an hour ago, after a normal restart, my PATH environment variable just disappeared.
It does not appear in the:
- not in System Properties/advanced/environment variables.
- nor under "User" and not under "System" variables
- not in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment
Fortunately, I have backup of my env vars, so the only question is
WHY did it happen? (and not "how to repair it")
- I'm on Windows XP, sp3.
- before the incident I tried to install a new monitor, which didn't work
- I had other custom variables that I created manually for my own needs, and all these variables remained intact. Only the PATH variable vanished!
- all these variables (both PATH and my manually defined vars, where defined as System vars, not User vars
- since there was no PATH var, the default PATH pointed to C:\Windows\system32. this rules out security attack of that sort, I guess. (or just proves the opposite?!)
edit : I ruled out gremlins, because it had happened before midnight && after 9PM
edit2: I ran 2 registry cleaners just 3 days ago (reg-mechanic and regSeeker). the first took tons of time to run. It's not magic fairies but it's pretty close ;)
edit3 - I did not touch or change my env variables lately, so it wasn't "by accident". besides, it happened twice already.