Microsoft Management Console – make administrative tasks easy

This is the start of a series of posts that will guide you through using Microsoft Management Console to manage your system. In this post most of the text has been excerpted from the MMC help file. The MMC allows you to control and manage the many available options from an easy to use interface. All the options are also available from the Windows Registry. But for many dealing with Registry is not an easy task. Also for simple administrative tasks involving MMC using the Registry will be an overkill for many. (You can find the posts on Registry here) The following i a brief into to MMC from the MMC help available in Windows XP.

The extension of console objects are always msc representing Microsoft Console. They can be found under %systemroot% system32 ” folder. A backup copy of each could be found under “%systemroot%system32 dllcache ” folder

Introduction to MMC

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) can be used to create, save, and open administrative tools (called MMC consoles) that manage the hardware, software, and network components of your Windows system. MMC does not perform administrative functions, but hosts tools that do. The primary type of tool you can add to a console is called a snap-in. There are two general ways that you can use MMC: in user mode, working with existing MMC consoles to administer a system, or in author mode, creating new consoles or modifying existing MMC consoles.

The following administrative tools appear under Windows XP

Component Services

Used by system administrators to deploy and administer COM+ programs from a graphical user interface, or to automate administrative tasks using a scripting or programming language. Software developers can use Component Services to visually configure routine component and program behavior, such as security and participation in transactions, and to integrate components into COM+ programs. For more information, see Using Component Services.

Computer Management

Used to manage local or remote computers from a single, consolidated desktop utility. Computer Management combines several Windows XP administrative tools into a single console tree, providing easy access to a specific computer’s administrative properties. For more information, see Using Computer Management.

Data Sources (ODBC)

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a programming interface that enables programs to access data in database management systems that use Structured Query Language (SQL) as a data access standard. For more information, see Using Data Sources (ODBC).

Event Viewer

Used to view and manage logs of system, program, and security events on your computer. Event Viewer gathers information about hardware and software problems, and monitors security events. For more information, see Using Event Viewer.

Local Security policy

Used to configure security settings for the local computer. These settings include the Password policy, Account Lockout policy, Audit policy, IP Security policy, user rights assignments, recovery agents for encrypted data, and other security options. Local Security Policy is only available on computers that are not domain controllers. If the computer is a member of a domain, these settings may be overridden by policies received from the domain.


Used to collect and view real-time data about memory, disk, processor, network, and other activity in a graph, histogram, or report form. For more information, see Using Performance.


Used to manage the services on your computer, set recovery actions to take place if a service fails, and create custom names and descriptions for services so that you can easily identify them. For more information, see Using Services.

# To open MMC, click Start, and then click Run (WIN+R). In the Open box, type “mmc“.

# The consoles available in Windows XP are listed below. To access any just type their name (include the .msc) in Windows Run box (WIN+R)


The follow up posts in this series will deal with managing you computer with the MMC.

8 thoughts on “Microsoft Management Console – make administrative tasks easy”

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  5. I would like to find out how to delete windows old files I have in a backup. It says I’ll need administrative permission and that’s it. It seems there is a lot of mis-information out there and it is frustrating at best. Some forums say something about F8 and booting into safe mode and then picking one of the two options on administrator. I’m sorry but my F8 does not do this. My F10 will get me to safe mode but it does not offer the options some talk about. Also in my backup I ran recently the folders are empty. It is a WD smartware backup and I haven’t had this problem before. I guess I need some kind of “permission” to do this also. Can anyone shed some light on this subject for me?

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