NullReferenceException with Products Configuration Wizard

Symptoms

You may experience the following issues:

  • When you use the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard, it fails during task 8 and returns the following error message:

    Failed to install the application content files.  
    This is a critical task. You have to fix the failures before you can continue.   
    An exception of type System.NullReferenceException was thrown. Additional exception information: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.   
    To diagnose the problem, review the application event log and the configuration log file located at:C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\LOGS\        
    

    And the following error is recorded in the PSCDiagnostics log file:

    Exception: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.   
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPAspConfigurationFile.ApplyActionToXmlDocument(XmlDocument xdAction, XmlDocument xd, String sourceFileName, SupportedXmlDocutmentActions supportedActions)   
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPAspConfigurationFile.MergeWebConfig(XmlDocument xdWebConfig, String fileMask)   
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService.ApplyApplicationContentToLocalServer()   
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.ApplicationContentTask.Run()   
    at Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.TaskThread.ExecuteTask()
    
  • When you use the SPWebService.ApplyApplicationContentToLocalServer method, you receive the following error message:

    Message Title     
    Exception calling "ApplyApplicationContentToLocalServer" with "0" argument(s):   
    "Object reference not set to an instance of an object."   
    At line:1 char:1   
    + $webservice.ApplyApplicationContentToLocalServer()  
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NullReferenceException           
    

Cause

The issues occur because there are comments in the web.config file of the SharePoint Web application.

Resolution

To resolve the issue, find and remove all comments from the web.config files for all SharePoint Web applications.

More information

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