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

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: 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 namePlatform
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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 namePlatform
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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: Jun 3, 2008 - Revision: 1

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