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Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 problem: mmc has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it.

Posted on 2014-09-02
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Last Modified: 2014-10-06
I have 2 servers with Windows Server 2008 Standard R2 SP1 and, after installing Microsoft updates, I started to get the error described in the title of this message. Such a problem occurs when trying to run Event Viewer and Server Manager. I searched in Google and found this link (http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2012/08/10/mmc-has-detected-an-error-in-a-snap-in-and-will-unload-it.aspx ) but it did not fix my situation. I have not found any other real answer to this issue. I am attaching an image of the error of one of the servers for your review, I would like to work for a solution for one server first and consider the other one separately in case the solution does not solve the second one because it seems that the Microsoft updates that caused this problem are not the same in both servers.

Respectfully,
Jorge Maldonado
Screen.jpg
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Question by:Jorge Maldonado
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40298965
Can you try reinstalling the .net framework on the computer in question:

    Open Server Manager.
    Right click Features and select Add Features
    Expand .Net Framework 3.5.1 Features
    Select the check box next to the .NET Framework 3.5.1
    Click on Install.

Or simply download and remove - reinstall the .net framework:
Simply uninstall from Add Remove programs then either - add the feature or download and reinstall the version by downloading the package online.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30653
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40299025
I cannot run Server Manager because I get the error that I mention in this thread. After closing the error window no options are available in Server Manager so the first of your choices does not apply.

Also, .NET Framework is not shown as part of the installed programs in the "Programs and Features" section of Windows Server 2008 so I cannot uninstall it. Is there any other way to uninstall it?

It seems that there are several versions of .NET Framework installed. I am attaching an image that shows the structure for the c:\Windows\Microsoft.NET folder.
NETFramework.jpg
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40299035
Ok so 3.5 is your latest installed version:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=25150

The link above should give you the path to the full download for your OS.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40299049
So, should I download .NET Framework 3.5 and install it?
What about removing it first as you suggest above?
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40299059
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40299381
I tried to repair from command line following the instructions in the link you provided. After running the command "DISM /online /disable-feature /FeatureName:NetFx3" I was asked to reboot the machine which I did. Now, I guess things got worse because the server does not start Windows Server 2008. When the server runs it shows a "System Recovery Options" window where I select a keyboard input method which is US for default. Then, I click "Next" and another windows appears asking for the password of the local administrator. I type this information and click "OK" and one more window appears letting me select a recovery tool as follows:

1. System Image Recovery
2. Windows Memory Diagnostic
3. Command Prompt

For option 1 I need a system image created earlier which I do not have.
I already ran option 2 but this is not definitely the problem.
For option 3, I tried to run the command "DISM /online /enable-feature /FeatureName:NetFx3"and I get a message with "Error: 50    DISM does not support servicing Windows PE with the /Online option."

Actually, the server I am working on is not providing any service in our network, I have been only testing it because this is the third time I ran into the problem of "mmc has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it" with other servers and I really want to know the reason of this issue.
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40299409
Ok this sounds like something else was wrong with your OS install as disabling .net should not cause your computer to fail to boot.

Reboot and do not select repair windows and see if your OS allows you to boot.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40299450
I keep getting the same "System Recovery Options" window.
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40299490
This sounds like an OS issue, when you get your hands on the install media, follow the steps from Microsoft at the link below:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392


This should fix whatever in your boot loader is screwed up, once the server is back up I suggest upgrading to the latest .net that should resolve your .net issues.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40299744
The information in the link does not talk about Windows Server 2008, is this OK? Also, does these steps apply if the server is a domain controller?
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40299871
Yes it will work steps:

   Boot up with the Server 2008 R2 installation disc
   Select a language, time, currency, and a keyboard or another input method. Then click Next.
  Click Repair your computer.
  Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
  In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
 Type Bootrec /RebuildBcd, and then press ENTER
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301183
I just did what you recommend. After typing "Bootrec /RebuildBcd" I get the following message:

Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.

According to the above message, no Windows installation is detected (I guess). However, when I boot the server with the OS DVD, a window appears showing information about the OS name and partition size.
After running the "Bootrec" command I restart the server and the Windows Recovery Options windows appears again.

Do you think that the Windows installation has been damaged and I need to start from scratch with a fresh installation?
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40301465
Here is a list of steps to walk through bcd repair

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/rebuild-bcd-store-windows.htm
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301613
I followed the steps but the result was not successful although the output of each issued command was as described. Now, when the server boots, a text screen is shown as follows:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows Error Recovery
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
1. Insert your Windows installation disk and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next".
3. Click "Repair your computer".

Other options:
If power was interrupted during startup, choose to start Windows normally.

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Start Windows Normally
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I tried "Safe Mode" and "Start Windows Normally" and I am taken to the same screen again and again.
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40301628
It really sounds hosed, I am sure it is recoverable but is there anything you would lose to do a clean install ?

I am quite sure there would be no repro of this issues on a reinstall however.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301786
The server has nothing I can lose, I am using only it to solve the issue because I've had this same problem 4 times. What I mean is that I have installed Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 4 times in 2 identical servers and, at some point after downloading and installing Microsoft updates, I get this issue. My goal is to avoid the error and be sure I can download and install updates without problem. One solution I thought is to avoid .NET Framework updates but this should not be the case. That being said, surely "Windows Updates" is the cause of the error. I will very much appreciate your comments.
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Accepted Solution

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becraig earned 2000 total points
ID: 40301791
I think you should simply look at moving to the latest .net framework once you install 4.5 might heal all that ails you  :~)
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301833
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 installation installs a version (or more than one) of .NET Framework because I have not done it myself. If this is so then Windows Update will try to download updates. Am I correct?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40301877
Yes MS also installs the .net rollups (up to 3.5)
It will also apply any patches that have been released.

That is why I suggest the .net 4.5 to move past any potential issues with earlier versions.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301890
So I should install .NET 4.5 manually but what about the updates to earlier versions? Those are the cause of the problem. If such updates are installed I will find myself with the same problem again even if I install .NET 4.5. Or at least this is what I think that is going to happen.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40301897
If you have the latest version of .net - most applications will leverage the latest version (also some updates will not be required as installing 4.5 will plug the holes those updates usually patch)
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40301953
Understood, I will perform a new Windows Server installation and also consider .NET Framework 4.5.
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Expert Comment

by:Ratnesh Mishra
ID: 40304217
Let me first ask have you tried this : http://sangnak.com/crashing-server-manager-and-event-viewer-on-launch/

Next , as you mentioned after windows update you started facing issue of mmc crash.
Most impotently , if it was an issue of .NET framework , you will also face issue with "power shell" crash as well and it would crash all mmc not just server manager or event viewer.  Confusing , I know but please check what happen if you simply run "mmc" in run . And whats the output of loading any other snap-in other than event viewer . This will lead to another step of troubleshooting.
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Author Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40333319
I performed a new Windows Server installation. After that, I downloaded and installed .NET Framework 4.5. Now I am testing installing updates to see if the issue happens again. I will close this question as soon as I confirm that everything is working correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 40333349
Sounds good, hope that resolves the issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jorge Maldonado
ID: 40363694
It seems this solution has fixed my problem. However, I will continue downloading and testing Microsoft updates because (sometimes) this issue has appeared 2 or 3 months after a new Windows Server 2008 installation.
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