Error messages after you change the 2047 character limit in an environment variable on a computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2

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Article ID: 2685893 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

After you enable an environment variable to contain more than 2047 characters on a computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you experience the following symptoms:
  • When you try to run an application at a command prompt, you receive the following error message:
    %windir% not found
  • When you try to display the environment variable in the System Properties dialog box, you receive the following error message:
    %windir% missing
Note These issues do not occur if you restart the computer or log off and then log on the computer after you change the character limit in the environment variable.

Cause

This issue occurs because the environment variable is limited to 2047 characters. When you change the system environment variables, processes, such as explorer.exe, receive a WM_SETTINGCHANGE message as notification of the change. The Shell32.dll file processes the notification by enumerating all the environment variables from the registry key and setting up a new environment block. The enumerating function assumes that the environment variable is limited to 2048 characters, and the enumerating function exists out for a PATH variable that is larger than 2048 characters. Therefore, the partly initialized environment block affects the initialization and functionality of other applications.

Resolution

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 the problem described in this article. 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 website:
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.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must be running one of the following operating systems:
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
For more information about how to obtain a Windows Vista service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935791 How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack
For more information about how to obtain a Windows Server 2008 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
968849 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2008
For more information about how to obtain a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
976932 Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Registry information

To apply this hotfix, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.

File information

The global version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 file information notes
Important Windows Vista hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, only "Windows Vista" is listed on the Hotfix Request page. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows Vista" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.
  • The files that apply to a specific product, SR_Level (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table.
    Collapse this tableExpand this table
    VersionProductSR_LevelService branch
    6.0.600 2 . 22xxxWindows Vista and Windows Server 2008SP2LDR
  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows Server 2008 and for Windows Vista" section. MUM files and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are extremely important to maintain the state of the updated components. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x86-based versions of Windows Server 2008 and of Windows Vista
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profprov.dll6.0.6002.2297029,18409-Nov-201202:41x86
Profsvc.dll6.0.6002.22970155,64809-Nov-201202:41x86
Userprofilewmiprovider.mofNot Applicable10,70208-Nov-201223:16Not Applicable
Shell32.dll6.0.6002.2297011,589,12009-Nov-201202:42x86
Sysdm.cpl6.0.6002.22970242,68809-Nov-201202:42Not Applicable
Userenv.dll6.0.6002.22970108,54409-Nov-201202:42x86
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 and of Windows Vista
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profprov.dll6.0.6002.2297033,28009-Nov-201203:36x64
Profsvc.dll6.0.6002.22970180,73609-Nov-201203:36x64
Userprofilewmiprovider.mofNot Applicable10,70208-Nov-201223:17Not Applicable
Shell32.dll6.0.6002.2297012,904,44809-Nov-201203:36x64
Sysdm.cpl6.0.6002.22970268,28809-Nov-201203:37Not Applicable
Userenv.dll6.0.6002.22970137,21609-Nov-201203:37x64
Shell32.dll6.0.6002.2297011,589,12009-Nov-201202:42x86
Sysdm.cpl6.0.6002.22970242,68809-Nov-201202:42Not Applicable
Userenv.dll6.0.6002.22970108,54409-Nov-201202:42x86
For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Profprov.dll6.0.6002.2297076,28809-Nov-201202:14IA-64
Profsvc.dll6.0.6002.22970406,01609-Nov-201202:14IA-64
Userprofilewmiprovider.mofNot Applicable10,70208-Nov-201223:05Not Applicable
Shell32.dll6.0.6002.2297019,095,04009-Nov-201202:14IA-64
Sysdm.cpl6.0.6002.22970476,67209-Nov-201202:15Not Applicable
Userenv.dll6.0.6002.22970283,64809-Nov-201202:15IA-64
Shell32.dll6.0.6002.2297011,589,12009-Nov-201202:42x86
Sysdm.cpl6.0.6002.22970242,68809-Nov-201202:42Not Applicable
Userenv.dll6.0.6002.22970108,54409-Nov-201202:42x86
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 file information notes
Important Windows 7 hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 R2 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, hotfixes on the Hotfix Request page are listed under both operating systems. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.
  • The files that apply to a specific product, milestone (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table:
    Collapse this tableExpand this table
    VersionProductMilestoneService branch
    6.1.760 1.21xxxWindows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2SP1LDR
  • GDR service branches contain only those fixes that are widely released to address widespread, critical issues. LDR service branches contain hotfixes in addition to widely released fixes.
  • The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2" section. MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are critical to maintaining the state of the updated component. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTime
Shell32.dll6.1.7601.2193612,874,75206-Mar-201205:22
Sysdm.cpl6.1.7601.21936326,65606-Mar-201205:18
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Shell32.dll6.1.7601.2193614,174,72006-Mar-201206:23x64
Sysdm.cpl6.1.7601.21936353,28006-Mar-201206:16Not Applicable
Shell32.dll6.1.7601.2193612,874,75206-Mar-201205:22x86
For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Shell32.dll6.1.7601.2193621,190,65606-Mar-201205:21IA-64
Sysdm.cpl6.1.7601.21936570,36806-Mar-201205:15Not Applicable
Shell32.dll6.1.7601.2193612,874,75206-Mar-201205:22x86

