Fix: “The system cannot open the device or file specified” Error 2755 in Windows 10

This post is about how to fix the error “The system cannot open the device or file specified – Error code 2755” that you get when you run an installer in Windows 10 (especially a .msi extension installer).

It’s not uncommon (esp in Windows) that the causes of such an error with little to no information at all can be very vast and difficult to be identified. It can be caused by literally anything that has to do with Windows Installer and the setup itself. However, I’ve listed a few of the most common causes of the error and their solutions respectively.

The system cannot open the device or file specified

“The system cannot open the device or file specified” Error 2755

Fix 1: Make sure installer is not encrypted

One of the most common reason the system couldn’t open the file is due to the file being encrypted. Check if the installer and the directory it resides are being encrypted or not. If it is, disabling the content encryption would fix the issue immediately. Here’s how.

  1. Right-click on the installer that causes the “The system cannot open the device or file specified 2755” error.
  2. Click on Properties from the context menu.
  3. Under General tab, click on the Advanced button.
  4. Under Compress or Encrypt attributes, uncheck the “Encrypt contents to secure data” option.The system cannot open the device or file specified Error 2755
  5. Do the same for the directory the installer is in. For example, if the installer is in C:/Download, make sure the Download folder isn’t encrypted by repeating step 1 to 4.
  6. Retry the installer.

If you know that the directory is encrypted and you are not allowed to change the attributes of the directory, you can try to move the installer to another directory (or another drive) and run it again.

Fix 2: Check if you have Symlink or directory junction set up for the Installer folder

If you have previously created a symbolic link or directory junction for the C:\Windows\Installer folder to save spaces on your system drive, this might be the cause of the issue. It seems that some msi installers have trouble recognizing the symlink and thus causing the “The system cannot open the device or file specified 2755” error.

Note: If you have no idea what I’m talking about and have no memory of creating any symlink or dir junction for the Windows\Installer folder before, please skip this fix and do not attempt to make changes to the Installer folder. Changing or deleting the installer folder may cause serious issue to your system.

Error 2755 system cannot find file specified

So, if you did create a symlink for the C:\Windows\Installer folder before, try moving back the files back to where it should be and remove the symlink. For detailed guide on how to do it, go to:

Fix 3: Disabling Antivirus software

If your antivirus program is preventing your system from opening or accessing the installer files, it would also cause the “cannot find file specified” error. This is especially common if you are using Trend Micro, Avast, AVG or Kaspersky Free as your antivirus software.

If you are using an antivirus software with an active protection shield on, try to temporary disable the shield or your antivirus entirely and rerun the installer again.

pause antivirus protection for system cannot find file specified error

Fix 4: Cleaning temp files, and make sure C drive has enough space

Before an installer actually installs the files onto any directory of your choice, it will first extract its files into a temp folder usually in your system drive which by default is our C: drive. If the temp folder or your C: drive doesn’t have enough space, it could cause of the “system cannot open the device or file specified” error upon running the installer.

To remove the temporary files in the temp folder:

  1. Hit Win + R keys to open the Run window.
  2. Type in %temp% and hit enter to open the temp folder.
  3. Select all and hit Shift-Del to permanently delete all the temp files.

Alternatively, you can clear up some space yourself on your system drive if it clearly has less than enough space for what you wanted to install. Once you have sufficient space, retry the installer again. Also, make sure that your drive is not encrypted (refer to fix 1).

Other Fixes:

  • Check if the installation is being run over a Terminal Server or mapped network drive.
    Try to run the installer in a local location and see if the issue can be addressed.
  • Try to re-register Windows Installer. To do so, open command prompt (cmd) with administrative privileges (run as administrator). In the CMD, type the following command followed by an Enter key after each line.
  • Re-download the installer. I know this is the least effective solution you would want to try but it’s worth trying if you have tried everything else and nothing works. A corrupted installer would also cause the error 2755 – “The system cannot open the device or file specified” and a redownload would sometimes fix the issue entirely.
Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on
Categories: Troubleshoot