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SQL 2008 snapshot replication error: The system cannot find the file specified.  The step failed.

Posted on 2014-11-07
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Last Modified: 2014-11-21
I'm trying to set up snapshot replication on SQL Server 2008 32-bit but am receiving an error on the agent stating The system cannot find the file specified.  The step failed..

The system is on Windows 2003 R2 and I've ensured all Windows updates have been applied.  I have disabled publishing and distribution on the server and then re-installed it without any change.

 I am using the default folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\repldata and set the permissions so that everyone has full control over it to ensure security is not the issue.  I have also shared the folder and tried installing distribution using \\SERVER_NAME\repldata but again no difference.

Replication has never been set up on this machine previously.
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Question by:canuckconsulting
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Expert Comment

by:Zberteoc
ID: 40430213
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Author Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40430529
I've set up replication on other machines successfully using but am getting the File not found error on this machine.  Any insight into that would be greatly appreciated.
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by:Zberteoc
ID: 40431191
What is the error exactly?
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Author Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40431196
The system cannot find the file specified. The step failed.
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Expert Comment

by:Zberteoc
ID: 40431252
What file?
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Author Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40432407
The file is not specified.  Here are screen grabs of the snapshot agent and associated event:

Agent
Event Log
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Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40432616
If you already set another replication just verify if there's any replication file missing (snapshot.exe, distrib.exe, logread.exe, *.dll, ...). You may need to fix it manually (copy from another installation) or reinstall the files.
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Author Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40432637
Oh I see...I hadn't thought it was an executable issue.

This is a 32-bit installation while my other servers are 64-bit.  Is there a way for me to re-install the replication feature from the installation media?  I can not see any option to do this via the normal installation user interface.
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Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40432659
Yes. Choose the repair option and check only the Replication feature so it won't touch the engine.
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Author Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40455988
Vitor I'm sorry for the very late reply.

I tried the repair option but there was no option to check on the replication option.  When I did  a full repair it was unable to update the SQL Engine without affecting the production databases so that was skipped.  As  a result nothing has changed.

An interesting development is that I opened a ticket with the MS Partners forum and received the attached advice which advised me to check the paths of agent_exe  in the [msdb].[dbo].[syssubsystems] system table.  Sure enough the paths given do not point to the correct locations.  In fact the file Snapshot.exe  is completely missing which I expect it the issue.  Any thoughts on how I might get that installed?
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Vitor Montalvão earned 500 total points
ID: 40456775
If you have another SQL Server instance that has the same version then copy the file from there.
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Author Closing Comment

by:canuckconsulting
ID: 40457051
Perfect...thank you!  The only other SQL 2008 server I had was 64-bit but that did not seem to be an issue.  I copied the files across and everything is working great.
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