The system cannot find the file specified is an error message that is prevalent in Windows 10. However, you may also encounter the error message in earlier Windows versions, and usually points to error code 0x80070002.

In most cases, you will get the path for the folder that Windows has diagnosed to be causing the problem, before getting the error message. Thereafter, your backup will fail. The problem is common among users who have custom folders within the user profile library on their PCs. 

What often happens is a conflict between such folders and Windows backup tools, rendering the entire backup useless. Depending on your OS specifications, and failure type, the issue may also be caused by several other things. Get to know how you can troubleshoot and fix this error. 

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What Triggers Error Code 0x80070002?

Error code 0x80070002, the system cannot find the file specified error is associated with several problems in the Windows OS. Some of the things that are known to trigger the “system cannot find the file specified” error message include: 

  • Missing driver file(s)
  • Corrupted registry keys 
  • Wrong file permission settings
  • Disk error(s) within the source volume
  • Missing/corrupted file(s) for the program you are trying to run
  • When the system reserved partition is Offline 
  • If a snapshot of the source partition is deleted during backup 

How to Clear the System Cannot Find The File Specified Error Message

There are different scenarios, under which you can encounter this error message, including the system cannot find the file specified in the command prompt, and the system cannot find the file specified java. You may also get a system that cannot find the file specified virtual disk manager when you try to format an external disk drive.

Depending on what is triggering the error message in your case, various methods may be used to clear the error message. Illustrated below are some of the most effective solutions for the system cannot find the file specified, error code 0x80070002:

The System Cannot Find The File Specified Virtual Disk Manager

Are you getting the “The system cannot find the file specified” while trying to access the hard disk or any other storage device for that matter? In most cases, this happens when the target device file system is either missing or corrupted making the storage device inaccessible. 

If this is the problem in your case, here are some of the solutions you may apply to fix the problem:

Solution 1: Run the CHKDSK Command

The first and easiest of the solutions for this error message would be to run the CHKDSK command. To do this, press the Windows button on the keyboard to display the Start menu. Next, type CMD into the search field and then press Enter. 

On the search results, select Command Prompt (Admin), which is often the first entry on the search results list. Now input chkdsk x: /f /r into the command prompt, where x is your target drive, and then press the Enter button. 

Allow the system enough time to run the command and repair the corrupted file systems. Once done, close the window, and check to see whether the error message has cleared. 

Solution 2: Recover Data from the Problematic Storage Device 

This operation requires you to use the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer to recover valuable data from the problematic disc. This tool is capable of retrieving deleted/formatted files, as well as get data from inaccessible or even formatted hard drives.

To begin with, you need to download and install your preferred data recovery tool, such as the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Once installed, you need to follow this procedure to recover your valuable data:

Step 1: Select the File Location 

You need to open the file recovery tool. From this tool, select the location from which data was lost following a Windows 10 update. 

Step 2: Scan for Lost Files 

Now click on the Scan button, and allow the system enough time to scan for and recover any data that might have been lost from that location. Once done, you can select the files you would like to restore manually or search for files and folders. 

Step 3: Restore Lost Files and Folders 

You may double-click on any of the files on the scan results to preview its contents. Having confirmed the files you need to recover, select the files and folders you are interested in, and then click on the Recover button. 

This operation will restore those files and folders to their initial locations. 

Solution 3: Clean the Disk using Diskpart 

If the storage device is still inaccessible after you have restored the files, you should consider using Diskpart to clean it up. Here is the procedure you need to follow, in this regard: 

Step 1: Run a Command Prompt 

Press the Windows button to reveal the start menu. Enter cmd into the search field and press Enter. Now select Command Prompt (admin) from the search results. This operation allows you to open the command prompt as the administrator. 

Type diskpart into the command prompt dialog box and press Enter. Next, select the Yes option to allow the app to make changes to the computer. 

Step 2: Run Commands to Clean the Disk 

Input List Disk into the command prompt and press Enter. Next, input select disk x (where x is the number of the problematic disk) and press Enter. Next, type list disk into the command prompt and press Enter. At this point, you should see a star on the selected disk. 