More information

After you apply this hotfix, the maximum length of an environment variable is increased from 2047 characters to 4095 characters, and you can enter 2047 characters in an environment variable in the Environment Variables dialog box. In the Environment Variables dialog box, the maximum number of characters that are displayed is 4095. If an existing value contains more than 2047 characters, you cannot enter additional data. However, you can delete the characters that are displayed. If a system environment variable is set to a value that is greater than 4095 characters, only the first 4095 characters are displayed. In this situation, when you click OK, the value is truncated permanently to 4095 characters, and the value is updated and stored in the registry.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More information

For more information about software update terminology, 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

Additional file information

Additional file information for Windows Vista and for Windows Server 2008

Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows Vista and of Windows Server 2008
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameUpdate.mum
File versionNot Applicable
File size2,414
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)04:47
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_fdd5cb8e4929a4db.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size38,816
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:56
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_6e4d9eff287886f1.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size904,280
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:53
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size10,063
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:53
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size22,566
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:57
PlatformNot Applicable
Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows Vista and of Windows Server 2008
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_59f4671201871611.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size39,111
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)03:52
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_ca6c3a82e0d5f827.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size906,212
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)03:49
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_c0c542644416e268.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size10,111
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)03:49
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_ee837a181a1ce40a.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size22,608
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)03:54
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameUpdate.mum
File versionNot Applicable
File size2,432
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)04:47
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameWow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_d4c0e4d51536ba22.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size899,183
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:45
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size10,063
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:53
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size22,566
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:57
PlatformNot Applicable
Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_fdd76f844927add7.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size39,087
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:24
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_6e4f42f528768fed.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size906,144
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:22
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a84ad68bb77a2e.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size10,087
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:22
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9266828a61bd7bd0.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size22,587
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:25
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameUpdate.mum
File versionNot Applicable
File size2,257
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)04:47
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameWow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_d4c0e4d51536ba22.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size899,183
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:45
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size10,063
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:53
PlatformNot Applicable
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest
File versionNot Applicable
File size22,566
Date (UTC)09-Nov-2012
Time (UTC)02:57
PlatformNot Applicable

Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameX86_4c0dc5debc3492b57547ff706efc7496_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_0c66cdab84c69c8d.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size695
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameX86_4f1dae35bbb9e93ec2e13080d177c1e8_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_ac04358f6b0c76cb.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size693
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_6ea69802896a0899.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,059,457
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)06:20
File nameX86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_64ff9fe3ecaaf2da.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size4,145
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)06:19
Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameAmd64_1ee41c8879482f7ef008e05d93495b2d_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_da95629eff7b0906.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,040
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameAmd64_a4fe0b9566c6311f79aa30632d6f2283_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_2673b4e6d038c9d8.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,034
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameAmd64_cb092d4d20eb78dd8fa1dd75efb41835_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_0f7f391e55a47b51.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size699
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_cac5338641c779cf.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,058,443
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)07:00
File nameAmd64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_c11e3b67a5086410.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size4,149
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)07:00
File nameWow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d519ddd876283bca.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,054,916
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)05:55
Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameIa64_d88a33ae9f64e1201229dbeb269ce630_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d2cd106ff126c5e2.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,032
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameIa64_f60a4af9383cc624321b07801b50bf82_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_1d2b3a101374d959.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,038
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)14:50
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_6ea83bf889681195.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,058,441
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)06:34
File nameIa64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_650143d9eca8fbd6.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size4,147
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)06:34
File nameWow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d519ddd876283bca.manifest
File versionNot applicable
File size1,054,916
Date (UTC)06-Mar-2012
Time (UTC)05:55

Properties

Article ID: 2685893 - Last Review: December 12, 2012 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
Keywords: 
kbautohotfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver kbfix kbsurveynew kbexpertiseadvanced KB2685893

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