6 Ways to Fix the System Cannot Find the File Specified in Windows 11/10/7

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Dec 27, 2023 | Approved by Cesar C

You can see the error "the system cannot find the file specified" while doing Windows 7 backup, connecting an external hard drive, or update Windows 10. There are many reasons that cause the issue. No matter what, you should learn the ways to fix it in the first place. Here are 6 useful ways for how to fix the system cannot find the file specified in Windows 7 and Windows 11/10 introduced for your references. If any data lost or deleted during the fix, try iBeesoft Data Recovery to retrieve them, the sooner the better.

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The error message, ‘the system cannot find the file specified’ is a common error that Windows users experience. You can get the error message when accessing an external hard drive, local hard drive, USB, or while using Disk Management, launching a program, or installing a driver on your PC. Whatever the reason why you get the ‘the system cannot find the file specified’, rest assured that you can resolve it on your own with the following 6 useful methods.

Part 1. Reasons why the System Cannot Find the File Specified in Windows Occur

There are different reasons where users can get this error message. However, some of the most common reasons why you may experience the issue include:

Part 2. How to Fix the System Cannot Find the File Specified in Windows

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the error message ‘Windows 7 the system cannot find the file specified’. The solution that will work for you depends on the cause. Therefore, the first thing is to identify the reasons why you are receiving the error message, and thereafter, you can use the solution that can resolve the error message. In this post, we’ll look at six different solutions to resolve the error message.

Solution 1: Run Anti-virus software to prevent malicious attack

Malicious attacks, cyber threats, and viruses are the most common reasons why you may receive the system cannot find the file specified in Windows 11/10 command prompt error message. The best way to resolve this issue is to launch active antivirus software. After launching the software, proceed to scan your PC thoroughly to remove and clean any malicious content on your system. This will also remove junk files from your computer.

Solution 2: Update Windows OS

If your Windows operating system is out of date, you may also experience this error code. Therefore, it is recommended that you update your Windows OS and install other pending updates on the system. Here are the steps to update Windows OS to fix ‘the system cannot find the file specified’.

1. Click Windows + I simultaneously.

2. Select the ‘Update & Security option from the displayed menu.

3. Click on ‘Check for updates’ to reveal all pending updates.

4. Install all pending updates and restart your system when the updates finish.

Solution 3: Check the System Log Files

If you have tried the first two solutions and you still experience the issue, the next thing is to check the system log file and verify it. This may be the solution that will resolve the error. Check and verify the system log files, follow the steps below:

1. Open the ‘C:/Windows/INF’ directory and proceed to open the ‘INF’ folder

2. Locate the ‘setupapi.dev.log file and double click on it to open.

3. Press Ctrl + F key together and type ‘cannot find the file’ in the search bar that is displayed after pressing the keys. Click Enter to start the search.

4. Check the result generated and copy and paste the missing file that is in the Windows/INF folder.

5. Reinstall the driver again and reboot.

Solution 4: Change your Registry

The error message ‘the system cannot find the file specified Windows’ can also be resolved by altering the registry keys. To do this, follow the steps below:

1. Long press on the ‘Windows + R’ key and type ‘Regedit’ in the displayed window. Click on Enter.

2. Look for ‘KKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion’.

3. Expand the menu and locate the ‘RunOnce’ tab. If you can’t find this key, simply click the ‘CurrentVersion menu and select ‘New > Key’ from the generated menu.

4. Type ‘RunOnce’ as the new name for the key and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ on the left pane.

5. Expand the menu again check to see if the ‘RunOnce’ key has been created successfully.

6. Close the Registry Editor and then restart the Windows.

Solution 5: Uninstall and Reinstall the Drivers

If the drivers have been downloaded from the manufacturer’s website and the system is experiencing the error code, you should uninstall and reinstall the drivers again to fix the issue. To do this, follow the easy steps below:

1. Navigate to the ‘Control Panel’ and choose ‘Device Manager’.

2. Enlarge the category to find the device that you want to uninstall.

3. Right-click on the specific device name and select the ‘Uninstall’ option.

4. confirm the ‘Delete the driver’ software for this device’ by clicking the ‘Ok button. This will uninstall the drivers.

5. Reinstall the driver and reboot your PC.

Solution 6: Format External Hard Drive

For the external hard drive if the Problem occurs while inserting the External Hard Drive on the Computer. Sometimes, the error message ‘the system cannot find the file specified in Windows 11/10 command prompt’ might be because of an issue with an external drive. If this is the case, you should format the drive. The steps below explain how to do this.

1. Keep the external hard drive connected with your computer. Click on ‘This PC’ to open the folder. 

2. Locate the external hard drive and right-click on it. Select ‘Format’ and choose the ‘Quick Format’ option.

3. Click ‘Start’ to start the process. When the formatting is complete, try to perform the command to see if the issue has been resolved.

Part 3. How to Recover Lost Files While Fixing the System Cannot Find the File Specified

While trying to fix the issue with ‘the system cannot find the file specified windows’, you may lose some files. If this happens to you, you can recover your lost data with the iBeesoft Data Recovery tool.

iBeesoft is a safe and highly effective file recovery tool that is designed to help you recover deleted files from USB flash drive, memory card, disk/partition, RAW drive, and other storage devices. It has two modes of scanning, Quick Scan, and Deep Scan, to make your recovery process highly rewarding.

1: Download and install the best data recovery software on your PC. Launch it and select the file types you will like to recover. All file types are usually highlighted when you launch the software, so you need to uncheck them and select the specific file types that you want. When you are done, click the ‘Start’ button to start the process.

2: Select the location where you want to scan for the data. This may include a specific location or partition. After the selection, click ‘Scan’ to recover deleted files in Windows 11, 10, and macOS.

3: Check the scan result and preview to see that your preferred files have been recovered. Click ‘Recover’ to recover and save the files. If you want to search further, use the ‘Deep Scan’ mode.

This article has detailed the solutions you can use to resolve the error message ‘the system cannot find the file specified Windows 7 backup’ issue. It also provides the best solution to use if you lose files while trying to resolve the issue.