Now type Clean into the command prompt and press Enter. This may trigger a pop-up notification window asking you to insert the disk. If that happens, just click on the Cancel button, and then run the Clean command until it is successfully executed. 

Step 3: Create Partitions and Format the Disk 

Having successfully cleaned the disk, open the Command Prompt as administrator once again, and run a series of commands. Input list disk into the command prompt, and press Enter. Next, type select disk x into the command prompt and press Enter. (X is the number of the problematic disk on your computer.

Next, type create partition primary into the command prompt, and once again press Enter. Input select partition 1, and press Enter. Now enter active and press Enter. To format the problematic disk type format fs=fat32 quick into the command prompt and press Enter. (The ‘fs’ in this command is the file system you want to assign to the partition, while ‘quick’ commands the system to carry out a ‘quick format’).

If these commands have been executed successfully, you should be able to access the storage device without any problems. 

The System Cannot Find The File Specified Error While Launching Programs 

Did you encounter the “the system cannot find the file specified” error message while trying to launch a program on your PC? If so, the following solutions will help you clear the error message, hence launch the program(s) successfully:

Solution 1: Update the Hard Disk Driver 

If the Hard disk driver on your computer is corrupted or outdated, you are likely to encounter the error message when you attempt to launch a program. Updating the drivers will get rid of any outdated/corrupted files that may be causing the problem. 

To do this, navigate to ‘This PC’> Manage> ‘Device Manager’. Next, you need to expand on the ‘Disk Drives’ section and then right-click on the Disk. Select the ‘Update Driver’ option from the context menu that pops up. 

Follow the on-screen prompts to update the Hard Disc driver on your computer. Once done, restart the PC and try launching the problematic program once again. 

Solution 2: End the nginx.exe Process 

A malfunction on the Windows OS may cause the nginx.exe process to start or restarts normally. If this happens, you may also get the “system cannot find the find specified” error message. If this is the problem, in your case, you need to end the process to fix the problem. 

In this regard, you should right-click on the Taskbar, and select the ‘Task Manager’ option from the context menu that comes up. Navigate to the Processes tab on the Task Manager window, and look for the nginx.exe from the list of processes. 

Once you find it, select the process, and then click on the ‘End Task’ button adjacent to it. Now you will need to download nginx.exe again and restart it afresh. 

Solution 3: Reinstall the Problematic Program 

If the above-described methods do not resolve the issue, you may need to reinstall the problematic software. Here is the procedure you need to follow to accomplish this: 

Step 1: Close the Program 

To begin with, you need to close the App or program completely. Next, you should right-click on the Taskbar, and select the ‘Task Manager’ option from the context menu. Navigate to the Processes tab in the Task Manager window. 

Now find the problematic program in the displayed list of running processes. Once you find its process, select it, and click on the’ End Task’ button. 

Step 2: Uninstall the Program 

Having stopped the program from running in the background, you now need to remove it from your computer. To do this, press the Windows + I keys combination to bring up the Windows Settings menu. You should then navigate to Apps> Apps & features. 

Find the problematic program from the list of installed applications displayed. Right-click on the problematic application, and select Uninstall from the context menu that comes up. Now follow the on-screen prompts to remove the program from your computer.

Step 3: Reinstall the App 

Now that you have uninstalled the program, you need to navigate to the Microsoft Store to download a genuine copy of the program. Once the download has completed, double-click on the executable file to start the installation process. 

At this point, you only need to follow the on-screen prompts as displayed by the Installation Wizard to complete the installation. Upon finishing the installation, you need to restart the computer for the changes to take effect. 

The System Cannot Find The File Specified Error While Accessing Files/Folders 

In this case, double-clutching on a file or folder will trigger a “the system cannot find the file specified” error message. If you are getting the error message when you try to access a file/folder, there are three methods you may use to fix it, as illustrated below: 

Solution 1: Check the System Log File

Navigate to this pathway: C:/Windows/inf directory, and open the Inf folder. Inside this folder, look for either the setupapi.dev or setupapi.dev.log file, and open it. Next, you need to press the Ctrl + F keys combination, type ‘cannot find the file’ into the search field, and press Enter.

