Computer Stops or Hangs Due to Large System Environment Variable Values

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Article ID: 223275 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q223275
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SYMPTOMS

After adding an environment variable that contains a large number of bytes, the computer will not restart.

CAUSE

Certain process start up code for system processes (CSRSS, Autochk) were only allowing 512 bytes of space for system variables, which caused memory to be overwritten.

RESOLUTION

Windows NT Server or Workstation 4.0

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
  • Windows Service Pack Center -or-

  • 152734 how to obtain the latest windows nt 4.0 service pack
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;CNTACTMS

Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 6.

MORE INFORMATION

The new files in this hotfix increase the number of bytes to 4,000. Users should keep the total system environment variable size to 4,000 characters. This size also included the variable name.

Properties

Article ID: 223275 - Last Review: June 11, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB223275

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