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Sitecore – CryptographicException file not found

After installing a new instance of Sitecore manually, I kept receiving the following error:

CryptographicException file not found

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
The system cannot find the file specified.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.
Exception Details: System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: The system cannot find the file specified.
Source Error:
An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[CryptographicException: The system cannot find the file specified.
System.Security.Cryptography.Utils.CreateProvHandle(CspParameters parameters, Boolean randomKeyContainer) +7715070
System.Security.Cryptography.DSACryptoServiceProvider.ImportParameters(DSAParameters parameters) +258
System.Security.Cryptography.DSA.FromXmlString(String xmlString) +501
Sitecore.Nexus.Licensing.NexusLicenseApi.(String xml, Guid instance) +124
Sitecore.Nexus.Licensing.NexusLicenseApi.GetSnapShot(Guid instance) +683
Sitecore.SecurityModel.License.LicenseManager.GetSnapshotData(Guid instance) +47
Sitecore.SecurityModel.License.LicenseManager.UpdateSnapshot() +70
Sitecore.SecurityModel.License.LicenseManager.Initialize() +8
Sitecore.Nexus.Web.HttpModule.Application_Start() +76
Sitecore.Nexus.Web.HttpModule.Init(HttpApplication app) +435
System.Web.HttpApplication.InitModulesCommon() +65
System.Web.HttpApplication.InitModules() +43
System.Web.HttpApplication.InitInternal(HttpContext context, HttpApplicationState state, MethodInfo[] handlers) +729
System.Web.HttpApplicationFactory.GetNormalApplicationInstance(HttpContext context) +298
System.Web.HttpApplicationFactory.GetApplicationInstance(HttpContext context) +107
System.Web.HttpRuntime.ProcessRequestInternal(HttpWorkerRequest wr) +289

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.4927; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.4927

This random error is actually being caused by the IIS application pool not being configured to run using a non-standard user account Identity.

The solution:

To solve the problem, set Load User Profile to true for the website application pool in IIS.

  1. Open IIS Manager
  2. Click on Application Pools on the right.
  3. Right Click on the application pool for your web site and select “Advanced Settings”
  4. In the Process Model section, set Load User Profile to true.


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