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Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

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  #1  
Old 30-09-2007
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Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

Want help to deal with missing file error in Windows. I have some folders on desktop. Inside there is a misc folder. When I double click on any file inside that it gave me error that "windows cannot find the specified file, please make sure that you have typed the name correctly and please try again." And when I open the same file through Word or Excel by clicking on File > Open it opens up. This is no happening to number of files in the folder. I had upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 2007. So when I save files the new version of file is created automatically. Does the issue lies with this. I tried to set the default program by right clicking on a file > open with > choose program. But still the same issue. I had re-installed Windows Vista 2 times and even Office 2007 for 3 times. But the problem is not fixed. I am not able to figure out what is this issue exactly. Is this a virus problem.

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  #2  
Old 01-10-2007
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re: Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

This looks like a permission problem in Windows. Are you trying to open the file in Administrator account. Because if you are logged in as a guest or any other limited user then you are getting this type of error. Another thing just ensure the default settings you had done for hidden files.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2007
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This issue has appeared in my system also. But I found a way to fix this thing. At first this was far more confusing and there was not easy solution to find. The issue does not appear if you keep Word or Excel open in the background. But if any of those is exited completely then the error popups. I had tested this in my laptop and it worked. Just run Word or Excel and then double click on the file. It looks that for some reason Windows is not able to launch Word or Excel automatically to open that file. Have a look on the link below that can guide you to for the process that you can try out for opening up the file.

An out-of-date antivirus program may cause errors when you try to open an Office document or to start Outlook

Another work out on the same will put more light on the issue. I found this on a forum. The problem can be due to MS Outlook Business Contact Manager plugin for Microsoft Word. To fix that you have to do a bit changes in registry. Type regedit in Start > Run. Then look for the following HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins. Remove BcmHistoryAddin.BcmConnect from here. Now reboot your system and check back. Hope it will work.
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  #4  
Old 02-10-2007
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I am also dealing with a similar kind of issue. In my new system I am not facing the missing file error, but when I double click to launch a file it gives me a error that the patch is invalid. I am using Microsoft Office 2007. This is a bit confusing. The file lies inside the folder and when I double click to launch the same it gave me error saying that the patch is invalid. About what path this error is. When by right click and choose on Open with I can see a empty document. This document is listed in Recent Documents. I am the system admin here and have files which are both in Office 2003 and Office 2007 format. That can be the .xlsx or .xls. The issue appears on both type. Working on Windows Vista my system looks a bit updated. I tried to run some fixes by download Windows update but that does not worked out much. Now after struggling with tons of things in my system I found a valid work out. This issue looks to be associated with the antivirus. But this really doe not helped. I am using AVG in my computer. For start I had disabled that and then I click on the file the same error appeared. On some forums I had seen that antivirus is responsible for the same. I had seen the file extension and all stuff but still that does not work out much. I had installed a Word viewer and removed Office 2007. But still the same error. The default .docx file do not load up in Word viewer also.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2007
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re: Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

Here is the recent error that I faced. When I launch the file the file give me error as it was doing before. The error is related to the file location or name. Now when I open Excel or Word in the background the file still does not open up. I think it must work if there is related application working in the backend.
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  #6  
Old 18-11-2007
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The solution that you are trying to use might work for Excel properly but there are rare chances it would help to work with Microsoft Word. I am not able to understand the exact issue behind the same. It has started appearing in my system after running Windows Update. I am using Windows Vista. I hope there would be some fix in update, but that had made the job more worse. This same problem I had notice in my uncles computer where he had just purchased and installed Office 2007. When he try to launch the document it fails to load up. The issue appears since I had installed Office 2007. I had gone through a number of solutions on the web that did not guided well. It works only if the document is opened and appers in the recent documents. Or else it give the same error. I can launch the same with Recent Docouments. There is small help that I had seen which worked out. For tha tyou have to provide admin priveleges to winword.exe. It is lcoated in Program Files\MicrosoftOffice\*\winword.exe. Rightclick on winword.exe and choose compatibility. Then tick on Run this program as an administrator. This might fix the issue. Removing the EndNote CWYWY plugin can also fix the issue. You can remove the file for that manually also. It is located in C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup\. This has fix the issue in my system.
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2008
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re: Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

In my system the issue only appears with .docx. While if I use a bit older version of document then it works well. If you try to re-install stuff again and again this is not going to work at all. I had worked with this re-installation stuff a number of time but that did not helped much. I also tried to restore Windows through system restore. But that too did not worked out. There is small registry tweak that I think can help you. For that type regedit in start menu and location the following - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins. Whatever add-in associated with Microsoft Office lies in this. I had around 3 in this. I had deleted everything from here. Now the documents are opening up without any error. You can try the same. But before that just take a backup of registry. You can click on File > Export and save the file somewhere. If you face any other major issue then you can restore the same back file back again. Once your files are starting opening up well you can simply import the old registry file back to get the old settings.
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  #8  
Old 16-11-2008
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I am quiet not happy with the solutions that are posted here. I am still dealing with the same. I have a Vista system with me. My pc use to work fine, but I do not know what happen and this error just popped up from now where. When I double click a file I receive a error saying windows cannot find. To open the file through open with option I right click on the file. The name is just weird in that. There are random characters which display in the file name. I do not want to loose the files as they have some important data. This has happened when I had upgraded from XP to Vista. After proper installation I had installed all updates that were needed. I had gone through a number of articles which deal with file association. I had made many changes but that does not really helped me much.

