the way and how

(1) I don’t understand how this machine works.
I don’t understand the way this machine works.

 (2) I don't understand [b]how[/b] he could behave this way.
       I don't understand [b]the way[/b] he could behave this way.
  I have two questions:
  1) Do the sentences above have the same meaning?
  1) Can the expression 'the way" replace the word "how" all the time in such cases? 

Thank you in advance.
I wish you a merry Christmas.


(1) Both sentences have a very similar meaning.

(2) The second sentence doesn’t make sense.

It’s April. Are your Christmas wishes too late or too early?