One of the developers was looking to debug the solution package on a web application from a server which wasn’t hosting the web application as it had visual studio on it.
Started the Web Application service and it stuck at starting
IISRESET didn’t come to rescue; I had to run the stsadm command by changing the command prompt path to the 14 hives to resolve the service stuck at starting .
stsadm -o provisionservice -action start -servicetype spwebservice
Note: this has to run from the server where you intend to host the web application
And then IISRESET / NOFORCE
There is a KB Article which talks at great length why this happens and how to overcome this: