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Operating system error 3 (The system cannot find the path specified). Assuming the full path and filename are correct and indeed exist, this error is caused by SQL Server not being able to access or write from the specified path. This lack of authorization can have one or more reasons.



Some SQL Backup Master users may encounter the following error when executing a database backup job (or testing the job during installation):

Error while executing task: Unable to open backup device. Operating system error 3 (The system cannot find the specified path. BACKUP DATABASE exits abnormally.)

The key to solving this problem is to first understand that SQL Server needs to be able to write the database backup files directly to the temporary backup folder specified in your job settings. backup.

If SQL Server cannot access this temporary folder, the database backup file cannot be created and the operation fails with a “System error 3” error. Now let’s look at the possible reasons.

WagonPossible Causes And Solutions For Operating System Error 3

Reason 1: Permissions missing

The root cause of this error is that the account specified for SQL Server does not have write permissions on a specific folder. However, lack of permissions can also be the root cause of this error.


  • To solve the problem first, check the permissions that the person has. To do this, right-click the folder and go to the Properties >> Security tab. Then, make sure that the SQL Server service account has both permissions; H. Read and write for this particular file.
  • However, it is possible that a particular account is part of a group that has permission but was not directly granted to that account. In this case, you give full account authorization. Because adding the account directly with the required permissions doesn’t hurt.
  • Note. To make sure lack of permissions is the root cause, give everyone full permission and then protestAdjust the backup process.

    SOLUTION / Rework

    We need to start SQL Server with minimal configuration using the f startup parameter. Here’s what I usually do in situations like this.

    1. Start the SQL service from the command line using the NET START command. We also need to specify the “f” and “mSQLCMD” parameters. This ensures that no application other than SQLCMD can connect to SQL Server. This is to avoid the errors described below.

    Login failed. Reason: The server is in single user mode. Currently, only an administrator can log on to the system.


    Make sure SQLCMD is uppercase and “f” and “m” are lowercase. You must use the correct service name. MSSQLSERVER is the default instance. For a named instance, this would be MSSQL $ INSTANCENAME

    Once we run it, you will find the message below in the SQL Server error log.

    Warning. The server instance was started with the minimal configuration boot option (-f). When you start an instance of SQL Server with minimal By configuration, the server is automatically put into single user mode. After the server has started with minimal configuration, you must change the corresponding values ​​of the server parameters, stop and restart the server.

    SQL-SERVER - FCB :: Open failed - TEMPDB files could not be generated with the error "CREATE FILE Encountered Operating System Error 3" temp-os-err-3-1

    The top is perfect!

    1. We now connect SQL to SQLCMD and run ALTER DATABASE on tempdb to fix the wrong path. On the command line, we need to run below.

    SQLCMD -S -E

    failed to create operating system error 3

    Here are the ALTER commands that you will need to change to suit your environment.

     ALTER DATABASE tempdb Change FILE (Name = 'tempdev', FileName = 'C:  tempDB  tempdb.mdf') 
     ALTER DATABASE tempdb Modify file (Name = 'templog', FileName = 'C:  tempDB  templog.ldf') 

    SQL-SERVER - FCB :: Open failed - TEMPDB files could not be generated with the error "CREATE FILE Encountered Operating System Error 3" temp-os-err-3-2

    Here is a screenshot of my server.

    1. Next, we need to stop the SQL services and start them normally.

    Have you been in this situation and found another solution to this error? Share, Please, in the comments.

    Link: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)