Not too long ago, when I selected the Add/Remove Windows Components option in the Control Panel Add or Remove Programs applet on my Windows Server 2003 machine, the Windows Components Wizard took a long time to appear or hung completely. When this problem occurred, the Event Viewer system log stated that Microsoft IIS had configuration problems with the metabase.xml file.

I haven't determined what causes the corruption of metabase.xml, but I have figured out how to make the Windows Components Wizard appear immediately when I select the Add/Remove Windows Components option. If you have to wait around for your Windows Components Wizard to appear, follow these steps:

  1. Stop the IIS Admin Service. (By default, it won't start when the metabase.xml file is corrupted.)
  2. Go to the C:\windows\systems32\inetsrv directory, rename the mbschema.xml and metabase.xml files to mbschema.old and metabase.old, respectively.
  3. Go to the C:\windows\system32\inetsrv\history directory and find the latest timestamp for two files: MBSchema_0000000xxx_000000000 0.xml and Metabase_0000000xxx _0000000000.xml files, where xxx is the version number. The version numbers for the two files must be the same.
  4. Copy the MBSchema_0000000 xxx_0000000000.xml and Metabase _0000000xxx_0000000000.xml files into the C:\windows\system32\inetsrv directory. Rename them mbschema.xml and metabase.xml, respectively.
  5. Restart the IIS Admin Service.
  6. Reboot the server.

The Windows Components Wizard will now appear immediately when you select Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components.

—James Lim
james_k_k_lim@apl.com