How to fix the Exception on Invalid File error in Windows 11

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
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  • After upgrading to Windows 11, our users reported several issues with booting their PC due to the Exception on Invalid File error.
  • Some of the causes that triggered the issue could be corrupted boot data or files. 
  • Performing the SFC scan or the CHKSDK scan will solve the problem and allow you to boot up normally.
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Users have been excited to take advantage of Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system, but due to its complex system, issues can occur at any second. The Exception on Invalid File error is a great example.

Some Windows 11 clients reported that unexpectedly, their PC crashed and failed to boot up, after displaying the error Exception on Invalid File.

In today’s guide, we will show you three different methods to fix the error, as well as how to avoid it in the future.

What causes the Exception on Invalid File error?

Before we jump into the solution list, we must understand why the error appeared in the first place. Amongst the many causes that can lead to the Exception on Invalid File error, here are the three most common reasons you might encounter:

➡ Corrupted system files are by far the most common reason why you get an invalid file type of error, yet there are still other possible reasons why you could be experiencing the current issue.
corrupted files error exception on invalid file windows 11
A corrupted file is one that is damaged and does not perform as it should. This can apply to any type of document, from program files to system documents. You will most definitely encounter issues as such at some point or another in time.

➡ Corrupted boot-related data is another possible reason for your problem. In this case, you will have to perform a System File Checker scan from the Advanced Options Menu or write a few lines in the Command Prompt to fix the corrupted configuration data.

➡  Bad drive sector is the next possible reason why you get the error above. What this means is one of your drives is starting to fail. But don’t panic! If the damage is minimal, you can get away without changing the drive. Running the CHKDSK utility will replace all the sectors that went bad with unused sound equivalents.

We prepared for you a list of recommended solutions that you must try out before you decide to reinstall Windows 11 altogether.

How do I fix the Exception on Invalid File error in Windows 11?

1. Run a quick SFC Scan

Note icon
NOTE
If you don’t have a compatible Windows 11 installation media, you can create one by following this guide on how to make a bootable USB drive in no time.

  1. Insert a compatible Windows 11 installation media, then press any key to boot from it.
    press any key exception on invalid file windows 11
  2. After your PC boots from the installation media, click on Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.
    repair your computer exception on invalif file error windows 11
  3. After the Advanced Startup menu pops up, click on Troubleshoot.
    troubleshoot exception on invalid file windows 11
  4. Click on Advanced Options.
    advanced options exception on invalid file
  5. Open the Command Prompt window.
    cmd option exception on invalid file windows 11
  6. Type or paste the following command and press Enter to run it: sfc /scannow
    sfc command exception on invalid file windows 11

Wait until the operation is complete, then close the CMD prompt and allow your PC to boot normally.

2. Run a CHKDSK scan

  1. Restart your computer while holding the Shift button.
    keyboard shift exception on invalid file error windows 11
  2. After the Advanced Startup menu will open, click on Troubleshoot.
    troubleshoot exception on invalid file windows 11
  3. Click on Advanced Options.
    advanced options exception on invalid file
  4. Once you’re inside the Advanced options menu, tap on Command Prompt.
    cmd option exception on invalid file windows 11
  5. Type or paste the following command then press Enter: chkdsk c: /f /r /x
    chkdsk command exception on invalid file windows 11

After you enter the command above, close the Command Prompt and return to the first screen in order to continue with the normal booting process.

3. Fix the Boot Related data

  1. Insert a compatible Windows 11 installation media and press any key to boot from it.
    press any key exception on invalid file windows 11
  2. Click on Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.
    repair your computer exception on invalif file error windows 11
  3. After the Advanced Startup menu pops up, click on Troubleshoot.
    troubleshoot exception on invalid file windows 11
  4. Click on Advanced Options.
    advanced options exception on invalid file
  5. Once you are inside the Advanced Options menu, click on Command Prompt.
    cmd option exception on invalid file windows 11
  6. Type or paste the following commands one by one and press Enter:
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    bootrec.exe /fixboot
    bootrec.exe /scanos
    bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

    bootrec command exception on invalid file windows 11

Once all the commands above have been processed successfully, close the prompt and allow your computer to boot up normally. The error should now be resolved.

What to do if the error persists?

If your PC still fails to boot, it is pretty clear that you need to replace all the Windows files with new ones that aren’t corrupted.

To achieve this, you have to perform a clean install, which will definitely fix any underlying corruption issues that you have, but it will delete all of your personal documents as well. Unless you had backed up your data in advance, prepare to lose everything.

An alternative to losing your data is to perform a repair install which allows you to keep your personal documents on the same partition as your Windows installation.

How do I fix an Invalid File Name error?

Every file on your computer has a particular structure and content that it needs to comply with. When the information is in the right place and properly arranged, it will work normally.

But, if the wrong information is introduced voluntarily or involuntarily into a document, it will affect the way the data is used.
invalid file name exception on invalid file windows 11

One aspect that you need to pay attention to is how you name your documents. When you try to save, create or rename documents, keep in mind a few rules in order to avoid errors such as invalid file. Document names act as their ID and you can’t have two people with the same ID.

Another aspect to remember is the characters that you use. Control characters or forward slashes aren’t accepted in the name field of a document. The Windows operating system has additional rules that the filename needs to comply to:

  • The filename can’t begin or end witha a space or a period sign
  • There are certain names reserved by Windows that can’t be used
  • Any of the following characters must be avoided: double quote (“”), asterisk (*), less than (<), greater than (>), question mark (?), backslash (\), pipe (|), forward slash (/), colon (:)

To fix an Invalid File Name error, you simply have to rename it keeping in mind the rules above, especially the colliding aspect of names.

Booting errors can be cumbersome sometimes. If the above solutions don’t meet your requirements or if you consider the idea of reinstalling Windows 11, check out our thorough guide on how to perform a Windows 11 installation in the simplest manner.

Alternatively, rolling back to Windows 10 might be a solution for you. If you feel uneasy about which OS to choose, check out our article on the main differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Feel free to use the comments section below in case you have any further questions, and let us know which solution worked best for you as well as what triggered the error in the first place.

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