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Errors and their causes

Errors, when they occur, usually seem to show up at the first attempt to save a metadata property that has been edited in Windows Explorer. This page describes the errors that have been reported, and what turned out to be their causes.


0x80030003 is STGEPATHNOTFOUND, which typically produces the message “The path %1 could not be found.”. The ‘%1’ is a placeholder for the path that couldn't be found, but, unfortunately it’s often not filled in.

This error can occur when an attempt is made to set a metadata property on a file which is stored on a drive formatted using FAT. File Meta depends on an NTFS feature to store metadata.


0x80004005 is the most vague of error messages. Its technical name is E_FAIL, the E being for error. It may be reported as ‘Unspecified error’, and it tends to be used as the default error for anything that goes wrong.

These are usually caused by the fact that Explorer caches information that it has read from the registry, and hasn’t yet caught up with some recent change made in the File Association Manager. It can be fixed by killing and restarting Explorer.exe, or at the worst, rebooting the system. The File Association Manager in Version 1.3 proposes and will perform the required restart of Explorer when changes are made that might require it.


0x800700C1 is ERROR_BAD_EXE_FORMAT, and may be reported as ‘xxx is not a valid Win32 application’.

This is caused by a failure to load the File Meta property handler, or one of the DLLs on which it depends. It indicates either a disk problem, or that one of the executable files is corrupt. To check for disk problems, use the Microsoft supplied chkdsk utility. The only executable files involved are the property handler itself, and the C++ runtime on which it depends. To make sure that your copies are clean, take the following steps:
  1. uninstall File Meta
  2. uninstall any Microsoft Visual C++ 10.0 runtimes or redistributables that are currently installed, then
  3. check to see that msvcr100.dll no longer appears in Windows\System32 (this is the most important component of the C++ runtime)
  4. if msvcr100.dll still appears, then further investigation is required. Its presence will prevent the C++ runtime installation from succeeding. I have seen this occur when a 32-bit version of msvcr100.dll had been manually copied to the System32 folder, which on a 64-bit system is reserved for 64-bit files, despite the name.
  5. otherwise, reinstall File Meta. This will automatically install the correct version of the C++ runtime.

Last edited Jan 19, 2016 at 10:42 AM by Dijji, version 3


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