I had kept a old image file which was created using Acronis True Image. Will restoring my os with that can help me out. Is there a better way of dealing with this issue. There are number of audio files also. By default I had configured to open them with VLC. It worked on double click. I do not find any way to fix this the error with Office files. Now one thing that I want to ask is that how can load more programs in default program list. Because if I can, it would be easier for me to load up files and associate a different program. Each time when I try to load a Word file it gives a popup that file windows cannot find.
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  #9  
Old 15-12-2008
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Today my system works fine. I had faced the same error a year ago. The issue was related to my XP pc where when I double click on .doc file it would not open up. The error was Windows cannot find Filename/Path make sure you typed the name correctly and try again. Even though all files are copied in my hard drive. After going through a number of things, editing the registry, making changes to default program, system restore, etc I landed on the same error. The last thing I did is inserted Office 2003 installation disc in my system and started a Repair setup. After that reboot the system and the issue disappear. It looks that there is some files or registry entry which is affected due to which we face this issue. It can be due to the antivirus also. Try to run a repair setup through installation disc and check it will work.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2009
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I know this thread is old and I've visited it before, but now I'm motivated to solve this problem.

I've changed virus protection from AVG Free 8.0 to McAfee 8.5.0i and I've used the install disc to repair my 2007 install. And I've tried a few of the KB articles posted, but the problem persists.

My problem is the one where clicking on a file from it's location in windows explorer opens the office program but doesn't open the file and I get the "Cannot find" message. Opening the file from the program works fine.

has there been any more progress on this?

It was a good idea, Viper. I copied an office file into the \office12 folder and I got the same error message. The message says that it can't find the file at the location, and it does find the winword.exe file. Word loads first and then says it can't find the file. Thanks anyway.

That actually worked! Do you know where I can find this %1 error? I haven't corrected the error; I just confirmed that the spaces are an issue.

Edit: It worked for Word files, not Excel files. Unfortunately (for me), I use excel more than word. I did install this *.inf file from Symmantec to correct the %1 issue: http://www.symantec.com/security_res...050614-0532-99

If there's any reason that *.xlsx would behave differently than *.docx files please let me know. Thanks, Eric

I've been living with this problem for at least 6 months and now I'm starting to doubt that it was ever a problem with Word. I'm almost certain it was. I am able to open any Word file in any location. Other files (*.pdf, *.txt, *.html, etc) never had a problem. Still no love for excel, I assumed the problem was with the Office install.

I did do a repair of Office a couple weeks ago, which took about 30 minutes. It didn't help. Thanks for your help. Is it worth doing a complete uninstall and reinstall? I don't know how helpful that would be since some file would remain in place (like my Outlook *.pst files) and I assume some registry entries.
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  #11  
Old 15-05-2009
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I guess the "Cannot find" message doens't have to do with the .doc-file being opened, but some plug-in which cannot be found, because Word is being started from an "unknown" location.
When you start Word from it's program-icon, winword.exe is being started from c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office11, which is first set to the current directory. Any plug-ins to be loaded at the start could be set as relative locations (like ".\addins"), which then cannot be found from your doc-location.
This is only an assumption on my part, based on logic given the symptoms.
To exclude this scenario, you could try to copy one of your doc-files to the winword.exe directory, and open it from there (from explorer).
If it suddenly works fine, then it's an extra argument that this is indeed the case.

Another possibility comes to mind....
Try a doc-file with no spaces in the pathname, not just the filename but the complete path should be space-less. If that works, then it must a registry thing.
If you double-click a file, windows looks at the extension to determine to which app this file belongs, looks up the corresponding application and start it with the file in question as a parameter.
So double-clicking a file, is the same as running something like:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" "C:\Users\John Doe\My Letter.doc".
This is because in the registry, it says something like: app.exe "%1", where %1 will be substituted with the filename as the first parameter. If you would remove the quotes, you would get this:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\WINWORD.EXE" C:\Users\John Doe\My Letter.doc
The first parameter would be "C:\Users\John", the second would be "\Doe\My" and the third would be "Letter.doc". None of these exist as a loadable file, so it's possible that the parameter-passing of your filename is done without the surrounding quotes.

