Windows XP cannot find a program's executable files or DLL files

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Article ID: 832978 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to run a program on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, the program may not run because Windows XP cannot find the program's executable files or DLL files.

CAUSE

This problem may occur if the system PATH environment variable is longer than 1024 characters when the program is installed. The system PATH environment variable is limited to 1023 characters, plus the terminating null character, for a total of 1024 characters. When you start the program, the path is truncated to 1024 characters, and this truncated version is then written back to the registry.

RESOLUTION

Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Windows XP, 64-bit editions
   Date         Time   Version            Size    File name	Platform
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  6.0.2800.1515     130,560  Fldrclnr.dll     IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  5.1.2600.1520   1,272,320  Msgina.dll       IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  6.0.2800.1520  14,377,984  Shell32.dll      IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  5.1.2600.1515   2,018,816  Sxs.dll          IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  5.1.2600.1520     497,664  Sysdm.cpl
   27-Apr-2004  00:00  5.1.2600.1520   1,714,176  Userenv.dll      IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  6.0.2800.1515      82,432  Wfldrclnr.dll    x86
   26-Apr-2004  22:52  5.1.2600.1520     646,144  Winlogon.exe     IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     995,328  Wmsgina.dll      x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  6.0.2800.1520   8,349,184  Wshell32.dll     x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1515     676,864  Wsxs.dll         x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     275,456  Wsysdm.cpl
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     675,840  Wuserenv.dll     x86
   11-Apr-2004  04:04  5.1.2600.1515     593,408  Wxpsp2res.dll    x86
   11-Apr-2004  03:33  5.1.2600.1515     592,896  Xpsp2res.dll     IA-64
   11-Apr-2004  02:18  6.0.2800.1515   2,639,360  Comctl32.dll     IA-64
   27-Apr-2004  00:00                      1,813  Controls.man
   27-Apr-2004  00:00                        623  Comctl.man
Windows XP, 32-bit editions
   Date         Time   Version            Size    File name	Platform
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  6.0.2800.1515      82,432  Fldrclnr.dll     x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     995,328  Msgina.dll       x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  6.0.2800.1520   8,349,184  Shell32.dll      x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1515     676,864  Sxs.dll          x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     275,456  Sysdm.cpl 	   x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  5.1.2600.1520     675,840  Userenv.dll      x86   
   26-Apr-2004  23:52  5.1.2600.1520     519,168  Winlogon.exe     x86 
   11-Apr-2004  04:04  5.1.2600.1515     593,408  Xpsp2res.dll     x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13  6.0.2800.1515     921,600  Comctl32.dll     x86
   27-Apr-2004  00:13                      1,812  Controls.man
   27-Apr-2004  00:13                        621  Comctl.man

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.

MORE INFORMATION

After you install this hotfix or Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the PATH environment variable limit is increased to 2,048 characters. For additional information about the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates


Note Even after you apply the hotfix applied, the ENVIRONMENT management alias (Win32_Environment provider) in WMI will fail if the PATH statement has more than 1023 characters.

Properties

Article ID: 832978 - Last Review: May 14, 2007 - Revision: 3.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbhotfixserver kbwinxpsp2fix kbwinxppresp2fix kbbug kbfix kbqfe KB832978

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