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How to Fix Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Error Code 2

Updated on June 4, 2015

Are You Getting Error Code 2 Messages?

"[open event] failed to perform desired action [open event]"

You may see one of the following messages when running (or, more accurately, attempting to run) Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware:

  1. A dialog box titled "4rm MalwareBytes," with the following message: [Open Event] failed to perform desired action. Error Code: 2
  2. Or you may see a dialog box with this error: Unable to execute file: C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\mbam.exe followed by: CreateProcess failed; code 2 and The System cannot find the file specified.

If you do see one of the above messages, or something similar, these are some possible reasons:

  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is having trouble loading itself
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is having trouble loading one of its components

(Please add any similar messages to the comments section below to let us know what you are up against).

There are a few solutions that have helped many people get past these errors detailed below (again, if you have a new solution, please let us know). This article will go over them.

If You Have Malware . . .

If you know you have malware running on your computer, it may be preventing Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from starting normally. Usually, the main executable file is targetted: mbam.exe.

  1. You can often get around this by renaming the mbam.exe file to something else, and then trying to run it again. Sometimes, any random name will do, and because of this, Malwarebytes offers a link to download a randomly named copy of mbam.exe:
  2. Save the above randomly named file to one of the following locations, and run it from there:
  • 64 Bit Systems: C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • 32 Bit Systems: C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Unfortunately, some malware blocks almost any executable file from running (*.exe), but in my experience they will nevertheless allow either explorer.exe or iexplore.exe to run. So if the random name does not work, try each of the above two names, and you may find yourself back in business!

If Renaming Mbam.exe Does Not Help . . .

If renaming mbam.exe does not help, try these steps:

  1. Uninstall Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from the Add/Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (Vista/Win 7) area of the Control Panel.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Run the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Cleanup Utility
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. Reinstall Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (search for "malware" at for the latest version of the software or try the alternative anti-malware software from Windows 7 linked below).


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    Post Comment
    • profile image 

      3 years ago

      The following text displays on my screen -- 'SDKDatabaseLoadDefaults failed with code: 2 ' -- any solution?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      renaming from mbam to mbam2 worked for me. might have just needed a restart though.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I have the same problem as JCHORELL

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I am receiving this message from Malwarebytes, running on Windows 8.1, 64: SKDDatabaseLoadDefaults Failed with code: 2

    • profile image


      4 years ago


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Try a system restore. It worked for me.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There were MANY different suggestions.

      Which 1 worked like a charm???

    • hotheadtech profile image


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for the help... this worked like a charm! You really know your stuff.


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