Windows 10: App throws "File system error" (-2147219196) – CPU not compatible

Windows[German]A small addendum for Windows 10 users who may have been receiving the error "File system error" (-2147219196) in apps such as Photos since January 2023. This should only occur on older hardware if the processor no longer supports a certain instruction set. Microsoft has found the cause and has been providing a fix via the App Store since the beginning of February 2024. This is also a preview of what Windows 11 users with non-compatible hardware can expect in the future.


App error "File system error" (-2147219196)

There is a very long thread on Microsoft Answers titled Microsoft Photos: File system error (-2147219196), which deals with the problem and has now reached 63 pages where users confirm this error. The thread starter already complained on January 23, 2024 that he was confronted with the file system error (-2147219196) in the Microsoft Photos app.

Microsoft Photos: File system error (-2147219196)

I have used MS Photos quite successfully on my Windows 10 desktop PC until recently. Now, when I launch the Photos app, it closes after a few seconds with no error message. When I double-click a photo file in Explorer, Photos opens briefly, then closes and I see this:

"File system error" (-2147219196)

The Photos app starts when double-clicking on a photo file under Windows 10, but is then closed with the above error dialog box. The user receives the error message "File system error" (-2147219196) (or file system error (-2147219196) in a German Windows 10). Many users confirm that they also receive this error.

There is a post Windows 10: file system error (-1073741819) – 'extended attributes are inconsistent' in my blog. But that is a different error number.

The Register had addressed this here and already suspected older Windows 10 hardware (with Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon processors) – combined with a reference to what Windows 11 users can expect in the future with regard to "unsupported hardware" (the discussion in the German edition of my blog post Windows 11: Preview Update KB5034204 sorgt für Probleme (Installation, Explorer-Abstürze etc.) and and in the English blog post Windows 11: Preview update KB5034204 causes install issues and shell / Explorer crashes etc. provides a first flavor). The background to this is that Microsoft regularly updates its own Windows 10 apps via its store. This allows the company to release fixes and features as soon as they are ready, rather than waiting for the next feature update. Apps such as the calendar, photos and calculator received such an update in January 2024, which led to problems for many Windows 10 users with older CPUs.

Cause: CPU too old

Microsoft employee Mahmoud G Saleh then posted in the thread on February 2, 2024 and confirmed the above theory. He wrote that the developers were able to identify the cause that triggers the error. The Visual C++ team had identified the problem "as a regression" in the vclibs framework package. This is used by the Photos app and other apps, meaning they depend on the correct execution of the routines in the framework.


The problem affects systems with older hardware (whose CPU does not support SSE 4.2 instructions). The Microsoft employee confirmed that they are working on validating a solution that "should be available to affected customers shortly".

A fix is available

On February 6, 2024, Bruce The Shark posted in the thread and wrote that Microsoft had found a solution. Users should simply make sure that the app updates are activated in the App Store the next time Windows 10 is used. The update with the fix will then be downloaded. The next time the computer is restarted, everything should work again. His older computer with a Core 2 Duo processor has been working again since then. (via)

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