Sites are down – IIS configuration Error.


2016-11-16 12:41:00 UTC


2017-08-16 18:35:52 UTC


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Sites are down – IIS configuration Error.

Applicable to:

  • Plesk for Windows
  • Plesk 11.x for Windows
  • Plesk 10.x for Windows
  • Plesk 12.0 for Windows


The IIS service does not respond. Websites and the Control Panel are down.

The following error is shown in IIS Manager:

Error: Cannot write configuration file


    There was an error while performing this operation.
Filename: \\\\?\\C:\\Windows\\system32\\inetsrv\\config\\applicationHost.config
Line number: 1517
Error: Configuration file is not well-formed XML

Note: The file path may differ from the above examples.


This issue may occur if there is not enough disk space on the server. The file path may vary from the one above, but, essentially, the error means that IIS has failed to write to one of its configuration files ( 'C:\\Windows\\System32\\inetsrv\\config\\applicationHost.config' in the above example).


Free up some disk space and restore the latest IIS configuration backup.

Example commands for IIS 7:

cd %windir%\\System32\\inetsrv

C:\\Windows\\System32\\inetsrv>appcmd list backup


C:\\Windows\\System32\\inetsrv>appcmd restore backup CFGHISTORY_0000000062
Restored configuration from backup "CFGHISTORY_0000000062"

NOTE: The file at the bottom of the list is usually the latest one. However, to confirm this, you may check the creation date. The backups are stored in 'C:\\Inetpub\\history' by default.

If your restoration fails with the following error:

    ERROR ( hresult:80070005, message:Command execution failed.
Access is denied.

Disable the 'Read Only' attribute on the 'C:\\Windows\\System32\\inetsrv\\config\\schema\\rewrite_schema' file.

Restart IIS after restoring the configuration:

iisreset /restart
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