Article ID: 180410 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q180410
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 832978
When you try to start a program on a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer or a Microsoft Windows NT-based computer, the program may not run. Additionally, when you manually add a new environment variable that contains a path value, the path may be truncated.
This problem occurs because a system environment variable or a user environment variable contains a path that exceeds the maximum character length.
If a system environment variable contains a path that exceeds the maximum character length, the path is truncated when you start a program. This truncated version of the path is then written back to the registry. When this occurs, the operating system may not be able to find the executable files or the DLL files for the program. In this case, the program may not run.
The maximum length of the combined system and user-defined path for an environment variable is 1,023 characters, excluding the "path=" part of either. The system path is limited to a maximum length of 1,023 characters. The user-defined path is limited to a maximum length of 511 characters. When a user-defined path is combined with a system path, the user-defined path is limited to 1,023 characters minus the system path. If the system path uses the total allocated environment space, the user-defined path may be truncated. In this case, you may experience the problem that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.
Note These path length limits for environment variables are also true for Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
Hotfix informationNote After you apply this hotfix, the path length limit for environment variables is increased to 2,048 characters.
A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that this article describes. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.
To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=supportNote In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.
PrerequisitesNo prerequisites are required.
Restart requirementYou must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement informationThis hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.
File informationThe English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) 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.
Date Time Version Size File name ---------------------------------------------------------- 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6951 46,352 Basesrv.dll 21-Sep-2003 00:45 5.0.2195.6824 236,304 Cmd.exe 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6945 231,184 Gdi32.dll 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6946 712,464 Kernel32.dll 24-Mar-2004 02:17 5.0.2195.6898 37,136 Mf3216.dll 24-Mar-2004 02:17 5.0.2195.6824 54,544 Mpr.dll 18-Apr-2005 15:01 5.0.2195.7040 337,168 Msgina.dll 24-Mar-2004 02:17 5.0.2195.6892 90,264 Rdpwd.sys 18-Apr-2005 15:01 5.0.3900.7040 2,359,568 Shell32.dll 07-Feb-2005 05:35 5.0.2195.7026 6,301,696 Sp3res.dll 18-Apr-2005 15:01 5.0.2195.7029 126,736 Sysdm.cpl 29-Dec-2004 09:14 5.0.2195.7017 380,688 User32.dll 18-Apr-2005 15:01 5.0.2195.7029 396,048 Userenv.dll 24-Dec-2004 17:23 5.0.2195.7013 1,633,616 Win32k.sys 15-Feb-2005 07:06 5.0.2195.7031 184,592 Winlogon.exe 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6946 244,496 Winsrv.dll 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6946 712,464 Kernel32.dll 24-Dec-2004 17:23 5.0.2195.7013 1,633,616 Win32k.sys 17-Jun-2004 23:05 5.0.2195.6946 244,496 Winsrv.dll 25-Feb-2005 17:43 184.108.40.206 371,936 Updspapi.dll
Article ID: 180410 - Last Review: January 16, 2006 - Revision: 5.3
Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.