How Windows NT Determines a User's Home Directory

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Article ID: 101507 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q101507
The system administrator specifies a home directory in the User Manager, in the user profile properties. Windows NT sets the following three environment variables based on the value of the home directory:
HOMEDRIVE
HOMEPATH
HOMESHARE
For example, these three environment variables could contain the following:
HOMEDRIVE=<drive letter>:
HOMEPATH=\<path>
HOMESHARE=\\<server name>\<share name>
NOTE: HOMESHARE could contain a local drive instead of a server and share. If no home directory is specified, Windows NT uses the following values by default:
HOMEDRIVE=<drive where Windows NT is installed>
HOMEPATH=\users\default
HOMESHARE=
NOTE: If the \USERS\DEFAULT directory does not exist on the drive that has Windows NT installed, HOMEPATH is set to the \USERS on that drive; if the \USERS directory does not exist, HOMEPATH is set to the drive that has Windows NT installed. The default directory the Command Prompt displays is the equivalent of HOMEDRIVE plus HOMEPATH.

If a user has the home directory set to \\<server>\<share>\<path>, the Command Prompt does not display the specified directory if the server is not available for any reason. The only method to determine what failed when the Command Prompt does not display the specified directory involves checking the event logs and verifying that everything is installed properly.
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Article ID: 101507 - Last Review: May 4, 2005 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv KB101507

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