Are you sure it was the .Meta file that was causing the issue, or have you also removed the .shared file ?
I've have never seen a .Meta file with errors, however a .Shared file containing objects by deleted (non existing) users causes issues.
In the reference manual is a description how you could automatically scan and repair the Shared files.
It is called the "Shared file Cleaning Tool"
Same problem today for me. Corrupt Meta-File killed the whole Server. Nothing helped until stopping server-service and delete the meta-file. Start the service again and enjoy! No applications could be opened up. Nothing was responding on management console. Just the eventlog helped me out.
I hope this never happens again. 2 hours downtime. First bigger downtime since 5 years.