I ran into the error of “Task applicationcontent has stopped and failed” when running the Configuration Wizard after the installing of Service Pack 1.
At that moment, you need to check your log files (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS)
– Task applicationcontent has failed
debugMessage for task applicationcontent is An exception of type System.NullReferenceException was thrown. Additional exception information: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. 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()
Solution: The answer is hidden in the exception message (not always!)
One of the custom web.config files was out-dated and not removed on that server (extra WFE server in the farm) .(location of the config files: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\CONFIG)
After removing the custom config file, the configuration wizard didn’t complain.
Keep in de mind that the configuration wizard will merge all those separated config files. So those files needs to be correctly and also well-formed!