How To Resolve Mmc.exe Error In Windows

What is "mmc.exe”?

Microsoft Management Console or MMC is a generic process used to run the administrative tools and plug-ins like Device manager that are present in the Control Panel of Windows operating systems. The mmc.exe file is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Operating System and Applications affected by the mmc.exe error are:

  • All versions of Windows 2000
  • All versions of Windows 2003
  • MS SQL server

Error appearing on the screen

“mmc.exe - Application Error Message:

The instruction at "Memory_Address" referenced memory at "Memory_Address". The memory could not be "read". Click OK to terminate the program.”

What should I do to fix the mmc.exe error?

MMC.exe is an integral part of the Windows operating system. However, it is not a core process. It starts when the ‘Administrative tools’ are run in the operating system. You should not terminate this process until you suspect something is wrong with it. This can happen due to three reasons:

  1. SQL Server 7.0 Database program
  2. Problem with Event Viewer on Windows 2000
  3. Mmc.exe is corrupt or affected by a virus

Error with SQL Server 7.0 Database program

This error pops up in SQL because of two reasons:

  1. MMC.exe keeps running in the Task List – If SQL is used as a replication distributor, then the option ‘Automatically Refresh Items Displayed under Replication Monitor in the Server Tree’ is enabled by default. So, even after closing the SQL enterprise manager, mmc.exe keeps running and tries to refresh the items. When this happens, execution of any other command will keep returning the error.

    Workaround Solution

    The work around for this is to not select the default option ‘Automatically Refresh Items Displayed under Replication Monitor in the Server Tree’.  This problem has been recognized as a bug in SQL 7.0 and has been corrected in Service Pack 1 (SP1). You can download SQL 7.0 SP1 from Microsoft Support website.

  2. Closing Script Error – When a large script is previewed in the database and you try to copy that using the Copy toolbar, the mmc.exe error pops up on the screen.

    Workaround Solution

    The workaround for this is not to use the Copy toolbar button from the preview Window. Instead, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C to copy text to notepad and change the script according to your needs.

Problem with Event Viewer in Windows 2000

After viewing an event in the Event Viewer in Windows 2000, the mmc.exe error may pop up on closure. This is because the directory cache referring to the object unloads when the global cache de-constructor is called.


This is again a bug in Windows and can be resolved by downloading the hotfix that fixes this issue from the Microsoft Support website.

Mmc.exe is Corrupt or Affected by a Virus

W32/Dzan-A is a virus that overwrites and registers the file on a Windows system. This is when it writes itself to the registry so that it can start with the Windows core processes. The virus is notorious for dramatically slowing down the PC because it constantly keeps connecting to the internet to download more malicious files.

You can check if mmc.exe is slowing down your system in the Task Manager using these steps –

  1. Right-click the Taskbar.
  2. Click Task Manager.
  3. Under the Processes tab look for mmc.exe process and its CPU usage.

If the CPU Usage is anything above 2-3%, then the file is affected. To take care of this, you should immediately upgrade your Antivirus program and run a full system scan.