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Six Less Common Windows 8 Error Messages

Here are some of the less common Windows 8 error messages and notifications that you might encounter. If one of these messages matches what you’re experiencing, read how to resolve the problem.

Could not enable file history. The system cannot find the path specified.

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Meaning: This message tells you that the Windows 8 backup program, File History, isn’t working anymore.

Probable cause: File History was saving your files on a portable hard drive, flash drive, or memory card that’s no longer plugged in to your computer.

Solutions: Find the portable hard drive or flash drive, plug it back into one of your computer’s USB ports, and turn on File History again to make sure the settings are correct.

Insert media

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Meaning: The window appears when your computer needs some of the original Windows 8 installation files.

Probable cause: You’re trying to use some troubleshooting tools like the Windows 8 Reset or Remove Everything options, and the tools need original files to replace some missing ones.

Solutions: Rummage around for your original Windows 8 disc or flash drive and insert it into your computer. Windows will notice the incoming files and take over from there.

Something went wrong: Couldn’t share photo(s) with Mail

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Meaning: The Mail app tried to send photos with your e-mail but failed. Your e-mail hasn’t been sent.

Probable cause: First, make sure your Internet connection is up and running. As long as your Internet connection isn’t at fault, then this message usually appears after you’ve tried to send too many photos to a friend. E-mail programs choke on large files, and today’s high-resolution cameras create photos too large to be sent more than two or three at a time.

Solutions: Send your photos no more than two at a time, creating a new e-mail for each one. Or, click the Send Using SkyDrive Instead link. That sends the photos to a safe storage spot on the Internet where the recipient can download them, bypassing the limitations of e-mail.

There is no email program associated to perform the requested action

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Meaning: The particularly cryptic message means you’re trying to send e-mail from the desktop, but you haven’t installed an e-mail program.

Probable cause: Unlike the Start screen and its Mail app, the Windows 8 desktop doesn’t come with a built-in program to send or receive e-mail. (The desktop can’t use the Mail app.) If you click any program’s Send This or E-mail This option, this message appears until you choose and install an e-mail program.

Solutions: You can download and install an e-mail program or set up an e-mail program at one of many websites.

USB device not recognized

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Meaning: This message appears when you’re trying to plug a new part into your computer’s USB port, but something went wrong.

Probable cause: The part isn’t compatible with Windows 8, or it simply hit a glitch.

Solutions: If you’ve plugged a cable or device into one of your computer’s connectors, unplug it. Wait 30 seconds and then plug it back into a different USB port. No luck? Then leave it plugged in, but restart your computer.

If it still doesn’t work, the answer is clear: You need to track down a driver, which is a special piece of software that lets your gadget talk to Windows.

Windows isn’t activated

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Meaning: When Windows isn’t activated, it nags you with the message shown.

Probable cause: Microsoft’s copy-protection scheme requires every person to activate his or her Windows 8 copy. When activated, your copy of Windows 8 is linked to your particular computer so that you can’t install it onto another computer, including a tablet or laptop.

Solutions: Choose the link called Learn More About Why You’re Seeing this Issue. You may have been sold a counterfeit version of Windows. Look for the phone number where you can call Microsoft to discuss the issue. Note: If you never see this message, your copy of Windows has already been activated by your computer’s manufacturer. Don’t worry about it.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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