First off, I've been scouring the posts here and elsewhere looking for a solution to this issue, and I appreciate any help. The closest I have found is here, but the answer was not followed-through. My apologies if this is a "obvious" question as I'm new to SP development and have recently inherited this farm from the previous admin. I am trying to add a new application server to the farm to facilitate search indexing as it has become too much to handle for the single server that currently comprises the farm.

The error message I am getting when adding the server (either through the wizard or powershell) is:

Connect-SPConfigurationDatabase : Failed to apply web.config modifications to file
'E:\Inetpub\SharePoint\VirtualDirectories\80\web.config'. Failed to apply a web.config
modification to file 'E:\Inetpub\SharePoint\VirtualDirectories\80\web.config'. The
specified node "configuration/system.webServer/staticContent" was not found in the
web.config file.

I have checked the file, and this node is present and populated. Also, I have verified permissions for this account on the SQL server in case that matters. Both servers are on the June 2016 CU, and I have also made sure the passphrase is correct by changing it a few times. This caused a need to rebuild the cache so that has been completed, also. I'm not sure where to go from here.

  • which web.config is giving error? central admin or web application or?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 15:37
  • This web.config is for the main web application. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 16:47
  • How any servers in the farm
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 16:49
  • The Web Config is case sensitive. Make sure you check the case of the nodes. Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 18:01
  • One WFE application server in the farm and one SQL server. Trying to add a second application server. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


try this one

  • go to the IIS Manager, Click on the Server and in the feautre pane select the configuration Editor
  • On this page from drop down Exapand System.WebServer and Click on the StaticContent
  • Now on in Action Tab(right hand side) Make Sure it say Lock Section if not then unlock it.
  • Do this on all Servers and reset IIS.

This link is basically go through the above steps


  • The section shows as unlocked with the "Lock Section" option available. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 17:29
  • Ok then click on unlock, it should say locked and re ran the config wizard? Make sure it shows lock on all server especially on the new server
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 17:32
  • To clarify, under Actions > Section it should say "Lock Section" or "Unlock Section"? It currently shows "Lock Section" Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 17:51
  • It should say lock section
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 18:40
  • Yes, that is what is currently showing. Could this message also appear if there's an issue connecting to the configuration database? Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 18:58

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