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The System Cannot Find the File Specified – 0x80070002 – How To Fix

Posted by Arch on March 14, 2019

“The system cannot find the file specified” is one of the most seen error messages on Windows operating systems. While frequently seen on previous versions, this error message is especially common for Windows 10.

The most common error code associated with this message is 0x80070002. Of course, the code may vary depending on the type of the failure, OS specs, and other circumstances.

Luckily, there are many solutions to this problem. Read on to find out how to deal with the “The system cannot find the file specified” error message.

What Causes the Error

Quick Links

First, let’s look into some of the most prominent causes of this error. Typical causes include abnormal registry keys, connection problems, system partition being offline, corrupted or missing system files, corrupted or missing software files, bad file permission settings, disk errors, missing driver files, and many more.

Scan Your PC with Antivirus Software

A virus or another threat, such as malware or cyberattack, might be the cause of this error. In order to check for that, run an antivirus scan. If any corrupted files, malicious content, or junk files appear, clean them. On the other hand, if the scan doesn’t find the cause of the problem, you should try the next method.

Check the System Log Files

Once you’re sure that your computer is clean and has no viruses or other malicious files, you can proceed with checking the system log files to find the driver file that’s causing the problem. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Double-click on “My Computer”.
  2. Open the system partition (usually “C”).
  3. Double-click on the “Windows” folder.
  4. Double-click on the “inf” folder.
  5. Browse for the “setupapi.dev” or “setupapi.dev.log” file. Open it with a double click.
  6. Press “CTRL” + “F” keys simultaneously.
  7. Once the “Find” box opens, search for “cannot find the file” and click the “Find Next” button.
  8. When the missing file is located, copy and paste it to the “inf” folder.
  9. Reinstall the driver.
  10. Restart your PC.

Install the Driver via .inf File

If the error persists after you have downloaded and installed the drivers from the manufacturer’s site, you can try installing them via the .inf file. Here’s how it works.

  1. Browse your computer for the driver file.
  2. Extract the file. You can use any compression/extraction program you have installed.
  3. Locate the “.inf” file in the extracted folder. If there are multiple .inf files, look for the one with the “Type” set to “Setup Information”.
  4. Right-click on the file and pick the “Install” option from the drop-down menu.
  5. The file should install itself without a problem. However, not every .inf file can be installed this way. If that’s the case, you will see an error message informing you that the file you selected doesn’t support that type of installation. Should that happen, try the next method.

Uninstall/Reinstall the Driver

Uninstalling and reinstalling the driver again might do the trick if the previous method failed. To do that, follow the steps explained below.

  1. Press the “Win” key to open the “Start” menu.
  2. Search for “Device Manager” in the search box.
  3. Click on the “Device Manager” link in the results list.
  4. Once Device Manager opens, expand the category of the device you want to uninstall.
  5. Locate the device and right-click on it.
  6. Choose the “Uninstall” option from the drop-down menu.
  7. Confirm your choice by clicking the “OK” button.
  8. Install the driver once more.
  9. Restart your PC and check if the problem persists.

Try Changing Your Registry

Some users have solved this issue by changing the registry keys on their computers. To do that, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Press the “Win” and “R” keys at the same time to launch the “Run” box.
  2. Once the box appears, write “regedit” into the text field and press “Enter”.
  3. You should backup your registry, so you can restore it, should something go wrong. Click the “File” tab and click “Export…”. Under the “Export Range” section, pick “All”. Click “Save” to save your registry backup.
  4. With the backup out of the way, use the left-side pane of the Registry Editor window to go to this location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
  5. Find the “RunOnce” key. If it doesn’t exist, create it by right-clicking “CurrentVersion” and picking “New” then “Key” from the drop-down menu. Make sure to name the new key “RunOnce”.
  6. Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion in the left-side pane and check whether the “RunOnce” key is there. If negative, create it once more.
  7. Close the Registry Editor and reboot the computer.

Final Word

The pesky “The system cannot find the file specified” error is, quite certainly, a nuisance but it can be solved rather quickly with the methods described in this article. Of course, if you do not feel comfortable tinkering with drivers and registries, you should bring your PC to a professional.

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