This operation should reveal the missing file. Now copy the missing file and paste it into the Windows/inf folder. 

Finally, you need to reinstall the hard disk drive on your computer and then restart it. 

Solution 2: Check for RTHDCPL in Registry Key

To apply this solution, press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard simultaneously to open a Run dialog box. Now type regedit into the dialog box and press the Enter key. If you happen to get prompt requesting permission, just click on the ‘Yes’ button. 

Next, you need to navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\, and search for RTHDCPL. In case you do not find RTHDCPL, check for the ‘Run’ property and then change the Admin-user permission to ‘Full Control’. 

Once done, click on the OK button to continue. While at it, be careful not to delete content from the registry as this may result in a serious problem. 

Solution 3: Modify Registry Keys 

If the above-discussed methods do not fix the system cannot find the file specified error, you should try modifying a few registry files. The following procedure will help you do just that: 

Step 1: Open a Run Dialog Box 

Press the Windows + R keys combination. Now type regedit into the run dialog box that comes up and press Enter. 

Step 2: Create a Backup 

At this point, you may need to create a backup to keep safeguard the current registry condition against accidental deletion. To do this, navigate to File> Export. Now enter the file name for your registry backup. Expand the ‘Export range’ section and then select ‘All’.

Finally, you need to click on the Save button to save the backup file. Should you interfere with your registry, you can just run this saved file to restore it to its initial condition. 

Step 3: Locate the RunOnce Key 

Now you need to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. Once there, expand the key, and try to locate the RunOnce key. If it does not exist, you will need to create it manually. 

Step 4: Create the RunOnce Key 

To create a new RunOnce key, open the CurrentVersion key, and then select the New option> Key from the menu. Input RunOnce as the name of your new key. Once done, navigate to this location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ key in the left pane. 

Next, you should expand it to check whether the RunOnce key has been successfully created. If not, you should repeat step 4 to create it. If the RunOnce key is present, close the Registry Editor window and restart Windows. 

The System Cannot Find The File Specified Error After Downloading a Driver from the Manufacturer Website

Are you getting the error message when you try to run the drivers you downloaded from the manufacturer website? If so, the following methods will help you fix the problem: 

Solution 1:  Install the Driver Using .inf File

Navigate to your downloads folder, and locate the downloaded driver file. Now open the extracted folder of the driver file, and try to find the file with a .inf extension. If you happen to have multiple files with the .inf extension, go for the one with a proper description, such as ‘Setup Information’. 

Next, you need to right-click on the .inf file and select Install from the context menu that comes up. Now follow the on-screen prompts as displayed by the Installation Wizard to install the driver. 

Note: Not all the .inf files you will ever come across are executable self-installer files. If the file does not support this method of installation, you will get a “The INF file you selected does not support this method of installation” prompt. 

Solution 2: Uninstall & Reinstall the Driver

You may get “the system cannot find the file specified” error notification when you run arrived you downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. If the driver is already installed on your computer, you may need to install and then reinstall it to clear the error message. 

In this regard, here is the procedure you need to follow:

Step 1: Navigate to the Control Panel, and open the Device Manager

Step 2: Expand the Device Category, and then select the device you would like to uninstall

Step 3: Right-click on the device name, and select Uninstall from the context menu that comes up 

Step 4: Ensure that the checkbox adjacent to ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ is checked before clicking on the OK button to confirm the operation. 

Step 5: Navigate to the manufacturer’s official download page, and download new driver files for installation. 

Step 6: Once the download is complete, open the download folder and double-click on the executable file to run it. Now follow the Installation Wizard prompts on your screen to install the driver once again. 

Final Verdict 

There are numerous scenarios, under which you may encounter the system cannot find the file specified error. For instance, you may get this error while accessing a storage disk, launching a program, or running a driver. 

Each of these scenarios calls for a different fix. Regardless of the actual cause, this guide will help you clearly “the system cannot find the file specified” error message on your own.