Sadly, I cannot reproduce the error on my pc (all works well here, and I'm not gonna screw up my system for this, sorry), but it's possible that your registry got screwed up in this area, the "open" command should have a "%1" instead of a %1 (i.e. surrounding with quotes).
The most obvious way to check this, is use a file without spaces in the path, like "C:\Docs\Letter.doc".

In theory, it should be somewhere in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and located in a subtree like shell\open\command.
For instance, if you look in:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wordpad.Document.1\shell\open\command
you would see:
"%ProgramFiles%\Windows NT\Accessories\WORDPAD.EXE" "%1"

Except that all the Office-apps are very well hidden and interlaced real deep within the Windows OS (too well IMHO). This is not strange, if you consider that Office is developed by the same company as the Windows operating system (whose name will remain unmentioned here...)

(At least, I couldn't find any registry-entry with WINWORD.EXE "%1" in it.)
They appearantly don't want you to mess with their settings through any backdoor, so my advice is first try some kind of "repair" from the Office-setup, or do a re-install.

The only key I could find, that remotely matched the search, is:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Oice.Word.Document\shell\open\command
which reads:
C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\Office12\Oice.exe "%1"

I even tried removing the quotes (messing it up temporarily), but even then it all kept working fine. Go figure....

I looked at the symantec-inf file, it just resets entries for exe,com,bat,pif,and scr-files. These are alle executables (sort of) and this reset is usefull if your registry is so messed up that you can't even run apps or batchfiles anymore.
(scr is really an .exe(cutable), but renamed to .scr to be recognised by Windows as a screen-saver program)

The difference between doc (docx) and xls (xlsx) is that it triggers another application to open it, that's all. The concept of linking is the same.

But do I understand correctly that you solved the .doc issue with this symantec patch? (that is, not being able to open .doc files from explorer with spaces in the path?)
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2009
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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For this issue I had formatted my computer. I thought this is a major bug and attempted a number of things to test out. After formatting things went back to normal. The issue that I was facing was about the same windows cannot find the file when I try to launch a word file. I had got the same error before installing Office also. I thought the issue might be due to hard drive bad sectors. I contacted Microsoft about this thing and they just sent me a link to run update. That is quiet not helpful. I am really not happy using using Office. I was expecting to get a much better support from Microsoft on the issue. But formatting the system is the only option that usually is left.
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2009
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Re: Windows cannot find 'C:\file path...\file name.xlsx'. Make sure you typed the name correctly and then try again.

Please find the solution for the following defect in office 2007 with Vista OS. (Either Word/Excel/Outlook)

Issue: Windows cannot find 'C:\file path...\file name.xlsx'. Make sure you typed the name correctly and then try again.
Cause: Excel files stopped being open when I double-click the file.
Solution:
1. Open Excel
2. Click on Excel Office Button which is at top-left most corner in Vista/Office 2007
3. Click on Excel Options Button which is at right-down corner in the popup window
4. Click on Advanced option which is at left selection panel
5. Find the General details which at the right side view
6. Unselect the checkbox (If it is selected) - Ignore other application that use the Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)
6. Click on close
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  #14  
Old 15-08-2010
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re: Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

Thank you! I had the exact problem described: my computer could not open an Excel file (Word was fine) when I clicked on the icon, OR, when I tried to drag the file icon into Excel. It could, however, open the files if I navigated to them in the Excel open menu.

Ashok Mangalore's suggested fix corrected this in a jiffy and has saved a ton of grief. Much appreciation!
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2010
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re: Cannot find file error when opening a file in Windows

Description of my problem with solution following:
Small Business Server, Microsoft Excel 2000. If I tried to run programs by double clicking on the file name in windows explorer I would get:

Cannot find the file path (or one of its components). Make sure the path and file name are correct and that all required libraries are available.

If I run Excel and do file load it would work perfectly.

Here is the solution I found to my problems. In Windows Explorer (aka My Computer) choose Tools:Folder Options:File Types tab. Then select XLS file type and choose advanced. You should see an Open and New actions (possibly others). Select Open and then choose Edit. In "Application used to perform this function" you should see the path to your excel.exe file followed by /e %1. The /e switch just keeps the splash screen from loading if excel is not already open. The %1 is replaced by the filename that you clicked on in Windows Explorer. The problem is that if your filename contains spaces or periods it can cause some of the error messages. So simply replace %1 with "%1" to cause the filename passed by %1 to be surrounded by quotes which tells Excel this is all one filename. Next if Use DDE is checked, your DDE Message should contain a string that includes %1. For example, mine said [open(%1)] and I replaced it with [open("%1")]. Do the same for new action (and maybe others) back on your advanced tab. This worked for me when nothing else did.
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