I was trying to update the
path environment variable for my Windows 8.1 PC using the
setx command from a command prompt (I won't be making that mistake again), which a) didn't work, and b) truncated the
path user environment variable to 1024 characters; now, the final entry in the environment variable is not a valid path (it cuts off part way through a folder name), and an unknown number of entries have been deleted (I checked in advanced system settings and the
path system environment variable appears to still be in tact).
My question is: how can I recover the state of the
path user environment variable before it was truncated? I have tried following several answers, including using 'process explorer' (I believe this is no longer an option, because I have been forced to log off since the truncation occurred, and so all of the programs that were open at the time are now closed) and 'registry editor', but following these instructions didn't seem to work (for example, trying to follow this answer did not work, because in step 4, on my PC there was no "little button to the right of "Open" for "Show Previous Versions"", so I could no longer follow those instructions).
So if someone could explain step-by-step how to view a previous version of the
path user environment variable that would be great.
(Note that I don't have any terminal windows open from before the truncation happened, so I can't just use
echo %path% in command prompt, and in Windows 8.1, Microsoft appears to have disabled the ability to view previous versions of things, although admittedly I don't fully understand to what extent).