By Emily / Last Updated October 28, 2019

Scenarios

“I get ‘The system cannot find the file specified (0x80070002)’ error preventing backup from starting Windows 10. Upgraded from Windows 7. Everything else works 100% fine. Trying to backup to internal drive. Help would be appreciated, thank you.”

The System Cannot Find The File Specified

Why “The system cannot find the file specified” occurs?

“The system cannot find the file specified” is a quite common error for Window users, especially for Windows 10. This error is sometimes followed by an error code: 0x80070002. But the failure type or code will be various on different operating system specification. This error might occur when you install disk driver, make a system image, access files or make other operations on the system. The main reasons include:

  • Virus or malware attack.

  • Connection is loose.

  • Abnormal registry keys.

  • There are some disk errors on the source volume.

  • Crucial system files are missing or damaged.

  • System partition is under an offline state.

  • System partition is not active.

  • Required files for the specific software are missing or corrupted.

Effective solutions

Next, we would like to share some effective solutions for “The system cannot find the file specified” error. For the best result, you can follow the methods presents below in order until you get a fix that does well in getting the error fixed.

Before proceeding, you can first run reliable anti-virus software to remove any possible virus or malware, and check whether the connection between hard drive and computer is tight. If everything is OK and the error still pops out, check out the below methods.

Method 1. Change registry key

First of all, you can modify the registry key to fix this error. To do so, take following steps:

Step 1. Press “Windows + R” at the same time, type “regedit” in the pop-out dialogue and press “Enter” to open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Step 3. Expand the key and look for “RunOnce” key. If it does not exist, you can first create one: click the “CurrentVersion” key and choose “New > Key” from the drop-down menu, and name the new key as “RunOnce”.

Create New Key

Now, please navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion” in the left panel and check if the RunOnce key has successfully been created. If not, repeat the above steps to recreate it. After that, you can close Registry Editor and restart Windows to check whether the error is fixed.

Run Once Registry

Warning: since making some changes on the current registry condition might cause risks, you can create an exact backup in advance.

>> In the registry editor window, click “File”> “Export” to export your registry.

>> Now enter the file name for your backup, and select “All” in “Export range” section. Click the “Save” button to export your registry.

Backup Registry

Method 2. Check and fix disk errors

If “The system cannot find the file specified” error is cause by potential disk errors, you can run chkdsk command to check and repair errors.

Step 1. Click Start button, input “cmd” in the search box and press Enter, right click the Command Prompt icon and choose “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. In the Command Prompt window, type command “chkdsk g: /f /r /x” and press Enter in order to check and fix possible errors. Replace “g” with the appropriate letter that matches your partition.

CHKDSK Check Error

Method 3. Restore or repair the missing files

Restoring the missing files is another effective method to fix the issue. This method is quite simple; you just need to run “sfc/scannow” command in the Command Prompt window.

Scannow Windows

After completion, if everything goes well, the message: “Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.” will appear.

Method 4. Install Windows updates

If the Windows has not been updated for a long time, the error “The system cannot find the file specified” will occur to inform you that you should install all pending updates. So you need to install them:

Step 1. Press "Windows + I" keys and select “Update & Security”.

Step 2. Click Check for “Updates” and wait.

Step 3. When the list of available updates is revealed, install all of them.

Repeat the same procedure until all needed updates have been installed. After that, you still need to restart the system to finish the installation of updates.

Method 5. Uninstall and reinstall the Drivers

If the error appears after you download the disk driver from the manufacturer’s official website, you can try to uninstall and reinstall the disk driver.

Step 1. Type “Device Manager” in the search box and press enter, double click Device Manager to open it. Expand “Disk Drives” and locate the device you want to uninstall.

Step 2. Right click the device and select “Uninstall” from the drop-down list.

Uninstall Disk Driver

Then you will be asked if you are sure to uninstall the device, click “OK” button to confirm it. After uninstalling the driver, install the driver again.

Method 6. Make system partition online

If the issue still persists, there are chances that your system partition is offline, then you need to do the following:

Step 1. Open Command Prompt again and run “diskpart” command inside it.

Step 2. When diskpart starts, type “list volume” and press “Enter”: to list all partitions on your computer.

Step 3. Type “select volume 1” and press “Enter”: to select the system volume. If your system volume is labeled by a different number, replace 1 with it.

Step 4. Type “online volume” and press “Enter”.

Online System Volume

At last, close Command Prompt and restart your PC.

Method 7. Make sure system partition is active

If “The system cannot find the file specified” error occurs while you are using Windows Backup, you can check if your system partition is set to active to fix this issue.

To do so, you just need to open Disk Management, right click the system drive (usually C drive) and choose “Mark Partition as Active” option. If this option is greyed out, that means your system volume is already set to active.

System Drive Active

Finally, close Disk Management and restart your PC to check whether the error disappears.

Method 8. Format the USB flash drive

If “The system cannot find the file specified” error happens when you insert your USB flash drive or any other removable storage devices, you can format them. To do so, you can right click the USB drive in Windows File Explorer, choose “Format” and follow the guide to finish the formatting operation.

If you fail and receive some format errors, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a powerful disk formatting utility and it can format RAW, corrupted or even write-protected USB flash drive, SD card or other hard drives with ease in Windows 10/8/7. If you upgrade to Professional version, you can optimize SSD drive performance, migrate OS to SSD, recover lost partitions and more.

Step 1. Download the freeware, install and run it. Right click the USB drive and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Partition

Step 2. Choose a proper file system based on your requirements and click “OK”.

FAT32 128GB USB

Step 3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” to commit the pending operation.

Apply

Summing up

“The system cannot find the file specified” error on Windows 10/8/7 can significantly affect the computer’s functioning. With the above effective solutions, I believe you can fix the error easily.