PowerShell: System cannot find file when user not logged on


When I try to use Import-PfxCertificate I get an error when the user account I'm running the script with isn't logged on:

Import-PfxCertificate : The system cannot find the file specified. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070002)

When I open an RDP session to the server the script runs at on that user account, it works without problems. The weird thing is that Test-Path $certfile -PathType Leaf returns true in both cases. What is going on?

Test-Path $certfile -PathType Leaf #always true
Import-PfxCertificate -FilePath $certfile -CertStoreLocation Cert:\CurrentUser\My -Password $Secure_String_Pwd

So the script is run as a background job on a timer on the server and when,

case 1: user account that is used to run the script has an active RDP session, the script runs fine.

case 2: user account that is used to run the script doesn't have an active RDP session, the script fails.

Edit: I found something in error[1].

New-Item : Could not find a part of the path 'C:\Users\Default\.Azure\AzInstallationChecks.json'.
At C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\AzureRM.profile\5.8.2\StartupScripts\AzureRmError.ps1:17 char:9

What's this then?

asked on Stack Overflow Feb 11, 2019 by Roihu • edited Feb 12, 2019 by Roihu

3 Answers


I ran your command on my console, and I had no issues with the import. I am an admin on the machine that contains my console. I tried this with the powerShell session being elevated and non-elevated. Both worked.

$certfile = "C:\temp\cert.pfx"
$secure_string_pwd = convertto-securestring -string "password" -asplaintext -force
Import-PfxCertificate -FilePath $certfile -CertStoreLocation Cert:\CurrentUser\My -Password $Secure_String_Pwd

If this is not helpful at all, I will just delete this.

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 11, 2019 by AdminOfThings

Try this piece of code and see it it works. Please post a complete exception if it doesn't work.

$Secure_String_Pwd = ConvertTo-SecureString 'DDDDD12345' -AsPlainText -Force
Import-PfxCertificate -FilePath 'C:\LocalPath\local.pfx' -CertStoreLocation Cert:\LocalMachine\My -Password $Secure_String_Pwd
$thumbprint =  (Get-ChildItem -Path cert:\LocalMachine\my| Where-Object {$_.Subject -eq "CN=certificateNameWithoutextension"}).Thumbprint

# code for connect-Azure RM account
Connect-AzureRmAccount -ApplicationId $appid -CertificateThumbprint $thumbprint -Tenant $tenant -ServicePrincipal
    Write-Output $_
    echo $_.Exception|format-list -force

Hope it helps.

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 13, 2019 by Mohit Verma

It didn't help. The full exception is

PSParentPath: Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\Certificate::LocalMachine\My

Thumbprint Subject
---------- -------
Connect-AzureRmAccount : The system cannot find the file specified.

At C:\temp\script.ps1:8 char:5 + Connect-AzureRmAccount -ApplicationId $appid -CertificateThumbpri ... + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : CloseError: (:) [Connect-AzureRmAccount], Crypto graphicException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.Azure.Commands.Profile.ConnectAzureRmA ccountCommand

Anyway, I went around the problem using C#.

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 26, 2019 by Roihu

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