AutoFLAC Error: Unable to Execute the External Program

Posted by – April 29, 2010

AutoFLAC Error

A screenshot of the error message I received.

Today I ran into an unusual problem with Exact Audio Copy and AutoFLAC.  Whenever I’d try to rip one of my CDs into FLAC, they’d copy fine but then it’d fail and not write any .cue file.  After searching around on the net for various solutions I was still having trouble.

It’s an easy fix, but wanted to share it here to hopefully save somebody else some time if they run into this same problem.

First, the error message:

Line 0 (File "C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\AutoFLAC.exe");
$pid = run("" & $metaflac & ""' --add-replay-gain ' & $list, $ripdir, @SW_HIDE)
Error: Unable to execute the external program.
The directory name is invalid.

Now the fix, although it’s hardly a fix.

  1. Uninstall AutoFLAC.
  2. Uninstall Exact Audio Copy.
  3. Delete the Exact Audio Copy directory (C:\Program Files\Exact Audio Copy\ is the default).
  4. Use regedit to remove the AutoFLAC entries (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AutoFLAC).
  5. Reinstall Exact Audio Copy.
  6. Reinstall AutoFLAC.
  7. Ensure your FLAC binaries are up to date.

Steps 3 and 4 are possibly optional but I went and did it anyway and it fixed the problem.

Anyway, hope this helps people, and it’s hardly an original fix but I would have saved some time had I found a post like this.  Good luck, and happy ripping!

3 Comments on AutoFLAC Error: Unable to Execute the External Program

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by blogs of the world. blogs of the world said: Line 0 (File "C:Program FilesExact Audio CopyAutoFLAC.exe"); $pid = run("" & $metaflac … #execute […]

  2. Ben says:

    I also had the same “Unable to Execute the External Program” problem with Autoflac. I tried your fix. But it did not work for me. I was using EAC version 1.0 beta 1 and Autoflac version 1.2.

    What finally solved the problem for me was, I uninstalled EAC and Autoflac, then installed EAC version 0.99 prebeta 5 instead, followed by Autoflac (still 1.2). I didn’t have to use regedit, either.

  3. justin says:

    holy cow thanks for posting — it didn’t work, and thanks to the commenter! it was EAC v1 beta 1 that was the problem as much as it was totally unrelated to the error.

    It’s a pity since eac v1 b1 has album art! Awesome feature, and now I have to get musicbrainz again to add album art, and it has but a small fraction of CD’s i get in their DB 🙁

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