Windows – Cannot start WAS and W3SVC

If you get “System error 2 has occurred” when starting WAS (Windows Activation Services) and you also cannot start W3SVC (World Wide Web Publishing Service), try the following:

  • Open Regedit.msc
  • Go into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WAS\Parameters
  • Locate the NanoSetup DWORD
  • Delete the NanoSetup DWORD
  • Open an elevated command prompt and run “net start was” and “net start W3SVC”