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Environment vars lost after reconnecting via RDP to my Windows 7 WS

Posted on 2011-03-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
My Windows 7 workstation looses environment variables some time after logon  or when reconnecting via RDP. The best way to reproduce the problem for me is: connect to the workstation via RDP, start cmd, issue "set" command - all variables are there. Disconnect (no logoff) and immediatly reconnect, start cmd, issue another "set" command: variables lost! The following variables are deleted: Path, PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE, PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER, PROCESSOR_LEVEL, PROCESSOR_REVISION, PSModulePath, windir. The PATHEXT variable is changed from PATHEXT=.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH;.MSC to PATHEXT=.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.JS;.WS;.MSC.

The last thing I installed was a telco app from Ericsson/Damovo called Solidus eCare Suite that is not running after startup!
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Question by:PeterSausD
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by:Qlemo
ID: 35175197
Hallo Peter S. aus D   (D = Dortmund oder Deutschland?),

If there are changes after you login
(1) you have an application do that
(2) you have a group policy changing your environment.
The latter is more likely. Are you in a domain?

Is your environment reset to your intended setup again after some action?
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by:PeterSausD
ID: 35176569
Qlemo,

it is in a domain, but group policy as a reason is unlikely as this PC is in our "Admin" OU and all policies are denied for this OU. No policy was changed BTW.

The environment is reset if I log off (using RDP or directly on the console) and then on again.

If I now disconnect RDP (no logoff) and immediatly reconnect, the environment is already lost.

The only app I installed since I first noticed this happening is the Damovo/Ericsson Solidus eCare suite, however I can not see this process running, I start this manually.

Peter S. aus D. (good guess, D= Dahl/Hagen but was also living in Dortmund two years ago:-)
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by:Qlemo
ID: 35176611
I'm at a loss there. I reckon you need forensic tools to get the culprit. Process Monitor from www.sysinternals.com is a good one - but you need to set up the filters appropriate. I would filter on registry access, where the path contains "Environment", and highlight "write". That should reduce visual traffic enough to see what is happening when you log off/disconnect/reconnect.
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Accepted Solution

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PeterSausD earned 0 total points
ID: 35193409
I was able to solve this myself: the problem was that my environment variable path was too long (it grew through the last install). Once I trimmed the path by removing some entries the problem was gone. The lenght of path was over 2100 Bytes.
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by:Qlemo
ID: 35194204
Never heard of that effect, but I try to keep my PATH sorted ... 2100 Bytes, phew.
Great you found out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:PeterSausD
ID: 35225444
The problem was solved by my own solution. The othe answers did not lead to a resolution.
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by:kearnsat
ID: 37692093
I just wanted to follow up on this thread. I found your solution helpful when we started having a lot of people at our office experience the same problem. However, I wanted to add that I think the exact limit is 2048, not 2100. When the path is 2047 or less, the Path does not get wiped out on RDP. When it's 2048 or greater, it gets reset to Path=(null).
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Author Comment

by:PeterSausD
ID: 37692707
@kearnsat: thanks for letting me know!
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