I installed Visual Studio 2010. I wrote a simple code which I"m sure is correct but unfortunately, when I run the code, I get the error below.

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Here is my code:

#includeusing namespace std;int main (){ cout And here is the error:

Unable to start program "C:\Users\Soheil\Desktop\New folder\sam\Debug\sam.exe The system cannot find the file specified

Would you help me solve the issue? Should I define the project in aspecific directory? I"ve spent a ton of hours to solve this issue andhave not had any success yet.



This is a first step for somebody that is a beginner. Same thing happened to me:

Look in the Solution Explorer box to the left. Make sure that there is actually a .cpp file there. You can do the same by looking the .cpp file where the .sln file for the project is stored. If there is not one, then you will get that error.

When adding a cpp file you want to use the Add new item icon. (top left with a gold star on it, hover over it to see the name) For some reason Ctrl+N does not actually add a .cpp file to the project.



Encountered the same issue, after downloading a project, in debug mode. Searched for hours without any luck. Following resolved my problem;

Project Properties -> Linker -> Output file -> $(OutDir)$(TargetName)$(TargetExt)

It was previously pointing to a folder that MSVS wasn"t running from whilst debugging mode.

EDIT: soon as I posted this I came across: unable to start "program.exe" the system cannot find the file specified vs2008 which explains the same thing.


I have recently not used VS 2010.

Does your application really build correctly? To get more control in VS 2010 C++ Express, you can check menu item "Expert Settings" under Tools>Settings to get a Build" menu.After clicking Build->Build Solution (or Rebuild), you may verify in Output window (View->Outout), if your application is compiling and linking correctly.

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Sources :

Hope it helps.

I know this is an old thread, but for any future visitors, the cause of this error is most likely because you haven"t built your project from Build > Build Solution. The reason you"re getting this error when you try to run your project is because Visual Studio can"t find the executable file that should be produced when you build your project.

As others have mentioned, this is an old thread and even with this thread there tends to be different solutions that worked for different people. The solution that worked for is as follows:

Right Click Project Name > PropertiesLinker > General Output File > $(OutDir)$(TargetName)$(TargetExt) as indicated by
ReturnVoidClick ApplyFor whatever reason this initial correction didn"t fix my problem (I"m using VS2015 Community to build c++ program). If you still get the error message try the following additional steps:

Back in Project > Properties > Linker > General > Output File > You"ll see the previously entered text in bold

Select Drop Down > Select "inherit from parent or project defaults"Select ApplyPreviously bold font is no longer bold

Build > Rebuild > DebugIt doesn"t make since to me to require these additional steps in addition to what
For me, I didn"t have my startup project set in Solution Explorer.

Go to Solution Explorer on the left of VS, right click your unit test project, and choose "set as startup project".

I had just ported my code to a new workspace, and forgot that when I opened the project in VS in the solution there, that I needed to re-set my startup project.

I know this thread is 1 year old but I hope this helps someone, my problem was that I needed to add:

#include "stdafx.h"to my project (on the first line), this seems to be the case most of the time!

I came across this problem and none of these solution worked 100%

In addition to ReturnVoid"s answer which suggested the change

Project Properties -> Linker -> Output file -> $(OutDir)$(TargetName)$(TargetExt)

I needed to changed

Project Properties -> C/C++ -> Debug Information Format -> /Zi

This field was blank for me, changing the contents to /Zi (or /Z7 or /ZI if those are the formats you want to use) allowed me to debug

I got this problem during debug mode and the missing file was from a static library I was using. The problem was solved by using step over instead of step into during debugging

if vs2010 installed correctly

check file type (.cpp)

just build it again It will automatically fix,, ( if you are using VS 2010 )

I had a same problem and i could fixed it!you should add C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Lib\x64 for 64 bit system/ C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Lib for 32 bit system in property manager-> Linker-> General->Additional library Directories

maybe it can solve the problem of somebody in the future!

Since this thread is one of the top results for that error and has no fix yet, I"ll post what I found to fix it, originally found in this thread: Build Failure? "Unable to start program... The system cannot find the file specificed" which lead me to this thread: Error 'LINK : fatal error LNK1123: failure during conversion to COFF: file invalid or corrupt' after installing Visual Studio 2012 Release Preview

Basically all I did is this:Project Properties -> Configuration Properties -> Linker (General) -> Enable Incremental Linking -> "No (/INCREMENTAL:NO)"

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