How to fix File System Error (-1073741521) in Windows?

Issue: Hello. When I try to open a Word document on my Windows PC I receive the “File System Error (-1073741521)” message. How do I fix this?

Solved Answer

The File System Error (-1073741521) is a common problem that Windows users face. This error typically occurs when users attempt to open or access specific files, such as documents, videos, and other media. The error message indicates that a problem with the file system has occurred, and the system is unable to read or access the file.

A corrupted hard drive is the primary cause of the File System Error (-1073741521). Other factors, such as corrupted system files, malware infection, and Windows update errors, can also cause this error. When this error occurs, users may encounter a number of issues, including:

  • The most obvious impact of this error is that users will be unable to open or access certain files on their system.
  • In some cases, the File System Error can cause system crashes and freezes, making it difficult for users to perform any tasks on their system.
  • If the error is caused by a corrupted hard drive, users may risk losing their data permanently.

Users can try several solutions to resolve the File System Error (-1073741521). These include running a malware scan on the system, performing a disk check to detect and repair any hard drive errors, and restoring the system to a previous restore point. To repair any corrupted system files, users can also try updating their system drivers or performing a clean install of the operating system. Continue reading for step-by-step instructions.

How to fix File System Error -1073741521 in Windows

Method 1. Repair Corrupted System Files

Use Command Prompt commands to repair system file corruption:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Use the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow

Repair Corrupted System Files

  • Reboot your system
  • If SFC returned an error, then use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Method 2. Uninstall the last Windows Update

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.
  • Open the Settings app by pressing Windows key + I
  • Go to Windows Update
  • Select Update history and press Uninstall updates
  • Locate the latest update
  • Click on Uninstall

Uninstall the last Windows Update

  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

Method 3. Use a Repair Utility

In case you do not manage to fix File System Error (-1073741521) manually, you can do that automatically. It goes without saying that for this purpose, you have to download a utility that would be capable of doing it. For this purpose, we highly recommend using FortectMac Washing Machine X9. This software is capable of detecting system errors like corrupted files, BSODs,[1] startup issues, registry[2] malfunctions, hardware problems, outdated software/drivers,[3] etc. Therefore, try this program without a delay, especially having in mind that its trial is free.

Use a Repair Utility

Method 4. Scan your System for Malware

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.

It is possible that a malware infection may be the cause of WerFault.exe using high amounts of CPU. It is important to run a comprehensive security scan to rule out this possibility and ensure that the computer is not infected. This can help to prevent further issues with the Windows operating system and ensure that it is functioning properly.

If you have access to a security scanner, or if your organization pays for one, you can use it to scan your entire system to check for a virus infection. Otherwise, you can use Windows Defender to scan your system:

  • Click on the Windows Start menu or press the Windows key on your keyboard
  • Type Microsoft Defender in the search bar and click on Microsoft Defender Antivirus to open the application
  • Click on the Virus & threat protection option in the left-hand menu
  • Click on the Quick scan or Full scan option, depending on your preference

Scan your System for Malware

  • If you choose Quick scan, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will scan the most vulnerable and commonly infected areas of your computer
  • If you choose Full scan, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will scan your entire computer, including all files, folders, and programs
  • Click on the Scan now button to start the selected scan type and wait for the scan to complete
  • The time it takes will depend on the size of your hard drive and the number of files being scanned
  • Once the scan is complete, you will be informed of any detected threats, and you can choose to quarantine or remove them
  • If no threats are found, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will inform you that your device is secure

Method 5. Use System Restore

System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows users to revert their computer's state to a previous point in time. This can be helpful if you have made changes to your system that are causing problems.

  • Go to the Start menu, type restore, and click on Create a restore point
  • Click System Restore, then follow the prompts until you can select a restore point
  • Select the one you want (ideally before the issue started occurring) and go ahead with the process

Use System Restore

Method 6. Clean Install Windows

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.

Performing a clean install wipes out data from the PC, so please create backups before you proceed.

  • Download the ISO file
  • Select Create installation media for another PC and click Next
  • Select ISO file and click Next
  • Click Finish
  • Open the Windows ISO file you downloaded

Clean Install Windows

  • Open Setup and click Next
  • Click Accept (Be prepared to wait; this next part may take a while)
  • Click Install
  • Wait for your system to restart and install Windows

Repair your Errors automatically

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
Still having problems?
If you failed to fix your error using FortectMac Washing Machine X9, reach our support team for help. Please, let us know all details that you think we should know about your problem.
Fortect - a patented specialized Windows repair program. It will diagnose your damaged PC. It will scan all System Files, DLLs and Registry Keys that have been damaged by security threats.Mac Washing Machine X9 - a patented specialized Mac OS X repair program. It will diagnose your damaged computer. It will scan all System Files and Registry Keys that have been damaged by security threats.
This patented repair process uses a database of 25 million components that can replace any damaged or missing file on user's computer.
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect malware removal tool.To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Mac Washing Machine X9 malware removal tool.

Access geo-restricted video content with a VPN

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

Don’t pay ransomware authors – use alternative data recovery options

Malware attacks, particularly ransomware, are by far the biggest danger to your pictures, videos, work, or school files. Since cybercriminals use a robust encryption algorithm to lock data, it can no longer be used until a ransom in bitcoin is paid. Instead of paying hackers, you should first try to use alternative recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data. Otherwise, you could also lose your money, along with the files. One of the best tools that could restore at least some of the encrypted files –  Data Recovery Pro.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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