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Read System Environment Variable from ASP w/o any dll

Posted on 2005-04-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Need to access a system/user environment variable (of the server) from ASP. Haven't done anything like that till now and Googling dint help. Can't believe such a common scenario has no solution in ASP! Well, if there is a way, ppl here wld know! ;)

please help me to...

- Read a System environment variable like PATH (NOT session/application/servervariable)
- Without using a dll
- A round-about way involving SQL server should be okay
Question by:fozylet
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 13759690
ASP is a framework, it's functionality is dependant on COM objects, the only ones built in (no 3rd party dll involved) are Response, Request and Server, these are purposefully of limited scope and cannot achieve what you want alone.

Server does provide .CreateObject, if permissions allow you could use this to invoke wscript.shell which I believe can access the variables you want.

As for a round-about way involving SQL server, most installations are locked down to the level of ASP, if this is on a shared hosting platform (assuming that's your reason for ruling out a COM dll), have you considered that the host does not want users accessing machine-level information?

If for some reason you do have full access to SQL Server but not wscript, you could use DTS + ActiveX Script packages to do this for you.

Expert Comment

ID: 13759712
In ASP.NET, you can use the environment class, see


In ASP you should invoke the cmd interpreter, using pipes to create a file. (eg. PATH > pathtext.txt {create a file with as content the result of the path command} )

Then read that file and parse it.


Accepted Solution

g1bz earned 2000 total points
ID: 13759725
I decided to test wscript.shell:

dim wshell : set wshell = Server.CreateObject("wscript.shell")

Worked as expected, but this is on my own machine, if your on a professional host, this should cause a security error message.

P.S. To turn %vars% into meaningful data you can enclose it in a wshell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings() call.


Author Comment

ID: 13759766

great explanation! :)
am aware of the limitations and that is why i was sure a pure asp solution will not work. using WSH should be okay since WSH is installed as a standard add-on in most cases. the reason i ruled out a component is coz of the requirement at hand, not coz of remote hosting.

in short, ur solution works perfect! thank you! :)

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