a backup)

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