# Windows cmd working just sporadically

Somehow it seems that my windows 7 cmd prompt is only working correct sporadically. If I open a new cmd I can nearly always execute applications within PATH (sometimes this doesn't work either). But after a few executions the command which worked previously stops working and cmd is telling me:

The command "java.exe" is misspelled or couldn't be found (translated from german)

After opening a new cmd, the problem is gone. Can someone explain why this happens and how I can solve this?

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Version of windows? Maybe example of programs you execute and afterwards cmd doesn't work anymore? Or is it just with java.exe? –  Silviu May 10 '12 at 12:43
Windows is Win7 although cmd tells Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]. Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601] Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. Alle Rechte vorbehalten. C:\Users\philipph>notepad.exe C:\Users\philipph> Second terminal Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601] Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. Alle Rechte vorbehalten. C:\Users\philipph>notepad.exe Der Befehl "notepad.exe" ist entweder falsch geschrieben oder konnte nicht gefunden werden. –  philnate May 10 '12 at 12:53
I'm having the same problem sporadically on a Windows 2003 Server R2 Standard. My guess from the programmer's perspective is that the launching process (i.e. the shell, "Explorer") is induced to forget its environment and therefore doesn't pass it to child processes anymore. The reason could be shell extensions or any kind of DLL that can do this from within the shell process. –  0xC0000022L May 10 '12 at 13:03
@STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED: It's possible, but according to philnate's description, it's a running cmd instance that suddenly forgets its environ, but ones created afterwards work fine again. –  grawity May 10 '12 at 13:06
In this case the solution is even easier because any script can modify the environment of a running cmd.exe when it gets to run there. So check PATH before and after running the commands/scripts and then see which one is causing the issue and fix the script/program or wrap it into a script that will retain the environment ... –  0xC0000022L May 10 '12 at 13:08

Have you checked the PATH after java not working? May be a batch file modified the PATH.

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It's recommended to write batch scripts with setlocal as the first command to avoid this kind of problems. –  grawity May 11 '12 at 12:28

try using the console and when it does work issue:

prompt:\> sfc /scannow


you will be probably asked for the Windows CD...

Maybe reverting to a previous system restore point can do the trick...

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Luckily there's no need to use that heavy countermeasurement –  philnate May 11 '12 at 5:55