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=supportNote 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.

    Version

    Product

    SR_Level

    Service branch

    6.0.600
    2.
    22xxx

    Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

    SP2

    LDR

  • 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

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Profprov.dll

6.0.6002.22970

29,184

09-Nov-2012

02:41

x86

Profsvc.dll

6.0.6002.22970

155,648

09-Nov-2012

02:41

x86

Userprofilewmiprovider.mof

Not Applicable

10,702

08-Nov-2012

23:16

Not Applicable

Shell32.dll

6.0.6002.22970

11,589,120

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

Sysdm.cpl

6.0.6002.22970

242,688

09-Nov-2012

02:42

Not Applicable

Userenv.dll

6.0.6002.22970

108,544

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 and of Windows Vista

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Profprov.dll

6.0.6002.22970

33,280

09-Nov-2012

03:36

x64

Profsvc.dll

6.0.6002.22970

180,736

09-Nov-2012

03:36

x64

Userprofilewmiprovider.mof

Not Applicable

10,702

08-Nov-2012

23:17

Not Applicable

Shell32.dll

6.0.6002.22970

12,904,448

09-Nov-2012

03:36

x64

Sysdm.cpl

6.0.6002.22970

268,288

09-Nov-2012

03:37

Not Applicable

Userenv.dll

6.0.6002.22970

137,216

09-Nov-2012

03:37

x64

Shell32.dll

6.0.6002.22970

11,589,120

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

Sysdm.cpl

6.0.6002.22970

242,688

09-Nov-2012

02:42

Not Applicable

Userenv.dll

6.0.6002.22970

108,544

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Profprov.dll

6.0.6002.22970

76,288

09-Nov-2012

02:14

IA-64

Profsvc.dll

6.0.6002.22970

406,016

09-Nov-2012

02:14

IA-64

Userprofilewmiprovider.mof

Not Applicable

10,702

08-Nov-2012

23:05

Not Applicable

Shell32.dll

6.0.6002.22970

19,095,040

09-Nov-2012

02:14

IA-64

Sysdm.cpl

6.0.6002.22970

476,672

09-Nov-2012

02:15

Not Applicable

Userenv.dll

6.0.6002.22970

283,648

09-Nov-2012

02:15

IA-64

Shell32.dll

6.0.6002.22970

11,589,120

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

Sysdm.cpl

6.0.6002.22970

242,688

09-Nov-2012

02:42

Not Applicable

Userenv.dll

6.0.6002.22970

108,544

09-Nov-2012

02:42

x86

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:

    Version

    Product

    Milestone

    Service branch

    6.1.760
    1.21xxx

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

    SP1

    LDR

  • 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

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Shell32.dll

6.1.7601.21936

12,874,752

06-Mar-2012

05:22

Sysdm.cpl

6.1.7601.21936

326,656

06-Mar-2012

05:18

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Shell32.dll

6.1.7601.21936

14,174,720

06-Mar-2012

06:23

x64

Sysdm.cpl

6.1.7601.21936

353,280

06-Mar-2012

06:16

Not Applicable

Shell32.dll

6.1.7601.21936

12,874,752

06-Mar-2012

05:22

x86

For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

File version

File size

Date

Time

Platform

Shell32.dll

6.1.7601.21936

21,190,656

06-Mar-2012

05:21

IA-64

Sysdm.cpl

6.1.7601.21936

570,368

06-Mar-2012

05:15

Not Applicable

Shell32.dll

6.1.7601.21936

12,874,752

06-Mar-2012

05:22

x86

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

File name

Update.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,414

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

04:47

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_fdd5cb8e4929a4db.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

38,816

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:56

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_6e4d9eff287886f1.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

904,280

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:53

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

10,063

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:53

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

22,566

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:57

Platform

Not Applicable

Additional files for all supported x64-based versions of Windows Vista and of Windows Server 2008

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_59f4671201871611.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

39,111

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

03:52

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_ca6c3a82e0d5f827.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

906,212

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

03:49

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_c0c542644416e268.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

10,111

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

03:49

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_ee837a181a1ce40a.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

22,608

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

03:54

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Update.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,432

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

04:47

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Wow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_d4c0e4d51536ba22.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

899,183

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:45

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

10,063

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:53

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

22,566

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:57

Platform

Not Applicable

Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-profsvc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_fdd76f844927add7.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

39,087

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:24

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_6e4f42f528768fed.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

906,144

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:22

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a84ad68bb77a2e.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

10,087

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:22

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9266828a61bd7bd0.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

22,587

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:25

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Update.mum

File version

Not Applicable

File size

2,257

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

04:47

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

Wow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_d4c0e4d51536ba22.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

899,183

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:45

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_64a6a6e08bb97132.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

10,063

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:53

Platform

Not Applicable

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-userenv_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.22970_none_9264de9461bf72d4.manifest

File version

Not Applicable

File size

22,566

Date (UTC)

09-Nov-2012

Time (UTC)

02:57

Platform

Not Applicable

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

Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7

File name

X86_4c0dc5debc3492b57547ff706efc7496_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_0c66cdab84c69c8d.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

695

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

X86_4f1dae35bbb9e93ec2e13080d177c1e8_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_ac04358f6b0c76cb.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

693

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_6ea69802896a0899.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,059,457

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

06:20

File name

X86_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_64ff9fe3ecaaf2da.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

4,145

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

File name

Amd64_1ee41c8879482f7ef008e05d93495b2d_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_da95629eff7b0906.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,040

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

Amd64_a4fe0b9566c6311f79aa30632d6f2283_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_2673b4e6d038c9d8.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,034

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

Amd64_cb092d4d20eb78dd8fa1dd75efb41835_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_0f7f391e55a47b51.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

699

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_cac5338641c779cf.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,058,443

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

07:00

File name

Amd64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_c11e3b67a5086410.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

4,149

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

07:00

File name

Wow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d519ddd876283bca.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,054,916

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

05:55

Additional files for all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2

File name

Ia64_d88a33ae9f64e1201229dbeb269ce630_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d2cd106ff126c5e2.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,032

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

Ia64_f60a4af9383cc624321b07801b50bf82_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_1d2b3a101374d959.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,038

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

14:50

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_6ea83bf889681195.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,058,441

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

06:34

File name

Ia64_microsoft-windows-sysdm_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_650143d9eca8fbd6.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

4,147

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

06:34

File name

Wow64_microsoft-windows-shell32_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.21936_none_d519ddd876283bca.manifest

File version

Not applicable

File size

1,054,916

Date (UTC)

06-Mar-2012

Time (UTC)

05:55

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