Dfx deploy canister not founc

I have always run dfx start in the project folder where dfx.json exists. And then dfx dpeloy works fine. But is it possible to run dfx start under any directory and then dfx deploy any canister under any directory? I got the following error when doing above which I never saw before

Installing canisters...
Installing code for canister main_server, with canister ID bkyz2-fmaaa-aaaaa-qaaaq-cai
Error: Failed while trying to deploy canisters.
Caused by: Failed while trying to deploy canisters.
  Failed while trying to install all canisters.
    Failed to install wasm module to canister 'main_server'.
      Failed during wasm installation call: The replica returned an HTTP Error: Http Error: status 404 Not Found, content type "text/plain", content: Canister bkyz2-fmaaa-aaaaa-qaaaq-cai not found

You’re most likely running into what we call ‘project-specific replica’. If you remove the networks part from dfx.json you will always run a system-wide replica and you can deploy to it from any project