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Last Updated December 24, 2003

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Environmental  and System Variables

Environment variables are strings that contain information such as drive, path, or file name. Environment variables control the behavior of various programs. Any user can add, modify, or remove a user environment variable. However, only an administrator can add, modify, or remove a system environment variable.
Where to start..
Environment Variables in Windows NT/2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 100843 - Environment Variables in Windows NT/2000. There are three levels of environment variables in Windows NT; the system environment variables, the user environment variables, and the environment variables that are set in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. There are also some predefined environment variables that are set when the user logs on. This article discusses the following topics: System environment variables, User environment variables, AUTOEXEC.BAT environment variables, how environment variables are set, how the path is built, and changing user environment variables using control panel.

HOW TO: Create System Variables in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 311843 - This step-by-step article describes how to create system variables and how to view system variable information in a Windows 2000 environment. A member of the administrators group will complete all procedures.

Managing NT Environment Variables
NT Environment Variables Environment variables on an NT machine hold a wealth of useful information that administrators can access to make logon scripts and other scripts automate daily tasks. NT has two kinds of environment variables: system and user. Examples of static user variables are path, TEMP, and TMP. The HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment Registry key stores static user variables. Source: Windows 2000 Magazine (June 1999)


How to Specify Additional Environment Space under Windows NT/2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 158141 - This article explains how to specify additional space for environment variables. This can be useful for systems with extremely long path statements in both the system and the Autoexec.bat file.

How to Use %LOGONSERVER% to Distribute User Profiles
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 141714 - If you want to specify a domain server that validates a user logon, use the environment variable %LOGONSERVER% in a PATH statement. This article describes how you can use %LOGONSERVER% to distribute user profiles.

%LOGONSERVER% Variable not Available After Logon Script
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 183495 - When a logon script is run, the LOGONSERVER environment variable is only available while the logon script runs. After the logon script finishes, the LOGONSERVER environment variable is no longer available to other running processes.

%HOMEPATH% and %HOMESHARE% Variables Are Resolved Incorrectly
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 236813 - You can use Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) to map drives directly to folders and subfolders in a DFS share. If your home folder is on a DFS share, the %HOMEDRIVE% variable is mapped only to the DFS root and not to the complete path

%UserFirstName% and %UserLastName% Variables Are Not Resolved in Remote Installation Services Template
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244964 - When a user logs on using the Client Installation Wizard (CIW), the %UserFirstName% and %UserLastName% variables may not be resolved in the Remote Installation Services (RIS) template file (*.sif) if either of the following conditions is tr

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